FvwmButtons(1)              General Commands Manual             FvwmButtons(1)

       FvwmButtons - the FVWM buttonbox module

       FvwmButtons is spawned by fvwm, so no command line invocation will

       The FvwmButtons module provides a window of buttons which sits on the X
       terminal's root window. The user can press the buttons at any time, and
       trigger invocation of a user-specified command by the window manager.
       FvwmButtons only works when fvwm is used as the window manager.

       The buttonbox can be of any configuration or geometry, and can have
       monochrome or color icons to represent the actions which would be

       During initialization, FvwmButtons will search for a configuration file
       which describes the buttonbox geometry, color, icons, and actions. The
       format of this files will be described later. The configuration file
       will be the one which fvwm used during its initialization.

       To use FvwmButtons with several different configurations, you can
       invoke FvwmButtons with an optional parameter, which it will use as its
       name instead (e.g "Module FvwmButtons SomeButtons").  SomeButtons will
       then read only the lines in the configuration file starting with
       "*SomeButtons", and not the lines belonging to FvwmButtons.

       You can also specify an optional configuration file to use instead of
       the default fvwm configuration file, by giving a second argument which
       is a filename. This will override the setting "*FvwmButtonsFile", see

       FvwmButtons can be invoked by inserting the line 'Module FvwmButtons'
       in the .fvwmrc file. This should be placed in the InitFunction if
       FvwmButtons is to be spawned during fvwm's initialization, or can be
       bound to a menu or mouse button or keystroke to invoke it later. Fvwm
       will search directory specified in the ModulePath configuration option
       to attempt to locate FvwmButtons.

       The following options int the .fvwmrc file are understood by

       *FvwmButtonsBack color
              Specifies the background color for the buttons. A relief and a
              shadow color will also be calculated from this.

       *FvwmButtonsColumns columns
              Specifies the number of columns of buttons to be created. If
              unspecified, the number of columns will be set to the number of
              buttons requested, divided by the number of rows. If both the
              rows and columns are specified, but do not specify as many
              buttons as are defined, then the users columns specification
              will be ignored.

       *FvwmButtonsFile filename
              Specifies that the configuration for this button is found in the
              file filename, which will have to be given with full pathname,
              or is assumed to be in fvwm's startup directory. The
              configuration file is in the same format as fvwm's configuration
              file, but each line is read as if prefixed by "*FvwmButtons".
              Comments are given by starting a line with "#", line
              continuation is done by ending a line with a "\".

       *FvwmButtonsFont font
              Specifies the font to be used for labeling the buttons, or None.

       *FvwmButtonsFore color
              Specifies the color used for button label text and monochrome

       *FvwmButtonsFrame width
              Specifies the width of the relief around each button. If this is
              given as a negative number, the relief will at all times be the
              inverse of the normal relief. In effect, you will get a sunken
              button, which is raised when activated.

       *FvwmButtonsGeometry geometry
              Specifies the FvwmButtons window location. The size should not
              be specified, as FvwmButtons automatically chooses a size which
              gracefully accomodates all its buttons. The geometry is a
              standard X11 window geometry specification.

       *FvwmButtonsPadding width height
              The amount of free space between the relief of the button and
              its contents is normally 2 pixels to the sides and 4 pixels
              above and below, except for swallowed windows and containers,
              which are not padded at all, unless given specific orders. This
              setting specifies the default horizontal padding to be width
              pixels, and the vertical padding to be height pixels.

       *FvwmButtonsPixmap pixmapfile
              Specifies a background pixmap to use.  Specify "none" for a
              transparent background.

       *FvwmButtonsRows rows
              Specifies the number of rows of buttons to be created. If
              unspecified, 2 rows will be used.

       *FvwmButtons(options) [title icon command]
              Specifies the contents of a button in the buttonbox.  The
              following options, separated by commas or whitespace, can be
              given a button:

              The button will be width times the normal button width and
              height times the normal button height.

         Action [(options)] command
              Specifies an fvwm command to be executed when the button is
              activated by pressing return or a mouse button. If command
              contains whitespace it must be quoted. The current options are:

              Mouse n - this action is only executed for mouse button n.  One
              actions can be defined for each mouse button, in addition to the
              general action.

         Back color
              Specifies the background color to be used drawing this box. A
              relief color and a shadow color will also be calculated from

         Container [(options)]
              Specifies that this button will contain a miniature buttonbox,
              more or less equivalent to swallowing another FvwmButtons
              module. The options are the same as can be given for a single
              button, but they affect all the contained buttons. Options
              available for this use are Back, Font, Fore, Frame and Padding.
              Flags for Title and Swallow options can be set with Title(flags)
              and Swallow(flags.  You should also specify either "Columns
              width" or "Rows height", or "Rows 2" will be assumed for purpose
              of arranging the buttons inside the container. For an example,
              see the Sample configuration section.

