tkremind man page

tkremind — graphical front-end to Remind calendar program


tkremind [options] [read_file] [write_file]


TkRemind is a graphical front-end to the Remind program. It provides a friendly graphical interface which allows you to view your calendar and add reminders without learning the syntax of Remind. Although not all of Remind's features are available with TkRemind, TkRemind gives you an opportunity to edit the reminder commands which it creates.  This allows you to learn Remind's syntax and then add extra features as you become a more sophisticated Remind programmer.

TkRemind is written in Tcl, and requires version 8.0 (or higher).  It also requires a wish binary.


TkRemind itself has no options.  However, it passes certain options on to Remind.  The options it passes are -b, -g, -x, -i and -m. See the Remind man page for details about the options. Note that TkRemind will respect the -m and -b1 options and adjust its appearance accordingly.

Read_file is the file from which TkRemind reads reminders. It is in standard Remind format.  Write_file is the file to which TkRemind writes reminders which you add using the GUI. If Read_file is omitted, it defaults to $HOME/.reminders. If Write_file is omitted, it defaults to Read_file.

You may wish to have a different Write_file from Read_file if you want to collect all of TkRemind's reminders in one place.  Suppose your main file is $HOME/.reminders and you want TkRemind to put its reminders in $HOME/.tkreminders.  In $HOME/.reminders, include the line:

	INCLUDE [getenv("HOME")]/.tkreminders

The Calendar Window

When you start TkRemind, it displays a calendar for the current month, with today's date highlighted.  Reminders are filled into each box on the calendar.  If a box contains many reminders, you can scroll it up and down by dragging mouse button 2 in the box.  Note that there is no specific indication of an over-full box; you'll just have to notice that the box appears completely full.

Adding Reminders

To add a reminder, click button 1 in any day number in the calendar. The Add Reminder... dialog will pop up, with values preselected for the day you clicked.

The dialog has six basic groups of controls.  The first three lines select one of three types of reminders.  Choose the type of reminder with the radio buttons, and choose the values of the days, months, and years by selecting values from pull-down menus.  The pull-down menus appear when you click the raised value buttons.

The next control specifies an expiry date for the reminder.  Select the check button to enable an expiry date, and fill in the values using pull-down menus.

The third control specifies how much advance notice you want (if any), and whether or not weekends and holidays are counted when computing advance notice.

The fourth control specifies which days Remind considers as part of the weekend.  This can affect the interpretation of "weekday" in the second and third types of reminders.

The fifth control associates a time with the reminder. You can also specify advance notice, possibly repeating.

The sixth control specifies what Remind should do if a reminder falls on a holiday or weekend.

Enter the body of the reminder into the Body: text entry.

To add the reminder to the reminder file, click Add to reminder file. To close the dialog without adding the reminder to the file, click Cancel.  To preview the reminder, click Preview reminder. This pops up the Preview reminder dialog box.

Previewing Reminders

The Preview reminder dialog box is an excellent way to learn Remind.  It displays the Remind command which realizes the reminder you entered using the Add Reminder... dialog.  You can edit the reminder, thereby gaining access to advanced features of Remind.  You can also use it simply to play around and discover Remind's idioms for expressing different types of reminders.


To print the current month's calender, click Print... on the main calendar window.  This brings up the print dialog.  Printing either produces a PostScript file or sends PostScript to a UNIX command.

Select the print destination by choosing either To file: or To command: in the print dialog.  Press Browse... to bring up a file browser.  In the file browser, you can enter a filename in the text entry, double-click on a filename in the listbox, or double-click on a directory to navigate the file system.  You can also type the first few characters of a file name in the text entry box and press space to complete the name to the first matching entry.

The Match: box contains a filename wildcard which filters files in the listbox.  You can change the filter and press enter to rescan the directory.

Select the appropriate paper size and orientation.  Activate Fill page if you want the calendar to fill the page.  This should be the normal case unless you have many reminders in a particular day.  (See the Rem2PS documentation.)

Finally, click Print to print or Cancel to cancel. Note that during printing, Remind is not called with the -itkremind=1 option, because it is operated in normal PostScript-producing mode.

Editing Reminders

If you created a reminder with TkRemind, it will turn red as the mouse cursor passes over it in the calendar window.  Click button-1 over the reminder and you will be presented with a dialog window whose state is identical to the one used to create the reminder. At this point, you can change the reminder by editing the dialog entries and selecting Replace reminder.  You can delete the reminder entirely by selecting Delete reminder.  The remaining buttons, Preview reminder and Cancel operate identically to the dialog in "Adding Reminders."

Note that if you edit a reminder (using Preview reminder), any edits you made are not retained in the dialog box.  You should not attempt to edit such reminders; you have to retype them in the Preview reminder dialog.

If the reminder was not created with TkRemind, you can't edit it with TkRemind.

