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Safari | Python Developer's Handbook -> Tkinter Widgets





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Tkinter Widgets

The typical Tkinter distribution contains a basic set of 15 widgets, and some extra classes.

The Tkinter reference that I present in this chapter only shows a small set of methods and attributes for each one of the available widgets. This list is provided just to give you some idea of what you can do with each one of the widgets, and it is doesn't have the intention to be a complete guide. If you need to go further in this topic, I suggest you look at the Tkinter resources pages that I list at the end of this chapter.

Widget Standard Options

Almost all widgets have access to a set of standard attributes that define special characteristics for each one of them, including color definitions and font types. The value for each one of these attributes can be determined at the creation time as

						
mylabel = Label(win, width=40)

					

Or, if you prefer, you can also define (or change) the values at the execution time using the configure method.

						
mylabel.configure(width=40)

					

The previous examples use key/value pairs to define the attribute values, but you can also use dictionaries to easily inform multiple attributes at once.

						
mysize = {
 "height"=2, "width"=40
}
mylabel.configure(mysize)

					

Support for using dictionaries here is really for backward compatibility for programs written before Python 1.4 (which didn't support keyword arguments). It is not a good idea to use it with the latest versions of Python. The third way of changing properties is with

						
mylabel['height'] = 2

					

Next, I list common properties that are defined for all Tkinter widgets.

height

In buttons, labels, and text widgets, this attribute defines the height in number of characters. In all other widgets, it defines the height in pixels.

width

In buttons, labels, and text widgets, this attribute defines the width in number of characters. In all other widgets, it defines the width in pixels.

background(bg) and foreground(fg)

These attributes define the background and foreground (text) colors for a specific widget. It can be either a color name or a explicit hexadecimal notation RGB starting with #. It is usually used in one of the following formats: "#RRGGBB", "#RGB", and "#RRRRGGGGBBBB", depending on the number of colors allowed by your system.

If you are using either a Windows or a Macintosh system, the table that contains the available color names is already built into your system.

The following constants define the system colors that you can use within your Windows system.

							
SystemActiveBorder, SystemActiveCaption, SystemAppWorkspace,
SystemBackground, SystemButtonFace, SystemButtonHighlight,
SystemButtonShadow, SystemButtonText, SystemCaptionText, SystemDisabledText,
SystemHighlight, SystemHighlightText, SystemInactiveBorder,
SystemInactiveCaption, SystemInactiveCaptionText, SystemMenu, SystemMenuText,
SystemScrollbar, SystemWindow, SystemWindowFrame, SystemWindowText.

						

Note that you can change the colors at any time by editing the control panel settings.

The same concept goes for Mac systems. The available list of color names for the Macintosh platform is as follows:

SystemButtonFace SystemMenuActive
SystemButtonFrame SystemMenuActiveText
SystemButtonText SystemMenuDisabled
SystemHighlight SystemMenuText
SystemHighlightText SystemWindowBody
SystemMenu

On the other hand, if you are using a UNIX X windowing system, the table of color names is located in a file called xrgb.txt, which contains a list of color names and their corresponding RGB values, defined by the X Server.

relief

This attribute defines the style of a widget's border. All Tkinter widgets have a border, which might not be visible by default for some widgets. This attribute accepts the following values: SUNKEN, RIDGE, RAISED, or GROOVE for 3D appearance; and FLAT or SOLID for 2D appearance.

Tip

The border of a widget consists of a 3D relief and a focus highlight region (in most cases, this is a border outside the relief).



Highlight Settings

These attributes control the process of indicating whether a widget has the keyboard focus.

highlightcolor defines the color used to draw the highlight region when the widget has the keyboard focus.

highlightbackground defines the color used to draw the highlight region when the widget doesn't have the keyboard focus.

highlightthickness defines the width of the highlight region, in pixels.

borderwidth (bd)

This attribute defines the width of a widget relief border in number of pixels.

text

This attribute contains the widget caption text, using the foreground and font values to format it.

justify

This attribute defines how multiple lines of a text caption must line up. It can assume one of the following values: ... ... (Not finished, please download and read the complete file)

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