              The container button itself (separate from the contents) can
              take format options like Frame and Padding, and commands can be
              bound to it. This means you can make a sensitive relief around a
              container, like

                *FvwmButtons(2x2, Frame 5, Padding 2 2, Action Beep,\
                    Container(Frame 1))

              Typically you will want to at least give the container a size
              setting widthxheight.

         End  Specifies that no more buttons are defined for the current
              container, and further buttons will be put in the container's
              parent. This option should be given on a line by itself, i.e


         Font fontname
              Specifies that the font fontname is to be used for labeling this

         Fore color
              Specifies a color of the title and monochrome icons in this

         Frame width
              The relief of the button will be width pixels wide. If width is
              given as a negative number, the relief will at all times be the
              inverse of the normal relief.  In effect, you will get a sunken
              button, which is raised when activated.

         Icon filename
              The name of an X11 bitmap file or XPM color icon file,
              containing the icon to display on the button. FvwmButtons will
              search through the path specified in the fvwm IconPath or
              PixmapPath configuration items to find the icon file.

              This option specifies that this button will not be considered at
              all when making the initial calculations of buttonsizes. Useful
              for the odd button that gets just a couple of pixels to large to
              keep in line, and therefor blows up your whole buttonbox.
              "NoSize" is equivalent to "Size 0 0".

         Padding width height
              The amount of free space between the relief of the button and
              its contents is normally 2 pixels to the sides and 4 pixels
              above and below, except for swallowed windows and containers,
              which are by default not padded at all.  This option sets the
              horizontal padding to width and the vertical padding to height.

         Size width height
              Specifies that the contents of this button will require width by
              height pixels, regardless of what size FvwmButtons calculates
              from the icon and the title. A buttonbar with only swallowed
              windows will not get very large without this option specified,
              as FvwmButtons does not consider sizes for swallowing buttons.
              Note that this option gives the minimum space assured; other
              buttons might require the buttonbox to use larger sizes.

         Swallow [(flags)] hangon command
              Causes FvwmButtons to execute command, and when a window
              matching the name hangon appears, it is captured and swallowed
              into this button.  An example:

                *FvwmButtons(Swallow XClock 'Exec xclock &')

              will take the first window whose name, class or resource is
              "XClock" and display it in the button. Modules can be swallowed
              by specifying the module instead of 'Exec whatever', like:

                *FvwmButtons(Swallow "FvwmPager" "FvwmPager 0 0")

              The flags that can be given to swallow are:

              NoClose / Close - Specifies whether the swallowed program in
              this button will be unswallowed or closed when FvwmButtons exit
              cleanly. "NoClose" can be combined with "UseOld" to have windows
              survive restart of windowmanager. The default setting is

              NoHints / Hints - Specifies whether hints from the swallowed
              program in this button will be ignored or not, useful in forcing
              a window to resize itself to fit its button. The default value
              is "Hints".

              NoKill / Kill - Specifies whether the swallowed program will be
              closed by killing it or by sending a message to it. This can be
              useful in ending programs that doesn't accept window manager
              protocol. The default value is "NoKill".  This has no effect if
              "NoClose" is specified.

              NoRespawn / Respawn - Specifies whether the swallowed program is
              to be respawn if it dies.  If "Respawn" is specified, the
              program will be respawned using the original command. Use this
              option with care, the program might have a very legitimate
              reason to die.

              NoOld / UseOld - Specifies whether the button will try to
              swallow an existing window matching the hangon name before
              spawning one itself with command.  The default value is "NoOld".
              "UseOld" can be combined with "NoKill" to have windows survive
              restart of windowmanager. If you want FvwmButtons to swallow an
              old window, and not spawn one itself if failing, let the command
              be "Nop":

                *FvwmButtons(Swallow (UseOld) "Console" Nop)

              If you want to be able to start it yourself, combine it with an

                *FvwmButtons(Swallow (UseOld) "Console" Nop, \
                             Action `Exec "Console" console &`)

              NoTitle / UseTitle - Specifies whether the title of the button
              will be taken from the swallowed window's title or not. If
              "UseTitle" is given, the title on the button will change
              dynamically to reflect the window name. The default is

         Title [(options)] name
              Specifies the title which will be written on the button.
              Whitespace can be included in the title by quoting it.  If a
              title at any time is to long for its buttons, characters are
              chopped of one at a time until it fits.  If justify is "Right",
              the head is removed, otherwise its tail is removed.  These
              options can be given to Title:

              Center - The title will be centered horizontally. This is the

              Left - The title will be justified to the left side.