Using a Text Editor

If you have set the "text editor" option correctly, right-clicking on a reminder will bring up a text editor on the file containing the reminder.  The cursor will be positioned on the line that generated the reminder.

Background Reminders

If you create "timed" reminders, TkRemind will queue them in the background and pop up boxes as they are triggered.  Additionally, if you created the reminder using TkRemind, you will be given the option of "turning off" the reminder for the rest of the day. TkRemind achieves queueing of background reminders by running Remind in server mode, described later.


The final button on the calendar window, Options, lets you configure certain aspects of TkRemind.  The configuration options are:

Start up Iconified

If this is selected, TkRemind starts up iconified.  Otherwise, it starts up in a normal window.

Show Today's Reminders on Startup

If this is selected, TkRemind shows a text window containing reminders which would be issued by "remind -q -a -r" on startup, and when the date changes at midnight.

Confirm Quit

If this is selected, you will be asked to confirm when you press Quit.  If not, TkRemind quits without prompting.

Automatically close pop-up reminders after a minute

If this is selected, pop-up reminder boxes will be closed after one minute has elapsed.  Otherwise, they remain on your screen forever until you explicitly dismiss them.

Beep terminal when popping up a reminder

If selected, TkRemind beeps the terminal bell when a queued reminder pops up.

Deiconify calendar window when popping up a reminder

If selected, does what it says.

Run command when popping up a reminder

If this entry is not blank, the specified command is run whenever a background reminder pops up.

Feed popped-up reminder to command's standard input

If selected, feeds the text of the reminder to the command described above.

E-mail reminders here if popup not dismissed

If you enter a non-blank e-mail address in this field, then TkRemind will e-mail you a reminder if you don't dismiss the popup box within one minute.  This is useful if you need to leave your terminal but want your reminders to "follow" you via e-mail.

Name or IP address of SMTP server

TkRemind uses a direct SMTP connection to send mail.  Enter the IP address of your SMTP server here.

Text Editor

This specifies a text editor to invoke when a reminder is right-clicked. The characters "%d" are replaced with the lined number of the file containing the reminder, and "%s" are replaced with the file name. Useful strings might be "emacs +%d %s" or "gvim +%d %s"

Once you've configured the options the way you like them, press Apply Options to put them into effect, Save Options to put them into effect and save them in $HOME/.tkremindrc, or Cancel to cancel any changes you made.

Keyboard Shortcuts

TkRemind's main window includes the following keyboard shortcuts:



Left Arrow

Previous Month

Right Arrow

Next Month



Odds and Ends

TkRemind performs some basic consistency checks when you add or preview a reminder.  However, if you edit a reminder in the previewer, TkRemind does not check the edited reminder.  You can produce illegal reminders which may cause problems.  (This is one good reason to isolate TkRemind's reminders in a separate file.)

TkRemind does not check the body of the reminder in any way.  You can use the normal Remind substitution sequences in the body.  Furthermore, if you use expression-pasting in the body, TkRemind does not validate the expressions.

When TkRemind invokes Remind, it supplies the option:


on the command line.  So, in your Remind file, you can include:

	IF defined("tkremind")
		# Then I'm probably being invoked by TkRemind

You can use this to activate certain reminders in different ways for TkRemind (for example).

TkRemind uses tags to keep track of reminders in the script file.  It also places special comments in the reminder file to store additional state.  You can certainly mix "hand-crafted" reminders with reminders created by TkRemind if you are aware of the following rules and limitations:

Server Mode

Remind has a special mode for interacting with programs like TkRemind.  This mode is called server mode and is selected by supplying the -z0 option to Remind.

In server mode, Remind operates similar to daemon mode, except it reads commands (one per line) from standard input and writes status lines to standard output.

The commands accepted in server mode are:


Terminate the Remind process.  EOF on standard input does the same thing.


Return the number of queued reminders.


Re-read the reminder file

The status lines written are as follows:

NOTE reminder time tag

Signifies the beginning of a timed reminder whose trigger time is time with tag tag.  If the reminder has no tag, an asterisk is supplied for tag.  All lines following this line are the body of the reminder, until the line NOTE endreminder is transmitted.

NOTE newdate

This line is emitted whenever Remind has detected a rollover of the system date.  The front-end program should redraw its calendar or take whatever other action is needed.

NOTE reread

This line is emitted whenever the number of reminders in Remind's queue changes because of a date rollover or a REREAD command. The front-end should issue a STATUS command in response to this message.

NOTE queued n

This line is emitted in response to a STATUS command.  The number n is the number of reminders in the queue.


TkRemind is now supported by Roaring Penguin Software Inc. (

TkRemind was written by Dianne Skoll <>.

TkRemind is Copyright 1996-1998 by Dianne Skoll, Copyright 1999 by Roaring Penguin Software Inc.


$HOME/.reminders -- default reminder file.

$HOME/.tkremindrc -- TkRemind saved options.

See Also

remind, rem2ps

Referenced By

cm2rem(1), remind(1).

15 February 1998