tkremind - Man Page

graphical front-end to Remind calendar program


tkremind [options] [read_file [write_file [config_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 8.5 (or higher) as well as the tcllib extension.  It also requires a wish binary.  If you are using Tcl/Tk 8.5, you may also need either the Img or the tkpng extension to handle PNG images.

Command-Line Options

TkRemind itself has no command-line 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

Config_file is the file in which TkRemind stores its options.  If it is omitted, it defaults to $HOME/.config/tkremindrc.

If $HOME/.reminders is a directory, then TkRemind defaults to reading $HOME/.reminders and writing new reminders to $HOME/.reminders/100-tkremind.rem.  If you want to keep your reminders in a directory $HOME/.reminders, you should create that directory before starting TkRemind.

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 calendar, 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. (If you have rem2pdf installed, you can choose to produce PDF output rather than PostScript.)

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 or rem2pdf documentation.)

Finally, click Print to print or Cancel to cancel.  Note that during printing, Remind is called with the -itkremind=1 option and also an additional -itkprint=1 option.  If you are producing PDF output, then the option -itkpdf=1 is also supplied to Remind.

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.  In addition, if you have a reminder that is editable with an editor but was not created using TkRemind, it will be underlined when you move the cursor over it, and you can edit it in a text editor by either left- or right-clicking on the reminder.


If there are any errors in your reminder file, the "Queue..." button changes to "Errors...".  Click on "Errors..." to see the Remind error output.  Click "OK" to close the error window; this makes the button in the main TkRemind window to revert to "Queue..."  You can click on any error message to open an editor on the file and line number that caused the error.

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 queuing 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.  The text of the reminder is prefixed by "HH:MM ", where HH:MM is the time of the reminder.

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"

Extra Argument for Remind

This specifies any extra arguments that should be passed to Remind when BTkRemind invokes remind.  Unless you know what you are doing, leave this blank.

Change entry font...

This button pops up a font selection dialog that lets you change the font used to draw calendar items in the calendar boxes.

Change heading font...

Similar to Change entry font, but applies to calendar heading (the month and day names and the day numbers.)

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/.config/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



Immediate Updates

If you are running TkRemind on Linux and Remind has been compiled with inotify(7) support, then TkRemind redraws the calendar window immediately if $HOME/.reminders changes (or, if it is a directory, any files in that directory change.)

This lets TkRemind react immediately to hand-edited reminders or to reminder files that are imported from another calendar system (for example, you may have a cron job that periodically imports your Google Calendar entries into Remind format.)

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. You can certainly mix "hand-crafted" reminders with reminders created by TkRemind if you are aware of the following rules and limitations:

However, rather than mixing hand-edited files with TkRemind-generated ones, it is better to make $HOME/.reminders a directory and keep your hand-edited files in a separate *.rem file than TkRemind's 100-tkremind.rem file.

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 -zj 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.  Each status line is a JSON object.

The commands accepted in server mode are:


Terminate the Remind process.  EOF on standard input does the same thing.  Remind exits immediately without printing a JSON status line.


Return the number of queued reminders.  The JSON object looks something like this:


where n is the number of reminders queued.


Returns the contents of the queue.  The JSON object looks something like this:

{"response":"queue","queue":[ ... ],"command":"QUEUE"}

The value of the queue key is an array of JSON objects, each representing a queued reminder.

DEL qid

Delete the reminder with queue-id qid from the queue.


Re-read the reminder file.  Returns the following status line:


Additional status lines written are as follows:


In this line, tt is the trigger time of the reminder (expressed as a string), now is the current time, tags (if present) is the tag or tags associated with the reminder, and body is the body of the reminder.  This response causes TkRemind to pop up a reminder notification.  qid is a unique identifier for this reminder.  You may delete it from the queue by sending a DEL qid command to the server.  Note that qids are not stable across re-reads; if Remind restarts itself to re-read the reminder file, then the qid values are likely to change, and any reminder deleted with a DEL qid command is likely to be re-queued.


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.


If Remind was compiled with support for inotify(7), then if it detects a change to the top-level reminder file or directory, it issues the above response.  The front-end should redraw its calendar since this response indicates that a change has been made to the reminder file or directory.

Please note that Remind can write a status message at any time and not just in response to a command sent to its standard input.  Therefore, a program that runs Remind in server mode must be prepared to handle asynchronous status messages.


TkRemind was written by Dianne Skoll <>

TkRemind is Copyright 1996-2024 by Dianne Skoll.


$HOME/.reminders -- default reminder file or directory.

$HOME/.config/tkremindrc -- TkRemind saved options.

Home Page

See Also

remind, rem2ps, rem2pdf, rem2html

Referenced By


2024-04-01 VERSION 04.03.05