              Right - The title will be justified to the right side.

              Side - This will cause the title to appear on the right hand
              side of any icon or swallowed window, instead of below it which
              is the default.  If you use small icons, and combine this with
              the "Left" option, you can get a look similar to fvwm's menus.

       Legacy fields [title icon command]
              These fields are kept for compatibility with previous versions
              of FvwmButtons, and their use is discouraged.  The title field
              is similar to the option Title name. If the title field is "-",
              no title will be displayed.  The icon field is similar to the
              option Icon filename. If the icon field is "-" no icon will be
              displayed.  The command field is similar to the option Action
              command or alternatively Swallow "hangon" command.

       The command
              Any fvwm command is recognized by FvwmButtons. See fvwm(1) for
              more info on this. The Exec command has a small extension when
              used in Actions, its syntax is here:

                Exec ["hangon"] command

              When FvwmButtons finds such an Exec command, the button will
              remain pushed in until a window whose name or class matches the
              qouted portion of the command is encountered. This is intended
              to provide visual feedback to the user that the action he has
              requested will be performed. If the qouted portion contains no
              characters, then the button will pop out immediately.  Note that
              users can continue pressing the button, and re-executing the
              command, even when it looks "pressed in."

              Any string which contains whitespace must be quoted. This
              include commands.  Quoting can be done with any of the three
              quotation characters; single quote:

                'This is a "quote"',

              double quote:

                "It's another `quote'",

              and backquote:

                `This is a strange quote`.

              The backquoting is purposeful if you use a preprocessor like
              FvwmCpp and want it to get into your commands, like this:

                #define BG gray60
                *FvwmButtons(Swallow "xload" `Exec xload -bg BG &`)

       FvwmButtons tries to arrange its buttons as best it can, by using
       recursively, on each container including the buttonbox itself, the
       following algorithm.

       Getting the size right
              First it calculates the number of button unit areas it will
              need, by adding the width times the height in buttons of each
              button. Containers are for the moment considered a normal
              button.  Then it considers the given rows and columns arguments.
              If the number of rows is given, it will calculate how many
              columns are needed, and stick to that, unless columns is larger,
              in which case you will get some empty space at the bottom of the
              buttonbox.  If the number of columns is given, it calculates how
              many rows it needs to fit all the buttons.  If neither is given,
              it assumes you want two rows, and finds the number of columns
              from that.

       Shuffling buttons
              Now it has a large enough area to place the buttons in, all that
              is left is to place them right. The algorithm assumes the
              buttons are all of unit size, and places them in a left to
              right, top to bottom western fashion.  Then it looks at button
              1, and considers: Is this button larger than normal?  If it
              isn't, the same thing is done for the next buttons.  When a
              button is found that is larger than 1x1, space must be provided
              for it. The algorithm assumes it is in the right coordinate, its
              upper left corner should be unchanged. It then "slides" away the
              buttons that occupies the places needed for this button. The
              buttons are slid to the right, wrapping around to the next line.
              When all the space has been cleared for this button the
              algorithm continues with the next button, doing the same.

              Containers are arranged by the same algorithm, in fact they are
              shuffled recursively as the algorithm finds them.

       Clarifying example
              An example might be useful here: Suppose you have 6 buttons, all
              unit sized except number two, which is 2x2. This makes for 5
              times 1 plus 1 times 4 equals 9 unit buttons total area. Assume
              you have requested 3 columns.

              1) +---+---+---+   2) +---+---+---+   3) +---+---+---+
                 | 1 | 2 | 3 |      | 1 | 2 |   |      | 1 | 2 |   |
                 +---+---+---+      +---+---+---+      +---+---+---+
                 | 4 | 5 | 6 |      | 3 | 4 | 5 |      | 3 |   | 4 |
                 +---+---+---+      +---+---+---+      +---+---+---+
                 |           |      | 6 |       |      | 5 | 6 |   |
                 +-----------+      +---+-------+      +---+---+---+

              4) +---+---+---+   5) +---+-------+
                 | 1 | 2 |   |      | 1 |       |
                 +---+---+---+      +---+   2   |
                 | 3 |   |   |      | 3 |       |
                 +---+---+---+      +---+---+---+
                 | 4 | 5 | 6 |      | 4 | 5 | 6 |
                 +---+---+---+      +---+---+---+

              The algorithm starts as in figure 1. The first large button it
              finds is number 2, and it will try to free up each of the unit
              areas it occupies, in a left to right, top to bottom order.
              First it sees that button 3 is in its way, and it shifts all the
              buttons, giving figure 2. Now it finds that button 4 is in the
              way, so button 4 to 6 are shifted, yielding figure 3. Button 4
              is still barring progress, so it shifts button 4 to 6 once more,
              ending up at figure 4. Now all the button units required by
              button 2 are freed, and button 2 can be given its real size.

