panel(3X)                                                          panel(3X)

NAME         top

       panel - panel stack extension for curses

SYNOPSIS         top

       #include <panel.h>

       cc [flags] sourcefiles -lpanel -lncurses

       PANEL *new_panel(WINDOW *win);

       int bottom_panel(PANEL *pan);
       int top_panel(PANEL *pan);
       int show_panel(PANEL *pan);
       void update_panels(void);
       int hide_panel(PANEL *pan);

       WINDOW *panel_window(const PANEL *pan);
       int replace_panel(PANEL *pan, WINDOW *window);
       int move_panel(PANEL *pan, int starty, int startx);
       int panel_hidden(const PANEL *pan);

       PANEL *panel_above(const PANEL *pan);
       PANEL *panel_below(const PANEL *pan);

       int set_panel_userptr(PANEL *pan, const void *ptr);
       const void *panel_userptr(const PANEL *pan);

       int del_panel(PANEL *pan);

       /* ncurses-extensions */
       PANEL *ground_panel(SCREEN *sp);
       PANEL *ceiling_panel(SCREEN *sp);

DESCRIPTION         top

       Panels are curses(3X) windows with the added feature of depth.  Panel
       functions allow the use of stacked windows and ensure the proper
       portions of each window and the curses stdscr window are hidden or
       displayed when panels are added, moved, modified or removed.  The set
       of currently visible panels is the stack of panels.  The stdscr
       window is beneath all panels, and is not considered part of the

       A window is associated with every panel.  The panel routines enable
       you to create, move, hide, and show panels, as well as position a
       panel at any desired location in the stack.

       Panel routines are a functional layer added to curses(3X), make only
       high-level curses calls, and work anywhere terminfo curses does.

FUNCTIONS         top

       bottom_panel(pan) puts panel pan at the bottom of all panels.

       ceiling_panel(sp) acts like panel_below(NULL), for the given SCREEN

       del_panel(pan) removes the given panel pan from the  stack and
       deallocates the PANEL structure (but not its associated window).

       ground_panel(sp) acts like panel_above(NULL), for the given SCREEN

       hide_panel(pan) removes the given panel pan from the panel stack and
       thus hides it from view.  The PANEL structure is not lost, merely
       removed from the stack.

       move_panel(pan,starty,startx) moves the given panel pan's window so
       that its upper-left corner is at starty, startx.  It does not change
       the position of the panel in the stack.  Be sure to use this
       function, not mvwin(3X), to move a panel window.

       new_panel(win) allocates  a  PANEL structure, associates it with win,
       places the panel on the top of the stack (causes  it to  be
       displayed above any other panel) and returns a pointer to the new

       panel_above(pan) returns a pointer to the panel above pan.  If the
       panel argument is (PANEL *)0, it returns a pointer to the bottom
       panel in the stack.

       panel_below(pan) returns a pointer to the panel just below pan.  If
       the panel argument is (PANEL *)0, it returns a pointer to the top
       panel in the stack.

       panel_hidden(pan) returns TRUE if the panel pan is in the panel
       stack, FALSE if it is not.  If the panel is a null pointer, return

       panel_userptr(pan) returns the user pointer for a given panel pan.

       panel_window(pan) returns a pointer to the window of the given panel

       replace_panel(pan,window) replaces the current window of panel pan
       with window This is useful, for example if you want to resize a
       panel.  In ncurses, you can call replace_panel to resize a panel
       using a window resized with wresize(3X).  It does not change the
       position of the panel in the stack.

       set_panel_userptr(pan,ptr) sets the panel's user pointer.

       show_panel(pan) makes a hidden panel visible by placing it on top of
       the panels in the panel stack.  See COMPATIBILITY below.

       top_panel(pan) puts the given visible panel pan on top of all panels
       in the stack.  See COMPATIBILITY below.

       update_panels() refreshes the virtual screen to reflect the relations
       between the panels in the stack, but does not call doupdate(3X) to
       refresh the physical screen.  Use this function and not wrefresh(3X)
       or wnoutrefresh(3X).

       update_panels may be called more than once before a call to doupdate,
       but doupdate is the function responsible for updating the physical

DIAGNOSTICS         top

       Each routine that returns a pointer returns NULL if an error occurs.
       Each routine that returns an int value returns OK if it executes
       successfully and ERR if not.

       Except as noted, the pan and window parameters must be non-null.  If
       those are null, an error is returned.

       The move_panel function uses mvwin(3X), and will return an error if
       mvwin returns an error.


       Reasonable care has been taken to  ensure  compatibility with  the
       native  panel facility introduced in System V (inspection of the SVr4
       manual pages suggests the programming interface is unchanged).  The
       PANEL data structures are merely  similar.  The  programmer is
       cautioned not to directly use PANEL fields.

       The functions show_panel and top_panel are identical in this
       implementation, and work equally well with displayed or hidden
       panels.  In the native System V implementation, show_panel is
       intended for making a hidden panel visible (at the top of the stack)
       and top_panel is intended for making an already-visible panel move to
       the top of the stack.  You are cautioned to use the correct function
       to ensure compatibility with native panel libraries.

NOTE         top

       In your library list, libpanel.a should be before libncurses.a; that
       is, you should say “-lpanel -lncurses”, not the other way around
       (which would give a link-error with static libraries).

PORTABILITY         top

       The panel facility was documented in SVr4.2 in Character User
       Interface Programming (UNIX SVR4.2).

       It is not part of X/Open Curses.

       A few implementations exist:

       ·   Systems based on SVr4 source code, e.g., Solaris, provide this

       ·   ncurses (since version 0.6 in 1993) and PDCurses (since version
           2.2 in 1995) provide a panel library whose common ancestor was a
           public domain implementation by Warren Tucker published in
           u386mon 2.20 (1990).

           According to Tucker, the SystemV panel library was first released
           in SVr3.2 (1988), and his implementation helped with a port to
           SVr3.1 (1987).

           Several developers have improved each of these; they are no
           longer the same as Tucker's implementation.

       ·   NetBSD 8 (2018) has a panel library begun by Valery Ushakov in
           2015.  This is based on the AT&T documentation.

FILES         top

       panel.h interface for the panels library

       libpanel.a the panels library itself

SEE ALSO         top

       curses(3X), curs_variables(3X),

       This describes ncurses version @NCURSES_MAJOR@.@NCURSES_MINOR@ (patch

AUTHOR         top

       Originally written by Warren Tucker <>,
       primarily to assist in porting u386mon to systems without a native
       panels library.

       Repackaged for ncurses by Zeyd ben-Halim.

       Juergen Pfeifer and Thomas E. Dickey revised/improved the library.

COLOPHON         top

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