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EDITRES(1) General Commands Manual EDITRES(1)


editres - a dynamic resource editor for X Toolkit applications


editres [ -toolkitoption ... ] [-help] [-version]


Editres accepts all of the standard X Toolkit command line options (see X(7)). The order of the command line options is not important.

Editres also accepts the following additional options:

Prints a usage message and exits.
Prints version info and exits.


Editres is a tool that allows users and application developers to view the full widget hierarchy of any X Toolkit application that speaks the Editres protocol. In addition, editres will help the user construct resource specifications, allow the user to apply the resource to the application and view the results dynamically. Once the user is happy with a resource specification editres will append the resource string to the user's X Resources file.


Editres provides a window consisting of the following four areas:

A set of popup menus that allow you full access to editres's features.
The panner allows a more intuitive way to scroll the application tree display.
Displays information to the user about the action that editres expects of her.
This area will be used to display the selected application's widget tree.

To begin an editres session select the Get Widget Tree menu item from the command menu. This will change the pointer cursor to cross hair. You should now select the application you wish look at by clicking on any of its windows. If this application understands the editres protocol then editres will display the application's widget tree in its tree window. If the application does not understand the editres protocol editres will inform you of this fact in the message area after a few seconds delay.

Once you have a widget tree you may now select any of the other menu options. The effect of each of these is described below.


Allows the user to click on any application that speaks the editres protocol and receive its widget tree.
Editres only knows about the widgets that exist at the present time. Many applications create and destroy widgets on the fly. Selecting this menu item will cause editres to ask the application to resend its widget tree, thus updating its information to the new state of the application.
For example, xman only creates the widgets for its topbox when it starts up. None of the widgets for the manual page window are created until the user actually clicks on the Manual Page button. If you retrieved xman's widget tree before the the manual page is active, you may wish to refresh the widget tree after the manual page has been displayed. This will allow you to also edit the manual page's resources.
For documenting applications it is often useful to be able to dump the entire application widget tree to an ASCII file. This file can then be included in the manual page. When this menu item is selected a popup dialog is activated. Type the name of the file in this dialog, and either select okay, or type a carriage-return. Editres will now dump the widget tree to this file. To cancel the file dialog, select the cancel button.
This command will popup a resource box for the current application. This resource box (described in detail below) will allow the user to see exactly which resources can be set for the widget that is currently selected in the widget tree display. Only one widget may be currently selected; if greater or fewer are selected editres will refuse to pop up the resource box and put an error message in the Message Area.
This command will popup a simple dialog box for setting an arbitrary resource on all selected widgets. You must type in the resource name, as well as the value. You can use the Tab key to switch between the resource name field the resource value field.
Exits editres.


The Tree menu contains several commands that allow operations to be performed on the widget tree.

This menu item allows you to select any widget in the application; editres will then highlight the corresponding element the widget tree display. Once this menu item is selected the pointer cursor will again turn to a crosshair, and you must click any pointer button in the widget you wish to have displayed. Since some widgets are fully obscured by their children, it is not possible to get to every widget this way, but this mechanism does give very useful feedback between the elements in the widget tree and those in the actual application.
These functions allow the user to select, unselect, or invert all widgets in the widget tree.
These functions select the immediate parent or children of each of the currently selected widgets.
These functions select all parents or children of each of the currently selected widgets. This is a recursive search.
When the tree widget is initially displayed the labels of each widget in the tree correspond to the widget names. These functions will cause the label of all widgets in the tree to be changed to show the class name, IDs, or window associated with each widget in the application. The widget IDs, and windows are shown as hex numbers.

In addition there are keyboard accelerators for each of the Tree operations. If the input focus is over an individual widget in the tree, then that operation will only effect that widget. If the input focus is in the Tree background it will have exactly the same effect as the corresponding menu item.

The translation entries shown may be applied to any widget in the application. If that widget is a child of the Tree widget, then it will only affect that widget, otherwise it will have the same effect as the commands in the tree menu.

This command is the inverse of the Select Widget in Client command, it will show the user each widget that is currently selected in the widget tree, by flashing the corresponding widget in the application numFlashes (three by default) times in the flashColor.

Key Option Translation Entry
space Unselect Select(nothing)
w Select Select(widget)
s Select Select(all)
i Invert Select(invert)
c Select Children Select(children)
d Select Descendants Select(descendants)
p Select Parent Select(parent)
a Select Ancestors Select(ancestors)
N Show Widget Names Relabel(name)
C Show Class Names Relabel(class)
I Show Widget IDs Relabel(id)
W Show Widget Windows Relabel(window)
T Toggle Widget/Class Name Relabel(toggle)

Clicking button 1 on a widget adds it to the set of selected widgets. Clicking button 2 on a widget deselects all other widgets and then selects just that widget. Clicking button 3 on a widget toggles its label between the widget's instance name the widget's class name.


The resource box contains five different areas. Each of the areas, as they appear on the screen, from top to bottom will be discussed.

This area at the top of the resource box shows the current resource name exactly as it would appear if you were to save it to a file or apply it.
This area allows you to select exactly which widgets this resource will apply to. The area contains four lines, the first contains the name of the selected widget and all its ancestors, and the more restrictive dot (.) separator. The second line contains less specific the Class names of each widget, and well as the less restrictive star (*) separator. The third line contains a set of special buttons called Any Widget which will generalize this level to match any widget. The last line contains a set of special buttons called Any Widget Chain which will turn the single level into something that matches zero or more levels.

