Once a menu has been posted (displayed), you should funnel input
events to it through menu_driver. This routine has three major
• The input is a form navigation request. Navigation request
codes are constants defined in <form.h>, which are distinct
from the key- and character codes returned by wgetch(3X).
• The input is a printable character. Printable characters
(which must be positive, less than 256) are checked according
to the program's locale settings.
• The input is the KEY_MOUSE special key associated with an
The menu driver requests are as follows:
Move left to an item.
Move right to an item.
Move up to an item.
Move down to an item.
Scroll up a line.
Scroll down a line.
Scroll down a page.
Scroll up a page.
Move to the first item.
Move to the last item.
Move to the next item.
Move to the previous item.
Select/deselect an item.
Clear the menu pattern buffer.
Delete the previous character from the pattern buffer.
Move to the next item matching the pattern match.
Move to the previous item matching the pattern match.
If the second argument is a printable character, the code appends
it to the pattern buffer and attempts to move to the next item
matching the new pattern. If there is no such match, menu_driver
returns E_NO_MATCH and deletes the appended character from the
If the second argument is one of the above pre-defined requests,
the corresponding action is performed.
If the second argument is the KEY_MOUSE special key, the
associated mouse event is translated into one of the above pre-
defined requests. Currently only clicks in the user window
(e.g., inside the menu display area or the decoration window) are
If you click above the display region of the menu:
• a REQ_SCR_ULINE is generated for a single click,
• a REQ_SCR_UPAGE is generated for a double-click and
• a REQ_FIRST_ITEM is generated for a triple-click.
If you click below the display region of the menu:
• a REQ_SCR_DLINE is generated for a single click,
• a REQ_SCR_DPAGE is generated for a double-click and
• a REQ_LAST_ITEM is generated for a triple-click.
If you click at an item inside the display area of the menu:
• the menu cursor is positioned to that item.
• If you double-click an item a REQ_TOGGLE_ITEM is generated
and E_UNKNOWN_COMMAND is returned. This return value makes
sense, because a double click usually means that an item-
specific action should be returned. It is exactly the
purpose of this return value to signal that an application
specific command should be executed.
• If a translation into a request was done, menu_driver returns
the result of this request.
If you clicked outside the user window or the mouse event could
not be translated into a menu request an E_REQUEST_DENIED is
If the second argument is neither printable nor one of the above
pre-defined menu requests or KEY_MOUSE, the drive assumes it is
an application-specific command and returns E_UNKNOWN_COMMAND.
Application-defined commands should be defined relative to
MAX_COMMAND, the maximum value of these pre-defined requests.
menu_driver return one of the following error codes:
E_OK The routine succeeded.
System error occurred (see errno(3)).
Routine detected an incorrect or out-of-range argument.
Routine was called from an initialization or termination
The menu has not been posted.
The menu driver code saw an unknown request code.
Character failed to match.
The menu driver could not process the request.
This page is part of the ncurses (new curses) project.
Information about the project can be found at
⟨https://www.gnu.org/software/ncurses/ncurses.html⟩. If you have
a bug report for this manual page, send it to
firstname.lastname@example.org. This page was obtained from the
project's upstream Git mirror of the CVS repository
⟨git://ncurses.scripts.mit.edu/ncurses.git⟩ on 2021-04-01. (At
that time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in
the repository was 2021-03-28.) If you discover any rendering
problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe there
is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
(which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to