       What size will the buttons be?
              When FvwmButtons has read the icons and fonts that are required
              by its configuration, it can find out which size is needed for
              every non-swallowing button. The unit button size of a container
              is set to be large enough to hold the largest button in it
              without squeezing it. Swallowed windows are simple expected to
              be comfortable with the buttonsize they get from this scheme. If
              a particular configuration requires more space for a swallowed
              window, it can be set in that button's configuration line using
              the option "Size width height". This will tell FvwmButtons to
              give this button at least width by height pixels inside the
              relief and padding.

       The following are excepts from a .fvwmrc file which describe
       FvwmButtons initialization commands:

       # Load any modules which should be started during fvwm
       # initialization

       ModulePath /usr/lib/X11/fvwm:/usr/bin/X11

       # Make sure FvwmButtons is always there.
       AddToFunc InitFunction     "I" Module FvwmButtons
       AddToFunc RestartFunction  "I" Module FvwmButtons

       # Make it titlebar-less, sticky, and give it an icon
       Style "FvwmButtons" Icon toolbox.xpm, NoTitle, Sticky


       *FvwmButtonsFore Black
       *FvwmButtonsBack rgb:90/80/90
       *FvwmButtonsGeometry -135-5
       *FvwmButtonsRows 1
       *FvwmButtonsFont -*-helvetica-medium-r-*-*-12-*
       *FvwmButtonsPadding 2 2

       *FvwmButtons(Title Resize,Icon resize.xpm ,Action Resize)
       *FvwmButtons(Title Move  ,Icon arrows2.xpm,Action Move  )
       *FvwmButtons(Title Lower ,Icon Down       ,Action Lower )
       *FvwmButtons(Title Raise ,Icon Up         ,Action Raise )
       *FvwmButtons(Title Kill  ,Icon bomb.xpm   ,Action Destroy)

       *FvwmButtons(1x1,Container(Rows 3,Frame 1))
       *FvwmButtons(Title Dopey ,Action \
           `Exec "big_win" xterm -T big_win -geometry 80x50 &`)
       *FvwmButtons(Title Snoopy, Font fixed, Action \
           `Exec "small_win" xterm -T small_win &`)
       *FvwmButtons(Title Smokin')

       *FvwmButtons(Title Xcalc, Icon rcalc.xpm,\
                    Action `Exec "Calculator" xcalc &`)
       *FvwmButtons(Title XMag, Icon magnifying_glass2.xpm,\
                    Action `Exec "xmag" xmag &`)
       *FvwmButtons(Title Mail, Icon mail2.xpm,\
                    Action `Exec "xmh" xmh &`)
       *FvwmButtons(4x1, Swallow "FvwmPager" `FvwmPager 0 3`\
                    Frame 3)

       *FvwmButtons(Swallow(UseOld,NoKill) "xload15" `Exec xload\
            -title xload15 -nolabel -bg rgb:90/80/90 -update 15 &`)

       The last lines are a little tricky - one spawns an FvwmPager module,
       and captures it to display in a quadruple width button.  is used, the
       Pager will be as big as possible within the button's relief.

       The final line is even more magic. Note the combination of UseOld and
       NoKill, which will try to swallow an existing window with the name
       "xload15" when starting up (if failing: starting one with the specified
       command), which is unswallowed when ending FvwmButtons.

       The color specification rgb:90/80/90 is actually the most correct way
       of specifying independent colors in X, and should be used instead of
       the older #908090. If the latter specification is used in your
       configuration file, you should be sure to escape the hash in any of the
       commands which will be executed, or fvwm will consider the rest of the
       line a comment.

       The FvwmButtons program, and the concept for interfacing this module to
       the Window Manager, are all original work by Robert Nation

       Copyright 1993, Robert Nation. No guarantees or warranties or anything
       are provided or implied in any way whatsoever. Use this program at your
       own risk. Permission to use this program for any purpose is given, as
       long as the copyright is kept intact.

       Further modifications and patching by Jarl Totland, copyright 1996.
       The statement above still applies.

       Robert Nation.  Somewhat enhanced by Jarl Totland.

3rd Berkeley Distribution         Mar 9 1996                    FvwmButtons(1)