Tk Event Handling

All GUI programs need a way to respond to user interactions. The Tk GUI toolkit provided in Python provides us with a number of different ways to respond to user interactions. Let’s look at a few different ways we can make buttons respond to user events.

Pass a Function

Since Python considers functions to be objects, we can just pass a function to the event handler.

def click():
    print('Clicked')

root = Tk()
Button(root, text='Click Me', command=click).pack()
root.mainloop()

Use a Lambda

Lamdas are another popular way to express event handling code.

root = Tk()
Button(root, text='Click Me', command=(lambda: print('Clicked'))).pack()
root.mainloop()

Use a Class

Many programs construct GUIs using Pythons OOP capabilities. As such, we can bind a class method to the event handler also.

class MyClass:
    def __init__(self, root):
        self.button = Button(root, text='Class', command=self.command).pack()

    def command(self):
        print('Class handler')

root = Tk()
MyClass(root)
root.mainloop()

Override the __call__ method

We can also construct classes that overload the __call__ operator. Doing so is useful when we need to pass complex information along to an event handler.

class MyCallable:
    def __init__(self):
        self.message = '__call__ handler'

    def __call__(self):
        print(self.message)

root=Tk()
Button(root, text='Callable', command=MyCallable()).pack()
root.mainloop()

Event Binding

We can also make direct calls to Tk

def print_me():
    print('binding')

root = Tk()

w = Button(root, text='Binding')
w.pack()
w.bind('<Button-1>, print_me)
root.mainloop()

Complete Program

Below is a complete program that demonstrates all of the above patterns.

import sys
from tkinter import *


def write():
    print('Function call')


class HelloClass:
    def __init__(self, root):
        self.button = Button(root, text='Class', command=self.command).pack(side=LEFT, fill=X)

    def command(self):
        print('Class handler')


class Callable:
    def __init__(self):
        self.message = '__call__ handler'

    def __call__(self):
        print(self.message)


def printMe(event):
    print('Double click to quit')


def quit(event):
    sys.exit()


if __name__ == '__main__':
    root = Tk()

    Button(root, text='Function', command=write).pack(side=LEFT, fill=X)
    Button(root, text='Lambda', command=(lambda: print('Labmda call'))).pack(side=LEFT, fill=X)
    HelloClass(root)
    Button(root, text='Callable', command=Callable()).pack(side=LEFT, fill=X)

    w = Button(root, text='Binding')
    w.pack(side=LEFT, fill=X)
    w.bind('<Button-1>', printMe)
    w.bind('<Double-1>', quit)

    root.mainloop()
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Python – Getting Started With TK

Python has a variety of widget libraries, but TK is the one included in CPython. This post shows a very basic Python program that uses TK to create an application window with a label and a button. The application closes when the user clicks on the button.

from tkinter import *

root = Tk()

Label(root, text='Click to quit => ').pack(side=LEFT, expand=YES, fill=BOTH)
Button(root, text='Quit', command=sys.exit).pack(side=LEFT, expand=YES, fill=BOTH)

root.mainloop()

The following window appears when the application is executed.
tk

Explanation

The program starts by importing the tkinter module on line 1. This module contains the widgets (or controls) that we need to create our application window. On line 3, we create a root variable and assign it to a main (or root) window by calling the Tk() function. We are now ready to start creating our controls.

Line 5 creates a Label control. The first argument in the constructor is its parent window, so we pass in root. The text argument assigns text to the label. Next, we call the pack() method on the control. In our case, we use three optional arguments. Side is used to tell the layout manager which side the control should stick too. In our case, we want to left aling our controls so we use LEFT. The expand parameter tells the label to expand with the window, while the fill control tells the control which directions it should expand or shrink (horizontal, vertical, or both).

Line 6 creates a Button that we can click on. The root is still the main window while the text is the button’s text. The command is the action the button should execute when clicked. In our case, we are telling the application to exit because we are passing the sys.exit function to the command argument. The pack() method does the same as the Label on line 5.

Finally, we want to show the window and make the program wait for events. We do this by calling root.mainloop(). Once mainloop() executes, the script will only respond to code found in event handlers, which is command=sys.exit in our case.