Book Image

Tkinter GUI Application Development Cookbook

By : Alejandro Rodas de Paz
Book Image

Tkinter GUI Application Development Cookbook

By: Alejandro Rodas de Paz

Overview of this book

As one of the more versatile programming languages, Python is well-known for its batteries-included philosophy, which includes a rich set of modules in its standard library; Tkinter is the library included for building desktop applications. Due to this, Tkinter is a common choice for rapid GUI development, and more complex applications can benefit from the full capabilities of this library. This book covers all of your Tkinter and Python GUI development problems and solutions. Tkinter GUI Application Development Cookbook starts with an overview of Tkinter classes and at the same time provides recipes for basic topics, such as layout patterns and event handling. Next, we cover how to develop common GUI patterns, such as entering and saving data, navigating through menus and dialogs, and performing long-running actions in the background.You can then make your apps leverage network resources effectively and perform graphical operations on a canvas and related tasks such as detecting collisions between items. Finally, this book covers using themed widgets, an extension of Tk widgets that have a more native look and feel. Finally, this book covers using the canvas and themed widgets. By the end of the book, you will have an in-depth knowledge of Tkinter classes, and will know how to use them to build efficient and rich GUI applications.
Table of Contents (10 chapters)

Creating selections with radio buttons

With the Radiobutton widget, you can let the user select among several options. This pattern works well for a relatively small number of mutually exclusive choices.

How to do it...

You can connect multiple Radiobutton instances using a Tkinter variable so that when you click on a non-selected option, it will deselect whatever other option was previously selected.

In the following program, we created three radio buttons for the Red, Green, and Blue options. Each time you click on a radio button, it prints the lowercase name of the corresponding color:

import tkinter as tk

COLORS = [("Red", "red"), ("Green", "green"), ("Blue", "blue")]

class ChoiceApp(tk.Tk):
    def __init__(self):
        self.var = tk.StringVar()
        self.buttons = [self.create_radio(c) for c in COLORS]
        for button in self.buttons:
            button.pack(anchor=tk.W, padx=10, pady=5)

    def create_radio(self, option):
        text, value = option
        return tk.Radiobutton(self, text=text, value=value, 

    def print_option(self):

if __name__ == "__main__": 
    app = ChoiceApp()

If you run this script, it will display the application with the Red radio button already selected:

How it works...

To avoid repeating the code of the Radiobutton initialization, we defined a utility method that is called from a list comprehension. We unpacked the values of each tuple of the COLORS list and then passed these local variables as options to Radiobutton. Remember to try to not repeat yourself whenever possible.

Since StringVar is shared among all the Radiobutton instances, they are automatically connected, and we force the user to select only one choice.

There's more...

We set a default value of "red" in our program; however, what would happen if we omit this line, and the value of StringVar does not match any of the radio button values? It will match the default value of the tristatevalue option, which is the empty string. This causes the widget to display in a special "tri-state" or indeterminate mode. Although this option can be modified with the config() method, a better practice is to set a sensible default value so the variable is initialized in a valid state.