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In this tutorial, we are going to make a simple text editor with the Tkinter module which comes with Python so we don't have to install anything. It will have the following features.
We start by importing some modules which we all later need. We import everything from Tkinter so we have all the variables available and we also import the
filedialog modules individually. The
scrolledtext will be the text area where we write and the
filedialog allows us to trigger the
# Import from tkinter import * from tkinter import scrolledtext from tkinter import filedialog
Next, we import
ctypes to enable high DPI (Dots per Inch) so our window looks sharper. Below the code, you will find a comparison.
Here's what a low DPI looks like:
sys so we can analyze the arguments given through the command line. We later use this to enable open with:
Now we set up some variables for our little program. The first two variables are used to keep consistency when titling our program. The
currentFilePath is used when saving the file so we know where to save it. This string will also be appended to the window title like many programs do to show what file is being edited. At last, we define which file types can be opened with our editor. We used this variable in the file dialogues:
# Setup Variables appName = 'Simple Text Editor' nofileOpenedString = 'New File' currentFilePath = nofileOpenedString # Viable File Types, when opening and saving files. fileTypes = [("Text Files","*.txt"), ("Markdown","*.md")]
Next, we are going to set up the Tkinter window. To do that we make a new Tk object. After that, we give the window a title, and we use the variables we defined earlier.
Because we have no file opened at the moment it will say Simple Text Editor - New File. We will also make it so an asterisk will be added in front of the file name so we know when we have unsaved changes.
Then we set the initial window dimensions in pixels with the geometry method of Tkinter. Last but not least we set the first column to take up 100% of the space so our text area will be the full width:
# Tkinter Setup window = Tk() window.title(appName + " - " + currentFilePath) # Window Dimensions in Pixel window.geometry('500x400') # Set the first column to occupy 100% of the width window.grid_columnconfigure(0, weight=1)
Now we are going to set up two functions that are connected to some events called by Tkinter widgets.
The first function is called when we press any of the file buttons so we can save open and make new files. Later you will see how we connect them. We have to get the
currentFilePath because it was defined outside this function. Our function will take one argument namely the action, which defines what we want to do. We will check for this argument and do stuff dependent on that.
So if the action is open, we will trigger the
askopenfilename() function through the
filedialog module. We supply it with the
fileTypes we defined earlier so the user will only be able open these file types.
After we choose the file, the function will return the path of the file. Then we set the window title to our "
file". After that, we set our
currentFilePath to this file path. Now we just open the file and insert the content into our text area called
txt after we clear it with the
# Handler Functions def fileDropDownHandeler(action): global currentFilePath # Opening a File if action == "open": file = filedialog.askopenfilename(filetypes = fileTypes) window.title(appName + " - " + file) currentFilePath = file with open(file, 'r') as f: txt.delete(1.0,END) txt.insert(INSERT,f.read())
If the action is new, we will set the file path to the new file. We also delete the text in the text area and reset the window title:
# Making a new File elif action == "new": currentFilePath = nofileOpenedString txt.delete(1.0,END) window.title(appName + " - " + currentFilePath)
Last but not least, we will check for
saveAs. Now if the file is new or we pressed the Save As button, we will ask the user where they want to save the file. Then, we open the file and save the text from the text area there. After that, we reset the window title because there probably was an asterisk:
# Saving a file elif action == "save" or action == "saveAs": if currentFilePath == nofileOpenedString or action=='saveAs': currentFilePath = filedialog.asksaveasfilename(filetypes = fileTypes) with open(currentFilePath, 'w') as f: f.write(txt.get('1.0','end')) window.title(appName + " - " + currentFilePath)
Now for a simple function. Whenever the text area is changed, we'll call this function to simply add an asterisk after the
appName and before
currentFilePath to show the user that there are unsaved changes:
def textchange(event): window.title(appName + " - *" + currentFilePath)
Now we are going to set up the Graphical Elements.
First, we set up the Text Area and set its height to 999 so it spans the full height, we set its position through the
sticky=N+S+E+W to tell the widget to grow in all directions when the user resizes the window.
bind() method, we say that whenever a key is pressed in the text area, we call the
# Text Area txt = scrolledtext.ScrolledText(window, height=999) txt.grid(row=1,sticky=N+S+E+W) # Bind event in the widget to a function txt.bind('<KeyPress>', textchange)
Now let's set up our Dropdown menu for file interactions. We first make a new
Menu that has the root
window. We make a second one that has the root of the first menu, and we set the
False so the user won't be able to tear off this menu to have it as a separate window.
Then we add commands to this menu with its
add_command() method. We have to supply this function with a
label that represents the displayed text and a command which is then called function if the button is pressed. We need to make a
lambda function that calls our
fileDropDownHandler() function. We have to do this so we can supply our function with an argument.
We can also add separators with the
add_seperator() method. In the end, we add this
menu as a cascade to the menu button and we set this
menu to be the main menu:
# Menu menu = Menu(window) # set tearoff to 0 fileDropdown = Menu(menu, tearoff=False) # Add Commands and and their callbacks fileDropdown.add_command(label='New', command=lambda: fileDropDownHandeler("new")) fileDropdown.add_command(label='Open', command=lambda: fileDropDownHandeler("open")) # Adding a seperator between button types. fileDropdown.add_separator() fileDropdown.add_command(label='Save', command=lambda: fileDropDownHandeler("save")) fileDropdown.add_command(label='Save as', command=lambda: fileDropDownHandeler("saveAs")) menu.add_cascade(label='File', menu=fileDropdown) # Set Menu to be Main Menu window.config(menu=menu)
Now we need to enable the user to open a file directly with our program with this little code snippet. We check if the system argument length equates to two we know that the second argument is the path of the desired file. So we now set the
currentFilePath to this path. After that, we do essentially the same as with the open with handler function:
# Enabling "open with" by looking if the second argument was passed. if len(sys.argv) == 2: currentFilePath = sys.argv window.title(appName + " - " + currentFilePath) with open(currentFilePath, 'r') as f: txt.delete(1.0,END) txt.insert(INSERT,f.read())
In the end, we call the main loop method on the window so the window displays:
# Main Loop window.mainloop()
Let's see how the program works in this short GIF:
Excellent! You have successfully created a simple text editor using Python code! See how you can add more features to this program such as making key shortcuts.
Get the complete version of the code here.
If you want to build more GUIs with Python, check our GUI programming tutorials page!
Learn also: How to Make Buttons in PyGame.
Happy coding ♥
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