A compound string is simply a way to encode text independent of the font or the color used to display it. By pairing encoded text with an entry in a table of "renditions," Motif allows the application programmer great flexibility in the display of text information. By using renditions from a resource file, for example, a Motif programmer can create one application that can be useful in many different countries without being recompiled. Motif uses compound strings to display all text, except in the Text and TextField widgets.
This chapter introduces the structure of a compound string and its components. The data types associated with compound strings are reviewed, and the functions used to create, modify, and handle these strings are covered as well. Though this chapter will serve as an introduction to these data types and functions, they are not described completely here. For the complete definitions of each function and data type, please refer to the Motif Programmer's Reference.