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In this article, we will make a simple file explorer with Python and its GUI Library Tkinter. We are adopting some features from the standard file explorer like the line-edit add the top, opening files with their usual program, and adding new files or folders.
Let's get started!
As always, we import the needed libraries. We get the
os module; this holds a special role since we do all the file interactions using it, such as getting all files in a directory or adding files. The
ctypes import is optional; we simply enable high dpi (dots per inch). Calling the function in the last line will do just that. This will result in smoother graphics:
from tkinter import * import os import ctypes import pathlib # Increas Dots Per inch so it looks sharper ctypes.windll.shcore.SetProcessDpiAwareness(True)
Related: How to Make a PDF Viewer in Python
Now we set up Tkinter. We start by making a new
Tk() object. After that, we set the window title.
Next, we configure one column and one row. These two functions (
grid_rowconfigure()) ensure that the second column and the second row expand. We will place our most essential widgets there, so they get a lot of space. Keep in mind that you can call these functions on any container widget.
root = Tk() # set a title for our file explorer main window root.title('Simple Explorer') root.grid_columnconfigure(1, weight=1) root.grid_rowconfigure(1, weight=1)
After the Tkinter setup, we will continue making some functions that handle most things happening when the user does something.
Some of these functions have the parameter
event=None and you notice that these event parameters aren't used in the function. This is because the functions are being called from two inputs. For one, there are called from buttons or menus, and these kinds of calls don't send any arguments to the supplied command functions.
On the other hand, keyboard bindings will send the keyboard event to the function, but we don't need that info. This parameter will ensure that the functions will be called correctly in either case.
Let's start with the
pathChange() function. This will be called every time our path changes. We will bind a
StringVar to it. It will update the list of files and folders and is responsible for displaying them.
We start by getting a list of all files and folders in a given path with the
os.listdir() function. After that, we clear our list with its
delete(start, end) method. Last but not least, we loop over every item in the directory list and insert it into the list with the
insert(index, name) method.
def pathChange(*event): # Get all Files and Folders from the given Directory directory = os.listdir(currentPath.get()) # Clearing the list list.delete(0, END) # Inserting the files and directories into the list for file in directory: list.insert(0, file)
changePathByClick() function does what it says on the box: It handles when the user clicks on an item in the list and then changes the path or opens the file.
We start by getting the name of the picked item by combining two functions. We supply the
list.get() with the first value that is returned by the
The latter returns an array of all the selected items; that's why we only need the first item. We continue by joining with
os.path.join() this picked file or folder with our current path, which is stored in a
We check if the given path is a file with the
os.path.isfile(path) function. If this turns out to be
True, we call the
os.startfile(path) with our path to open the file with its standard program. If it's
False, we will set the
StringVar to the new path, which triggers the
pathChange() function we defined earlier and update the displayed files.
def changePathByClick(event=None): # Get clicked item. picked = list.get(list.curselection()) # get the complete path by joining the current path with the picked item path = os.path.join(currentPath.get(), picked) # Check if item is file, then open it if os.path.isfile(path): print('Opening: '+path) os.startfile(path) # Set new path, will trigger pathChange function. else: currentPath.set(path)
changePathByClick(), we made it so we can enter folders; now we want the opposite: we want to be able to go back.
Here we will use the
parent attribute of
pathlib.Path() object to get the parent folder of our current one. After that, we just need to call the
set(string) function on our
StringVar and set it to this new path. This will once again trigger the
def goBack(event=None): # get the new path newPath = pathlib.Path(currentPath.get()).parent # set it to currentPath currentPath.set(newPath) # simple message print('Going Back')
In this function, we will make a popup that appears when clicking a menu button.
We start by getting a global variable called
top that is defined outside the function, and we need to do this, so the other function has access to this variable.
It holds the window object, which is made in the following line with
Toplevel(). Because it is a new window, it also has the
geometry() functions that set the name and dimensions of the window.