The initial state of this area is the most restrictive, using the resource names and the dot separator. By selecting the other buttons in this area you can ease the restrictions to allow more and more widgets to match the specification. The extreme case is to select all the Any Widget Chain buttons, which will match every widget in the application. As you select different buttons the tree display will update to show you exactly which widgets will be effected by the current resource specification.

The next area allows you to select the name of the normal or constraint resources you wish to set. Some widgets may not have constraint resources, so that area will not appear.
This next area allows you to enter the resource value. This value should be entered exactly as you would type a line into your resource file. Thus it should contain no unescaped new-lines. There are a few special character sequences for this file:

\n - This will be replaced with a newline.

\### - Where # is any octal digit. This will be replaced with a single byte that contains this sequence interpreted as an octal number. For example, a value containing a NULL byte can be stored by specifying \000.

\<new-line> - This will compress to nothing.

\\ - This will compress to a single backslash.

This area contains several command buttons, described in this section.
This button allows the user to modify file that the resources will be saved to. This button will bring up a dialog box that will ask you for a filename; once the filename has been entered, either hit carriage-return or click on the okay button. To pop down the dialog box without changing the save file, click the cancel button.
This button will append the resource line described above to the end of the current save file. If no save file has been set the Set Save File dialog box will be popped up to prompt the user for a filename.
This button attempts to perform a XtSetValues call on all widgets that match the resource line described above. The value specified is applied directly to all matching widgets. This behavior is an attempt to give a dynamic feel to the resource editor. Since this feature allows users to put an application in states it may not be willing to handle, a hook has been provided to allow specific applications to block these SetValues requests (see Blocking Editres Requests below).

Unfortunately due to design constraints imposed on the widgets by the X Toolkit and the Resource Manager, trying to coerce an inherently static system into dynamic behavior can cause strange results. There is no guarantee that the results of an apply will be the same as what will happen when you save the value and restart the application. This functionality is provided to try to give you a rough feel for what your changes will accomplish, and the results obtained should be considered suspect at best. Having said that, this is one of the neatest features of editres, and I strongly suggest that you play with it, and see what it can do.

Save and Apply
This button combines the Save and Apply actions described above into one button.
This button will remove the resource box from the display.


The editres protocol has been built into the Athena Widget set. This allows all applications that are linked against Xaw to be able to speak to the resource editor. While this provides great flexibility, and is a useful tool, it can quite easily be abused. It is therefore possible for any Xaw application to specify a value for the editresBlock resource described below, to keep editres from divulging information about its internals, or to disable the SetValues part of the protocol.

Specifies which type of blocking this application wishes to impose on the editres protocol.

The accepted values are:

Block all requests.
Block all SetValues requests. As this is the only editres request that actually modifies the application, this is in effect stating that the application is read-only.
Allow all editres requests.

Remember that these resources are set on any Xaw application, not editres. They allow individual applications to keep all or some of the requests editres makes from ever succeeding. Of course, editres is also an Xaw application, so it may also be viewed and modified by editres (rather recursive, I know), these commands can be blocked by setting the editresBlock resource on editres itself.


For editres the available application resources are:

Specifies the number of times the widgets in the application will be flashed when the Show Active Widgets command in invoked.
Amount of time between the flashes described above.
Specifies the color used to flash application widgets. A bright color should be used that will immediately draw your attention to the area being flashed, such as red or yellow.
This is the file the resource line will be append to when the Save button activated in the resource box.


In order to specify resources, it is useful to know the hierarchy of the widgets which compose editres. In the notation below, indentation indicates hierarchical structure. The widget class name is given first, followed by the widget instance name.

Editres  editres
	Paned  paned
		Box  box
			MenuButton  commands
				SimpleMenu  menu
					SmeBSB  sendTree
					SmeBSB  refreshTree
					SmeBSB  dumpTreeToFile
					SmeLine  line
					SmeBSB  getResourceList
					SmeLine  line
					SmeBSB  quit
			MenuButton  treeCommands
				SimpleMenu  menu
					SmeBSB  showClientWidget
					SmeBSB  selectAll
					SmeBSB  unselectAll
					SmeBSB  invertAll
					SmeLine  line
					SmeBSB  selectChildren
					SmeBSB  selectParent
					SmeBSB  selectDescendants
					SmeBSB  selectAncestors
					SmeLine  line
					SmeBSB  showWidgetNames
					SmeBSB  showClassNames
					SmeBSB  showWidgetIDs
					SmeBSB  showWidgetWindows
					SmeLine  line
					SmeBSB  flashActiveWidgets
		Paned  hPane
			Panner  panner
			Label  userMessage
			Grip  grip
		Porthole  porthole
			Tree  tree
				Toggle  <name of widget in application>
					TransientShell  resourceBox
						Paned  pane
							Label  resourceLabel
							Form  namesAndClasses
								Toggle  dot
								Toggle  star
								Toggle  any
								Toggle  name
								Toggle  class
							Label  namesLabel
							List  namesList
							Label  constraintLabel
							List  constraintList
							Form  valueForm
								Label  valueLabel
								Text  valueText
							Box  commandBox
								Command  setFile
								Command  save
								Command  apply
								Command  saveAndApply
								Command  cancel
							Grip  grip
		Grip  grip


to get the default host and display number.
to get the name of a resource file that overrides the global resources stored in the RESOURCE_MANAGER property.


specifies required resources


X(7), xrdb(1), Athena Widget Set


This is a prototype, there are lots of nifty features I would love to add, but I hope this will give you some ideas about what a resource editor can do.


Chris D. Peterson, formerly MIT X Consortium

editres 1.0.9 X Version 11