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29.16 Dialog Boxes

A dialog box is a variant of a pop-up menu—it looks a little different, it always appears in the center of a frame, and it has just one level and one or more buttons. The main use of dialog boxes is for asking questions that the user can answer with “yes”, “no”, and a few other alternatives. With a single button, they can also force the user to acknowledge important information. The functions y-or-n-p and yes-or-no-p use dialog boxes instead of the keyboard, when called from commands invoked by mouse clicks.

— Function: x-popup-dialog position contents &optional header

This function displays a pop-up dialog box and returns an indication of what selection the user makes. The argument contents specifies the alternatives to offer; it has this format:

          (title (string . value)...)

which looks like the list that specifies a single pane for x-popup-menu.

The return value is value from the chosen alternative.

As for x-popup-menu, an element of the list may be just a string instead of a cons cell (string . value). That makes a box that cannot be selected.

If nil appears in the list, it separates the left-hand items from the right-hand items; items that precede the nil appear on the left, and items that follow the nil appear on the right. If you don't include a nil in the list, then approximately half the items appear on each side.

Dialog boxes always appear in the center of a frame; the argument position specifies which frame. The possible values are as in x-popup-menu, but the precise coordinates or the individual window don't matter; only the frame matters.

If header is non-nil, the frame title for the box is ‘Information’, otherwise it is ‘Question’. The former is used for message-box (see message-box).

In some configurations, Emacs cannot display a real dialog box; so instead it displays the same items in a pop-up menu in the center of the frame.

If the user gets rid of the dialog box without making a valid choice, for instance using the window manager, then this produces a quit and x-popup-dialog does not return.