Send messages to a patcher
Allows modification of a patcher window with Max messages.
thispatcher can be used to modify and/or close a patcher window - it sends a message to the patcher window in which it is contained. See the bpatcher help file for the use of the thispatcher object with bpatchers.
Note: Use of the thispatcher object to create new objects is not supported.
Common Box Attributes
Sets the text that will be displayed in the Clue window when the user moves the mouse over the object.
background [int] (default: 0)
Adds or removes the object from the patcher's background layer.adds the object to the background layer, removes it. Objects in the background layer are shown behind all objects in the default foreground layer.
color [4 floats]
Sets the color for the object box outline.
Sets the type style used by the object. The options are:
0 = 'regular'
1 = 'bold'
2 = 'italic'
3 = 'bold italic'
Sets the object's font.
Sets the object's font size (in points).
hidden [int] (default: 0)
Toggles whether an object is hidden when the patcher is locked.
Sets the text that will be displayed in as a pop-up hint when the user moves the mouse over the object in a locked patcher.
ignoreclick [int] (default: 0)
Toggles whether an object ignores mouse clicks in a locked patcher.
patching_rect [4 floats] (default: 0. 0. 100. 0.)
Sets the position and size of the object in the patcher window.
position [2 floats]
Sets the object's x and y position in both patching and presentation modes (if the object belongs to its patcher's presentation), leaving its size unchanged.
presentation [int] (default: 0)
Sets whether an object belongs to the patcher's presentation.
presentation_rect [4 floats] (default: 0. 0. 0. 0.)
Sets the x and y position and width and height of the object in the patcher's presentation, leaving its patching position unchanged.
rect [4 floats]
Sets the x and y position and width and height of the object in both patching and presentation modes (if the object belongs to its patcher's presentation).
size [2 floats]
Sets the object's width and height in both patching and presentation modes (if the object belongs to its patcher's presentation), leaving its position unchanged.
Sets the color for the object's text in RGBA format.
0 = 'left'
1 = 'center'
2 = 'right'
When the containing patcher is saved, the state of this object's snapshots will also be saved.
Patcher Behavior and Display
The script message
The thispatcher permits dynamic control over object creation, deletion, sizing and positioning, and patching. The word is followed by a keyword that indicates a function. Following the keyword are arguments that specify what objects are to be affected by the message.
In the discussion of each message that follows, the syntax indicates required arguments for the message after the keyword in angle brackets. An example of each message is also provided.
A variable-name is a symbol that names either a new or existing object. You can set variable names by choosing Name... from the Object menu, or with certain scripting messages such as and .
Themessage resets the patch's dirty bit in the window so that you won't be asked to save changes in the patch.
Themessage is the opposite of the method; it sets the patch's dirty bit in the window.
*USE AT YOUR OWN RISK* - Closes the patcher or destroys the subpatcher that the thispatcher object is contained in.
The thispatcher object to the front. If the patcher is not open, the message opens the patch and brings it to the front.message brings the window that contains the
The loadbang object itself.message will send the message to all objects in the patch - including the
Themessage will disable editing of the patcher.
Themessage, followed by a symbol, will change the title displayed in the patcher window.
The word, followed by an optional symbol that specifies a filename, saves the patcher window with that filename to disk. If no file name is specified, a standard File Dialog will be presented for the user to manually choose a file name.
Bring an object to the front of the layer it's currently in.
If is in the foreground layer, this message moves it to the front of the foreground layer. Otherwise it moves it to the front of the background layer.
Assigns a variable name to the first instance of a specified class with matching arguments
Assigns the name to the first instance found of + with argument in the patcher.
Connects two objects together with a patch cord
Connects the left outlet of the object with the variable name to the left inlet of the object with the variable name .
Note: Adding the keyword (e.g., creates hidden connections.
Modify the color of an existing patch cord, setting it to one of Max's 16 standard colors.
Changes the color of the connection between the left outlet of the object with the 3rd inlet of the object to the color stored at index 12.
Deletes an object in a patcher window.
Deletes the object associated with the variable name .
Disconnect two objects connected by a patch cord
This message undoes the connection between the left outlet of and the left of bobo.
Specifies that an object (or connection) will be hidden when created.
Creates a hidden object associated with the variable name . The keyword can also be used when specifying connections between objects.