We also set both axes to not resizeable with the
resizeable(False, False) method. After this, we configure some columns and make a label that tells the user what to do.
We define an
Entry() that receives another
StringVar which holds our new folder or file. This is also done to give the other function access to this function. In the end, we make a button that calls this function:
def open_popup(): global top top = Toplevel(root) top.geometry("250x150") top.resizable(False, False) top.title("Child Window") top.columnconfigure(0, weight=1) Label(top, text='Enter File or Folder name').grid() Entry(top, textvariable=newFileName).grid(column=0, pady=10, sticky='NSEW') Button(top, text="Create", command=newFileOrFolder).grid(pady=10, sticky='NSEW')
The below handles making new files or folders.
We first start by checking if the path name provided by the user is a file or a path. We cannot do this with the
os.path.isfile(path) because it checks if the file exists.
That's why we split the string by
'.' and check if the resulting array has another length than one. A string will like
file.txt will result to
True, and something like
False. If it is a file name, we create it by simply opening the path with the built-in function
open(path, mode) because if the file doesn't exist, it will make it. If it is a folder name, we need the
os module and its
mkdir() function to make the new directory.
After that, we close the popup window with its
destroy() method. and we call the
pathChange() function so the directory is updated:
def newFileOrFolder(): # check if it is a file name or a folder if len(newFileName.get().split('.')) != 1: open(os.path.join(currentPath.get(), newFileName.get()), 'w').close() else: os.mkdir(os.path.join(currentPath.get(), newFileName.get())) # destroy the top top.destroy() pathChange() top = ''
Now we have made all the needed functions, let's continue with the string variables:
newFileName: is the new file used when requesting to create a new file or folder.
currentPath: is the current path variable. We connect any changes made to it with its
# String variables newFileName = StringVar(root, "File.dot", 'new_name') currentPath = StringVar( root, name='currentPath', value=pathlib.Path.cwd() ) # Bind changes in this variable to the pathChange function currentPath.trace('w', pathChange)
Let's set up some widgets! We start by making the button that goes a folder up. It calls the
goBack() method because we supplied a reference to its command parameter.
We then place it on the grid with the
grid() method. The
sticky parameter means where the widget should expand to. We supply it with
NSEW which means it will expand in all directions.
After that, we connect the
Alt-Up keyboard shortcut with the same function called by the button.
In the end, we make an
Entry() that holds the path we are currently in. For it to work correctly with the
StringVar we have to set the
textvariable parameter to our string variable. We also place this on the grid and set some padding with
Button(root, text='Folder Up', command=goBack).grid( sticky='NSEW', column=0, row=0 ) # Keyboard shortcut for going up root.bind("<Alt-Up>", goBack) Entry(root, textvariable=currentPath).grid( sticky='NSEW', column=1, row=0, ipady=10, ipadx=10 )
The following widget is the list that displays the files and folders of the current path, and we also bind some keyboard events that happen on it to our
# List of files and folder list = Listbox(root) list.grid(sticky='NSEW', column=1, row=1, ipady=10, ipadx=10) # List Accelerators list.bind('<Double-1>', changePathByClick) list.bind('<Return>', changePathByClick)
The last widget is just a simple
menubar with two buttons, one that opens the new file or folder window and one that quits the program. We can quit the program with
# Menu menubar = Menu(root) # Adding a new File button menubar.add_command(label="Add File or Folder", command=open_popup) # Adding a quit button to the Menubar menubar.add_command(label="Quit", command=root.quit) # Make the menubar the Main Menu root.config(menu=menubar)
Now before we start the main loop, we call the
pathChange() function so the list is generated for the first time:
# Call the function so the list displays pathChange('') # run the main program root.mainloop()
Let's run it. You can take a look at the file explorer in action:
Excellent! You have successfully created a simple file explorer using Python code! See how you can add more features to this program, such as renaming files or sorting the files and folders.
Here are some related tutorials:
Happy coding ♥
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