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A window frame may be visible, invisible, or iconified. If it is visible, you can see its contents. If it is iconified, the frame's contents do not appear on the screen, but an icon does. If the frame is invisible, it doesn't show on the screen, not even as an icon.
Visibility is meaningless for terminal frames, since only the selected one is actually displayed in any case.
tif frame is visible,
nilif it is invisible, and
iconif it is iconified.
The visibility status of a frame is also available as a frame parameter. You can read or change it as such. See section 29.3.3 Window Frame Parameters.
The user can iconify and deiconify frames with the window manager. This happens below the level at which Emacs can exert any control, but Emacs does provide events that you can use to keep track of such changes. See section 21.6.10 Miscellaneous Window System Events.
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