Hide a visible object.
Hides the object named
Set an object not to respond to mouse clicks.
Makes the object named ignore mouse clicks.
Move an object to an absolute position relative to the current top-left corner of a patcher window. Note that the 0,0 point is underneath the icon bar.
Moves the object named to the left edge of the window, 100 pixels down from the top.
Creates a new object in a patcher window and gives it a name.
Creates a new toggle object 15 pixels square at 101 93 and assign it to the variable footog.
The format of the arguments (after the class name) to the message are based on the legacy Max file format.
Creates a new named object with default properties in a patcher window.
Creates a new filtergraph~ object at its default size at 10 10 and assign it to the variable thatgraph.
Creates a new pack object instantiated with the arguments foo bar bap at 200 100 and assign it to the variable buffy.
Assigns a variable name to the nth instance of a specified class
Assigns the name to the first toggle found in the patcher.
The order of objects in a patcher is determined by the front-to-back ordering. Objects in back of the patcher that draw behind other objects are first in the search order.
Move an object a distance from its current position. Positive distances move the object down and to the right, negative distances move it up and to the left.
Moves the object named 30 pixels to the right and 40 pixels up.
Move an object a set distance from another object.
The top-left-flag is 1 if the distance is relative to the top-left corner of the object, and 0 if it is relative to the bottom-right corner.
Moves the object named 100 pixels to the left of the left side of the object named , and 120 pixels above the top of the object named .
Set an object to respond to mouse clicks.
Makes the object named respond to mouse clicks.
Assigns a variable name to the first object found that is selected
Assigns the name to the first object found that is selected. Obviously this message only works when the patcher is unlocked, since no object can be selected in a locked patcher.
For all three connection messages described below, inlets and outlets are specified by , with 0 denoting the leftmost inlet or outlet. The first variable specified is the object whose outlet you are connecting or disconnecting and the second variable is the one whose inlet you are connecting. Messages can then flow from outlet to inlet.
Send a message to an object. This message is the same as using a message box with a semicolon or a send object, but you use the object variable name feature of scripting to specify the object that will receive the message -- using to communicate with a named receive object does not work. The message can only be sent to an object within the patcher as the thispatcher object receiving the message.
The object with the variable name receives an message. If were a number box, its displayed value would change to 666.
Send a message to an object box. This message is identical to send except that it sends the message to an object's box rather than the object referred to by the box. There is currently only one object, bpatcher, in which the object and box are different objects. The box is a bpatcher, and the object is a patcher. What can you tell a bpatcher to do? One example is the message, which is equivalent to sending the message to a thispatcher object in a patcher inside a bpatcher. Peek inside the Inspector patch for bpatcher for other ideas.
If names a bpatcher object, this message would tell it not to draw its border.
Move an object to the back of the layer it's currently in.
If is in the foreground layer, this message moves it to the back of the foreground layer. Otherwise it moves it to the back of the background layer. Note that objects that are "in the back" are the first objects to be found by the variable assignment messages and .
Show a hidden object.
Makes the object named visible.
Change an object's size. There are some objects that have restrictions on their size, but they generally do not protect themselves against sizes they don't expect, so use this message with some caution. For instance the toggle object expects to be a square. It may not draw properly if it's made into a rectangle.
Changes the object named to be 30 by 30 pixels.
Sending Messages to Objects
Out right outlet: The full pathname of the folder or volume containing the patcher's file in response to themessage. If the patcher has not been saved, there is no output.
Out left outlet: When the message thispatcher sends out the words followed by the screen coordinates (in pixels from the top left corner of the screen) of the left, top, right, and bottom limits of the window. When the message is received, the message or is sent out, depending on whether the window has a title bar. When the message is received, thispatcher sends out the words followed by the visibility of the scroll bars and grow box ( or ), the close box ( or ), and the zoom box ( or ).is received,
|bpatcher||Embed a subpatch with a visible UI|
|bgcolor||Set background color|
|join||Combine items into a list|
|pack||Create a list|
|patcher||Create a subpatch within a patch|
|pattrforward||Send any message to a named object|
|pcontrol||Open and close subwindows|
|pvar||Connect to a named object in a patcher|
|sprintf||Format a message of words and numbers|
|Max Interface Tutorial 1: bpatchers||Max Interface Tutorial 1: bpatchers|