Lua Programming

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Revision as of 12:07, 16 April 2011 by AdRiWeB (talk | contribs) (Standard Library)
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The TI-Nspire allows programming with the Lua language through a hidden application "TI.ScriptApp".

This page describes how to setup a Lua development environment and documents the currently known Lua functions for the Nspire, and a brief description of how to use the functions.

Note: Neither the io nor os libraries are present for the TI-Nspire, which seems to be running a light version of Lua 5.1.4.


Lua is only supported starting from OS v3.0.1. Creating Lua scripts is currently not officially supported by TI, you need one of the following third-party tools to convert Lua scripts to TI-Nspire documents:

  • (bash script, works on Linux, Mac OS and Unix, or Windows + Cygwin or Windows + MSYS). Requires 7za (7-zip)
  • (Python script, cross-platform)
  • lua2ti (Windows + .NET Framework v4.0)
  • lua2ti_linux (Linux + Mono v3.5)

Standard Library

  • _G - Global Variable - A global variable (not a function) that holds the global environment (that is, _G._G = _G). Lua itself does not use this variable; changing its value does not affect any environment, nor vice-versa. (Use setfenv to change environments.) - taken from Lua docs
  • print - print (···) - Receives any number of arguments, and prints their values to stdout, using the tostring function to convert them to strings. print is not intended for formatted output, but only as a quick way to show a value, typically for debugging. For formatted output, use string.format. - taken from Lua Docs
  • tostring - tostring (e) - Receives an argument of any type and converts it to a string in a reasonable format. For complete control of how numbers are converted, use string.format. If the metatable of e has a "__tostring" field, then tostring calls the corresponding value with e as argument, and uses the result of the call as its result. - taken from Lua Docs.
  • xpcall - xpcall (f, err) - xpcall calls function f in protected mode, using err as the error handler. Any error inside f is not propagated; instead, xpcall catches the error, calls the err function with the original error object, and returns a status code. Its first result is the status code (a Boolean), which is true if the call succeeds without errors. In this case, xpcall also returns all results from the call, after this first result. In case of any error, xpcall returns false plus the result from err. - taken from Lua Docs
  • select - select (index, ···)- If index is a number, returns all arguments after argument number index. Otherwise, index must be the string "#", and select returns the total number of extra arguments it received. - Taken from Lua Docs
  • getmetatable -
  • upack -

GC (as in Graphics Context)

Note: You need to add “gc:” before each of these commands in order to use them. ex. gc:setAlpha().

  • begin -
  • clipRect -
  • drawArc(x, y, width, height, start angle, finish angle) Note, to draw a circle, use drawArc(x - diameter/2, y - diameter/2, diameter,diameter,0,360) where x and y are the coordinates of the middle.
  • drawImage ? First argument in format “TI.Image”
  • drawLine(xstart, ystart, xend, yend) Draws a line starting at the point (xstart,ystart) and ending at the point (xend, yend)
  • drawPolyLine(int list1 [,int list2, .., int listN]) Draw a shape from a list contaning successively the x and y coordinates of each point the line have to draw. ex : drawPolyLine(0,0, 0,100, 100,100, 100,0, 0,0) = drawRect(0,0,100,100). If there are multiple argument (which can be 4 elements list to represent lines), each list has to contain an even number of element.
  • drawRect(x, y, xwidth, yheight) Draws a rectangle at (x,y) with the “x” side being “xwidth” long and the “y” side being “yheight” long
  • drawString(string, x, y, PositionString) PositionString is the string’s anchor point and can be “bottom”, “middle”, or “top”.
  • fillArc(x, y, width, height, start angle, finish angle) see drawArc
  • fillPolygon(int list1 [,int list2, .., int listN]) see drawPolyLine
  • fillRect(x, y, width, height) see drawRect
  • finish -
  • getStringHeight(string)
  • getStringWidth(string)
  • isColorDisplay Bool (Read-only) Returns 1 if color, 0 if not.
  • setAlpha ≈ transparency ?
  • setColorRGB(red, green, blue) Values range from 0 to 255.
  • setFont(font, type, size)
  • font {“sansserif”, ..}, type {“b”, “r”, “i”}, size(int)
  • setPen(size, smooth)
  • size {“thin”, “medium”, ..}, smooth {“smooth”, ..}


  • on.charIn - (string) is called when the indicated string corresponds to a pressed alpha key. To wrap an event on the “h” key, add the *on.charIn(“h”) link. // Be more explicit here
  • on.paint - (gc) is called when the GUI is painted
  • on.arrowKey - (key) is called when an arrow key from the clickPad/TouchPad is pressed