Icon set

There are a number of differences in the icon set provided within the Wimp sprite pool and that documented in the PRM (PRM 3-32,33 and PRM 5a-666). These are noted below.

Filer icons

It was noted in PRM 5a-483 that open directories are differentiated by using a new icon. However, the sprite was not named. For completeness, these were 'directoryo' and 'small_diro' respectively.

Under RISC OS Select, this was further extended to provide an indication of shared (using ShareFS) directories. Such directories were suffixed by an 's' character, adding 4 new sprites to the pool. The full list of directory sprites, therefore, is :

directory, small_dir standard directory
directoryo, small_diro currently has a view open
directorys, small_dirs currently shared
directoryos, small_diros currently has a view open and is shared

RISC OS 4 introduced two additional file type icon pairs in to differentiate between the common 'untyped' files :

file_lxa, small_lxa file has explicit Load/Exec addresses
file_unf, small_unf file has not finished being written

During multi-tasking file operations (using FilerAction and others), files are given the Load and Exec address of &DEADDEAD to indicate that they are not valid. Filer displays the 'unf' sprites to indicate that they are unfinished.

When a multi-object drag is performed by the user, the type of the objects cannot always be represented. As such, all multi-object drags use a new 'package' sprite.

Icon bar icons

The iconbar icons were changed with the introduction of RISC OS 4 to ensure that the icons took less space on the iconbar and to match the colour scheme of more modern machines. In general these icons are grey, but may be customised by users in order to match an icon set style. In addition to the standard icons listed on PRM 3-32 a number of new sprites were added (between RISC OS 3.5 and the present version):

cddisc CD filer (data, or unrecognised disc types) RO 4+
acddisc CD filer (audio disc) RO 4+
pcddisc CD filer (photo disc) RO 4+
homedisc User's 'home' directory Sel 2+
netfs NetFS disc (active mount) RO 3.1+
netfsg NetFS disc (main icon) Sel 2+
network Generic network icon RO 4+
nodisc ShareFS disc (inactive mount) RO 3.5+
display Display manager (replaces 'palette') RO 3.5+
palette Obsolete icon, now appears as artist's palette RO 3.1+, RO 4+

Additional disc filetypes are used by ShareFS and can be found listed in the ShareIcons document.

Dialog box icons

The dialogue box icons have not been extended significantly since RISC OS 3.1. The only additions to the icons used by dialogues are '(tick)inverse), 'grightc' and 'pgrightc'. The 'gright' pair of icons should be treated as similar to the 'gright' icons, but are used where a colour menu is expected.

The '(tick)inverse' icon (where '(tick)' indicates the tick symbol in the default character set) has been added in order to better support dark menus where the previous black tick would become difficult to see. The '(tick)' and '(tick)inverse' sprites are supplied as alpha-channel sprites in order that they blend pleasantly with the background colour of the menu (or its tile).

Pointer icons

New pointer icons have been provided for more common operations in applications. The full list of pointers provided by RISC OS are :

ptr_default standard pointer
ptr_double used during the double-click wait period
ptr_confirm used by OS_Confirm and others for immediate confirmation of an action
ptr_write used over a writable field
ptr_menu used over a field which may open a menu
ptr_autoscr used for auto-scrolling over the extent of a window, usually used whilst dragging an object
ptr_autoscrh as above, when only horizontal scrolling is possible
ptr_autoscrv as above, when only vertical scrolling is possible
ptr_dts used for scrolling over the extent of a window, usually used whilst repositioning the window by dragging its background
ptr_link used for regions which may launch an external, or distinct, component
ptr_map used for accurately making a selection within a window

The documentation in PRM 3-33 states that the first transparent pixel within a pointer will be used. This was not the case until WindowManager 6.14. After 6.14, a single transparent masked pixel within the pointer will cause that point to be used as the hot spot.

Tile sprites

The tile sprites are documented on PRM 5a-488. These were extended in RISC OS 4 to include the use of tiles behind menus. Where configured, these use the tile sprite 'tile_m-<depth>'. WindowManager 6.33 extended the tile sprites further to allow the tile to be resized by the Wimp to the depth of the mode (all other sprites are always plotted at the exact size specified by the sprite). See the BackgroundTile document for more details.

Divider sprites

A horizontal divider sprite was introduced with the nested Wimp to allow regions to be separated within dialogue boxes. This sprite is expected to be left aligned with the window border. Select 3 introduced a similar divider for vertical regions. This should be aligned to the top of the window border. The sprites are named 'divider' and 'vdivider'.

Error sprites

The error categorisation scheme introduced in RISC OS 3.5. Although the documentation in PRM 5a-492 describes the interface for the error messages, it did not document the sprites used. For Wimp_ReportError flags, these are :

Bits 9-11     Sprite name

  1.       error
  2.       information
  3.       warning
  4.       program
  5.       question
  6.       user1
  7.       user2
  8.       program (repeated; do not rely on this)


The Pinboard has been updated to provide additional backdrop types and to allow applications to control the entire background window if necessary. The application now uses the ImageFileRender interfaces to render image files on the backdrop. This means that in addition to the Sprite and JPEG files which Pinboard has been able to render, it can also render any format which is supported by the ImageFileRender stack. In particular, this means that DrawFiles and PNGs may be used. The rendering of these images may be subject to delays in conversion for some image formats.


Message_ToggleBackdrop &400D1:
   +0         24 (Message size)
   +4         Backdrop controlling application
   +8,+12     reference numbers
   +16        &400D1 (Message_ToggleBackdrop)
   +20        Flags (if not present, assumed 0)
                  bit 0-1 = type of toggle
                             0 = toggle
                             1 = front
                             2 = back
                             3 = notify of status
                             other = reserved

This message is broadcast by applications to request that the backdrop application move the backdrop to the front, back, toggles, or notify the application of the backdrop window's position. This message is then sent back to the application to indicate the new position.

Window icons

The window furniture icons have been extended since RISC OS 3.1 to include new features required by more advanced designs. The actual positioning of the furniture icons can be controlled. See the ToolOrder document for more details.

An iconise icon has been added to the icon set. This is used to hide a window using the iconising protocol which was previously only used shift-clicking on the close icon. This icon usually appears in title bar. It has the name 'iicon', or 'piicon' for the pressed variant. The iconise icon has been present since WindowManager 4.00.

The horizontal and vertical scroll bars can be modified with an additional icon If present, this icon will be drawn once in the centre of the scrollbar. The horizontal versions of these icons are named 'hblip' and 'phblip'. The vertical versions of these icons are named 'vblip' and 'pvblip'. The 'blip' has been present since WindowManager 3.97.

Since WindowManager 4.64 it had not been necessary for the toggle size icon to be the same width as the vertical scroll bar.

This documentation is copyright 3QD Developments Ltd 2013 and may not be reproduced or published in any form without the copyright holders permission. RISC OS is subject to continuous development and improvement as such all information is reproduced by 3QD Developments Ltd in good faith and is believed to be correct at the time of publication E&OE. 3QD Developments Ltd cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage arising from the use of any information provided as part of the RISC OS Documentation.

HTML document version 1.03 3rd November 2015