wish Man page

wish Tk Applications wish



wish – Simple windowing shell


wish ?-encoding name? ?fileName arg arg …?


-encoding name Specifies the encoding of the text stored in file‐
Name. This option is only recognized prior to the
fileName argument.

-colormap new Specifies that the window should have a new private
colormap instead of using the default colormap for
the screen.

-display display Display (and screen) on which to display window.

-geometry geometry Initial geometry to use for window. If this option
is specified, its value is stored in the geometry
global variable of the application’s Tcl inter‐

-name name Use name as the title to be displayed in the win‐
dow, and as the name of the interpreter for send

-sync Execute all X server commands synchronously, so
that errors are reported immediately. This will
result in much slower execution, but it is useful
for debugging.

-use id Specifies that the main window for the application
is to be embedded in the window whose identifier is
id, instead of being created as an independent
toplevel window. Id must be specified in the same
way as the value for the -use option for toplevel
widgets (i.e. it has a form like that returned by
the winfo id command).
Note that on some platforms this will only work
correctly if id refers to a Tk frame or toplevel
that has its -container option enabled.

-visual visual Specifies the visual to use for the window. Visual
may have any of the forms supported by the
Tk_GetVisual procedure.

— Pass all remaining arguments through to the
script’s argv variable without interpreting them.
This provides a mechanism for passing arguments
such as -name to a script instead of having wish
interpret them.


Wish is a simple program consisting of the Tcl command language, the Tk
toolkit, and a main program that reads commands from standard input or
from a file. It creates a main window and then processes Tcl commands.
If wish is invoked with arguments, then the first few arguments,
?-encoding name? ?fileName?, specify the name of a script file, and,
optionally, the encoding of the text data stored in that script file.
A value for fileName is recognized if the appropriate argument does not
start with “-”.

If there are no arguments, or the arguments do not specify a fileName,
then wish reads Tcl commands interactively from standard input. It
will continue processing commands until all windows have been deleted
or until end-of-file is reached on standard input. If there exists a
file “.wishrc” in the home directory of the user, wish evaluates the
file as a Tcl script just before reading the first command from stan‐
dard input.

If arguments to wish do specify a fileName, then fileName is treated as
the name of a script file. Wish will evaluate the script in fileName
(which presumably creates a user interface), then it will respond to
events until all windows have been deleted. Commands will not be read
from standard input. There is no automatic evaluation of “.wishrc”
when the name of a script file is presented on the wish command line,
but the script file can always source it if desired.

Note that on Windows, the wishversion.exe program varies from the
tclshversion.exe program in an additional important way: it does not
connect to a standard Windows console and is instead a windowed pro‐
gram. Because of this, it additionally provides access to its own con‐
sole command.

Wish automatically processes all of the command-line options described
in the OPTIONS summary above. Any other command-line arguments besides
these are passed through to the application using the argc and argv
variables described later.

The name of the application, which is used for purposes such as send
commands, is taken from the -name option, if it is specified; other‐
wise it is taken from fileName, if it is specified, or from the command
name by which wish was invoked. In the last two cases, if the name
contains a “/” character, then only the characters after the last slash
are used as the application name.

The class of the application, which is used for purposes such as speci‐
fying options with a RESOURCE_MANAGER property or .Xdefaults file, is
the same as its name except that the first letter is capitalized.

Wish sets the following Tcl variables:

argc Contains a count of the number of arg arguments (0 if
none), not including the options described above.

argv Contains a Tcl list whose elements are the arg arguments
that follow a — option or do not match any of the
options described in OPTIONS above, in order, or an
empty string if there are no such arguments.

argv0 Contains fileName if it was specified. Otherwise, con‐
tains the name by which wish was invoked.

geometry If the -geometry option is specified, wish copies its
value into this variable. If the variable still exists
after fileName has been evaluated, wish uses the value
of the variable in a wm geometry command to set the main
window’s geometry.

Contains 1 if wish is reading commands interactively
(fileName was not specified and standard input is a ter‐
minal-like device), 0 otherwise.

If you create a Tcl script in a file whose first line is
then you can invoke the script file directly from your shell if you
mark it as executable. This assumes that wish has been installed in
the default location in /usr/local/bin; if it is installed somewhere
else then you will have to modify the above line to match. Many UNIX
systems do not allow the #! line to exceed about 30 characters in
length, so be sure that the wish executable can be accessed with a
short file name.

An even better approach is to start your script files with the follow‐
ing three lines:
# the next line restarts using wish \
exec wish “$0″ ${1+”$@”}
This approach has three advantages over the approach in the previous
paragraph. First, the location of the wish binary does not have to be
hard-wired into the script: it can be anywhere in your shell search
path. Second, it gets around the 30-character file name limit in the
previous approach. Third, this approach will work even if wish is
itself a shell script (this is done on some systems in order to handle
multiple architectures or operating systems: the wish script selects
one of several binaries to run). The three lines cause both sh and
wish to process the script, but the exec is only executed by sh. sh
processes the script first; it treats the second line as a comment and
executes the third line. The exec statement cause the shell to stop
processing and instead to start up wish to reprocess the entire script.
When wish starts up, it treats all three lines as comments, since the
backslash at the end of the second line causes the third line to be
treated as part of the comment on the second line.

The end of a script file may be marked either by the physical end of
the medium, or by the character, “\032” (“\u001a”, control-Z). If this
character is present in the file, the wish application will read text
up to but not including the character. An application that requires
this character in the file may encode it as “\032”, “\x1a”, or
“\u001a”; or may generate it by use of commands such as format or

When wish is invoked interactively it normally prompts for each command
with “% ”. You can change the prompt by setting the variables
tcl_prompt1 and tcl_prompt2. If variable tcl_prompt1 exists then it
must consist of a Tcl script to output a prompt; instead of outputting
a prompt wish will evaluate the script in tcl_prompt1. The variable
tcl_prompt2 is used in a similar way when a newline is typed but the
current command is not yet complete; if tcl_prompt2 is not set then no
prompt is output for incomplete commands.


tclsh, toplevel(n), Tk_Main(3), Tk_MainLoop(3), Tk_MainWindow

application, argument, interpreter, prompt, script file, shell, tool‐
kit, toplevel

Tk 8.0 wish

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