Visual Tcl

The name Visual Tcl is, unfortunately, such an obvious one that it has been used by a few things. The most common usage is the Stewart Allen GUI building tool which is listed below.

SCO toolkit

There is an ancient SCO toolkit known as Visual Tcl which had nothing to do with vtcl the graphical building tool. It was a product/extension which created a Motif GUI interface, as well as an ASCII interface for CUI programs.

Book The Visual TCL Handbook, 1/e

A tutorial covering SCO's Visual Tcl can be found at .

This link appears broken as of 19 Apr 2005

Visual Tcl/Tk (Douglas A. Bebber)

 What: Visual Tcl/Tk (Bebber)
 Description: This is a public project whose goal is to produce and
        make freely available a professional quality cross-platform
        visual design environment for Tcl/Tk.
 Contact: mailto:[email protected] (Douglas A. Bebber)

The link above is dead (2007-08-21). A page in the Internet Archive, states

"Aug 02, 1999

"The Visual Tcl/Tk project has been terminated! Because of the work of Stewart Allen's project, I see no need to provide a duplication of effort. Stewart's development moved far ahead of my Visual Tcl/Tk project. I simply wanted to see an effective FREE GUI for Tcl/Tk available to the masses to provide momentum for Linux development. In my opinion, Stewart Allen's efforts more than meet that goal. If you want a good FREE GUI development environment for Tcl/Tk please go to Stewart Allen's Visual Tcl site"

An earlier page in the Archive, linked to a tarball vtcl0.0.6.tar.gz and a zip file dated May 29, 1997.

Visual Tcl (Stewart Allen)

is a developer tool for visual development of the GUI portion of one's application.

See for the application.

See for download

 What: Visual Tcl/vtcl (Allen)
 Where:  -- old link points to sourceforge links[email protected]/
 Description: Application development environment written only in Tcl.
        Includes support for compund widgets, custom compund widget
        libraries, aliases, etc.
        Works on Windows, Macintosh and Unix (Tk 4.1 or newer).
        Macintosh version requires you to use Tk 4.2p1 or newer.
        Covered by the GNU general public license.
        Versions are being made available from the WWW page on a regular
        basis.  Sites with tutorials in English, Spanish, and Portuguese are
        listed as the last two sites.
        Currently at v1.6.0, with 1.6.1a1 mentioned at the web site.
 Updated: 03/2006
          mailto:[email protected] (Christian Gavin)
          mailto:[email protected] (Damon Courtney) has links to Visual Tcl tutorials in French.

vtcl Yahoo group

This list is for any discussions relevant to the use of or development of a graphically oriented Tcl development environment currently known as Visual Tcl.

See for subscription and archive info.

Clif Flynt in the Tcl chatroom on 2003-06-27: "I've reworked some vtcl output. The script performance can be improved a lot by using 'option add' instead of all the -font xx -fg yy options in the widget creations."

This tool was included in O'Reilly's now defunct Mac Open Source Software Directory

The SCALD project uses Visual Tcl:

 What: SCALD
 Description: School project to create a SPARC assembler interpreter.
        Uses Tcl/Tk and Visual Tcl.
 Updated: 07/1998
 Contact: mailto:[email protected] (Michael K. Vance)

RLH: Is Visual Tcl from still being maintained? It is a really nice UI builder.

LV There has been mailing list discussions on the site. But I don't know how much maintaining has been done. But then, if it works properly, there won't be a need for a lot of fixes.

06/08/04 DC - Visual Tcl is not currently being actively maintained as the two developers who were working on it have moved on. Christian Gavin moved on to pursue other interests, and I lost interest in maintaining vTcl in its current form. I have, however, begun work on a rewrite of vTcl that will appear eventually as Tk Designer. I'm renaming and rewriting the code so as to get out from under the GPL license. This may happen a lot quicker if I can get the permission of the copyright holder (Stuart Allen) to change the license to BSD, which is my ultimate goal.

Larry Smith Umm..."renaming and rewriting" will not get you "out from under the GPL". If you started with GPL code, no amount of renaming and rewriting will enable you to change the license. The GPL is viral in the sense that any derived work must also be GPL'd. That's what the GPL is for. Even if the final version ends up with all the code different, the basic structure will still be there and will still be GPL'd.

The only legal way to nullify the GPL is to get the copyright owner to change it for you, or to write an entirely new program from scratch. See [L1 ].

