curs_delch - Linux


The curs_delch command is used to perform character deletion operations within a terminal window. It is primarily used in applications that require user interaction through a text-based interface, such as text editors, command-line shells, and GUI-based programs.


  • n (optional): Specifies the number of characters to delete. If not provided, defaults to 1.


| Option | Description | Default |
| n | Number of characters to delete | 1 |


Delete a single character:


Delete 5 characters:

curs_delch 5

Complex usage in a text editor:

while (getkey() != KEY_ENTER) {
    if (getkey() == KEY_BACKSPACE) curs_delch();

Common Issues

  • Characters not being deleted: This can occur if the terminal emulator does not support the curs_delch function.
  • Cursor jumping to the start of the line: Check if the n value exceeds the number of characters on the line.
  • Segmentation fault: Ensure that the specified n value does not delete more characters than are available.


  • With curses functions: Use curs_delch in conjunction with other curses functions to implement character-based user interfaces.
  • In command-line shells: Enhance command-line history editor functionality by incorporating character deletion capabilities.
  • In text editors: Integrate seamlessly with text editor input handling for efficient character deletion during editing.

Related Commands

  • addch: Adds a character at the cursor’s current position.
  • delch: Deletes a character at the cursor’s current position and shifts subsequent characters to the left.
  • getkey: Retrieves the next key pressed by the user.
  • mvcur: Moves the cursor to a specified location on the screen.