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The canvas command creates a new window (given by the pathName argument) and makes it into a canvas widget. Additional options, described above, may be specified on the command line or in the option database to configure aspects of the canvas such as its colors and 3-D relief. The canvas command returns its pathName argument. At the time this command is invoked, there must not exist a window named pathName, but pathName's parent must exist.

Canvas widgets implement structured graphics. A canvas displays any number of items, which may be things like rectangles, circles, lines, and text. Items may be manipulated (e.g. moved or re-colored) and commands may be associated with items in much the same way that the bind command allows commands to be bound to widgets. For example, a particular command may be associated with the <Button-1> event so that the command is invoked whenever button 1 is pressed with the mouse cursor over an item. This means that items in a canvas can have behaviors defined by the Tcl scripts bound to them.

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