Tk::TextANSIColor - Tk::Text widget with support for ANSI color escape codes


  use Tk::TextANSIColor;

  $wid = $mw->TextANSIColor(?options,...?);

  $wid->insert($pos, $string, ?taglist, ?string, ?taglist);
  $string_with_escape_codes = $wid->getansi('0.0','end');

  use Term::ANSIColor; 
  $red = color('red');  # Retrieve color codes
  $bold = color('bold');
  $wid->insert('end', "$red red text $bold with bold\n");


This widget extends the capabilities of the standard Tk::Text widget by adding support for ANSI color escape codes. When these escape codes are detected they are replaced by equivalent tags.

This widget was developed to solve the problem associated with driving a scrolling status display on a GUI as well as a status display going to an Xterm without having to know whether an xterm or Tk window is receiving the status information. Mainly used in conjunction with a tied filehandle:

  $text = $MW->TextANSIColor->pack;
  tie *TEXT, "Tk::TextANSIColor", $text;

  $info = colored("Some information\n", 'red');

  # Print information to all filehandles
  print TEXT $info
  print STDOUT $info

Currently the Term::ANSIColor module is required in order to decode the escape codes (and probably to generate them in the first place).


The following methods are available in addition to those described in the documentation for Tk::Text:

  $widget->getansi(index1, ?index2?)

Similar to the standard get method for Tk::Text widgets, except it returns a range of characters from the text with the ANSI escape-codes embedded. This allows one to insert a string containing ANSI escape-codes into the widget, manipulate them, and fetch them back from the widget with the escape codes intact. The return value will be all the characters in the text starting with the one whose index is index1 and ending just before the one whose index is index2 (the character at index2 will not be returned). If index2 is omitted then the single character at index1 is returned. If there are no characters in the specified range (e.g. index1 is past the end of the file or index2 is less than or equal to index1) then an empty string is returned. If the specified range contains embedded windows, no information about them is included in the returned string. Use the standard get method to fetch the string without ANSI escape-codes.


This widget uses the following tags internally:

  ANSIbd - bold
  ANSIul - underline
  ANSIfgCOL - foreground color
  ANSIbgCOL - background color

where COL can be one of black, red, green, yellow, blue, magenta, cyan or white.

If required, the tags can be altered after the widget is created by using the tagConfigure() method. e.g.:

  $widget->tagConfigure('ANSIfgred', -foreground => 'blue');

in order to make 'red' appear 'blue'.


This modules requires the Term::ANSIColor module. The Tk module is also required.


Tk::Text, Term::ANSIColor


Tim Jenness (<>)


Copyright (c) 1999-2001,2003 Tim Jenness. All rights reserved. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.