HJG 2005-11-11: It looks like work on vtcl has resumed:

RLH Well what do you know!

SJPEDRO 2007-08-14: FYI Work is ongoing:

Roy Keene I have made some vTcl (version 1.6.1a1) starpacks for various platforms, they are available at . Feel free to request additional platforms.

There is also a fork of vTcl at

[Add info about tricks for using vtcl, benefits, etc.]

Tristan 2008-09-28: Please visit the Visual Tcl Binary Project HomePage: . This version had more i18n support, and Tile widgets, VU widgets, TkVideo widget, etc.

That only seems to hold some binary downloads (no sources), and most of the webpage text is in some CJK language. Is that what was expected?

Lectus 2008-09-28: Tile widgets in Visual Tcl? This is very nice! I wonder if anyone is still developing Visual Tcl? This is really good tool and should not be abandoned.

Tristan 2008-09-29: vtcl-bin is a starpacks.

vtcl-bin source:

    tar zxvf vtcl-20080627-linux.tar.gz
    gunzip tclkit-linux-x86.gz
    chmod +x tclkit-linux-x86
    ./tclkit-linux-x86 sdx.kit unwrap vtcl
    cd vtcl.vfs

Fabricio Rocha - 18 Feb 2009 - The VisualTCL project made no releases in almost two years, and the last major release (1.6.x) dates back to 2003. In spite of apparently being the project which comes closest to provide a really RAD IDE for TCL/TK, it seems to be dying. The project website does not allow browsing beyond the homepage. I have contacted Kenneth Parker Jr., one of the official developers, and he said that the most difficult (and surely disgusting) mission was to find "anyone capable or willing to do the coding and leg work" to help the project, and he is way too busy for maintaining VisualTCL alone. The other developers show no recent activity in the SourceForge project pages.

It seems strange that a tool with such potential seems to get so little attention from the TCL/TK community: for experienced programmers, it is certainly easier and faster to type down the short and few commands required by TCL/TK on a text editor; but for newbies and people who comes from other programming languages and environments (like me) VisualTCL would be greatly appreciated. There is a small list of features suggestions in the project's SF page, but other features - like code completion, internationalization, new help system, mobile interfaces support, Tile/TTK native support and default for new projects, etc - could make for a real-killer 2.0 version.

Developers and helpers are highly needed to keep VisualTCL alive now. I offered my services to update the project website and to help in code-brushing as soon as I get used to TCL/TK. I would also proudly help to coordinate efforts for a 2.0 version and, as Ken Jr. suggested, I am trying to gather people capable and interested to join the project and contribute, even if only with a tutorial or one or two bugfixes. If you would like to help, please visit the [vtcl-dev forum in SourceForge'>L2 ] and tell your contacts and what would you like to do.

Kevin Ogden - 9/21/09 - After unwrapping vTCL-bin from above I was able to get vtcl-bin to run just peachy under MacOS X 10.6.1 (Snow Leopard) w/ tk 8.5.7. It seems like those guys also did some work to make vtcl a bit more stable and behave properly. I'd like to see this work imported back into the main project. I had to edit the .vtclrc file in my home directory to load tile support but that was about it. A couple of buttons in the main toolbar could use resizing on the mac but everything seems to function. I think this really needs to become the main branch. Unfortunately it's hard to get info off of that site as an english speaker.

I really enjoyed using vTCL in the past, the only issue I ever had was dealing with the tab order (for navigating widgets via tab). If you remove and add widgets and move them around a lot, vTCL had no way to really set the tab order. You had to come up with some hack by hand.

vTCL-bin does look promising though and I hope they keep up with the progress TCL and tk are making lately.

Rildo Pragana - 10 Mar 2010 - I added some enhancements to Visual Tcl:

1- A Tab Order command to change the tab order (focus order) of the widgets in a container;

2- A Copy/Paste attributes command to do mass-copying of several attributes, AND geometry options, at the same time, from one widget to several others, by just clicking the others (after selecting which "attributes/geom options" to copy).

Both commands are available in the popup menu (right-click), after selecting a widget.

More information and the source of modified vtcl may be found at If you are a developer of , please feel free to incorporate these changes to the main project. There are also small patches to some annoying bugs I found using vtcl in my own work, then fixed it.


cacofonia - 2017-05-05 18:55:55

The VTcl project is wonderfull, I used this for years! actually I do. For me is the best RAD that exists. Is better than VB or others commercial products.