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Tkinter is a Python binding to the Tk GUI toolkit. It is the standard Python interface to the Tk GUI toolkit,[1] and is Python's de facto standard GUI.[2] Tkinter is included with the standard Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X install of Python.

The name Tkinter comes from Tk interface. Tkinter was written by Fredrik Lundh.[3]

As with most other modern Tk bindings, Tkinter is implemented as a Python wrapper around a complete Tcl interpreter embedded in the Python interpreter. Tkinter calls are translated into Tcl commands which are fed to this embedded interpreter, thus making it possible to mix Python and Tcl in a single application.

Python 2.7 and Python 3.1 incorporate the "themed Tk" ("ttk") functionality of Tk 8.5.[4][5] This allows Tk widgets to be easily themed to look like the native desktop environment in which the application is running, thereby addressing a long-standing criticism of Tk (and hence of Tkinter).

There are several popular GUI library alternatives available, such as wxPython, PyQt (PySide), Pygame, Pyglet, and PyGTK.

Tkinter is free software released under a Python license.[6]

Some definitions[edit]


This term has different meanings in different contexts, but in general it refers to a rectangular area somewhere on the user's display screen.

Top Level Window[edit]

A window that exists independently on the screen. It will be decorated with the standard frame and controls for the desktop manager. It can be moved around the desktop, and can usually be resized.


The generic term for any of the building blocks that make up an application in a graphical user interface. Examples of widgets: buttons, radiobuttons, text fields, frames, and text labels.


In Tkinter, the Frame widget is the basic unit of organization for complex layouts. A frame is a rectangular area that can contain other widgets.

Child and parent[edit]

When any widget is created, a parent-child relationship is created. For example, if you place a text label inside a frame, the frame is the parent of the label.

A minimal application[edit]

Here is a simple Python 3 Tkinter application:[7] (For Python 2, the only difference is the word "tkinter" in the import command will be capitalized to "Tkinter.")

 1 #!/usr/bin/env python3
 2 import tkinter as tk
 4 class Application(tk.Frame):
 5     def __init__(self, master=None):
 6         super(Application, self).__init__(master)
 7         self.grid()  
 8         self.createWidgets()
10     def createWidgets(self):
11         self.quitButton = tk.Button(self, text='Quit', command=self.quit)
12         self.quitButton.grid()
14 app = Application()
15 app.master.title('Sample application')
16 app.mainloop()
  • line 1: Hashbang directive to the program launcher, allowing the selection of an appropriate interpreter executable, when self-executing.[8]
  • line 2: This line imports the Tkinter module into your program's namespace, but renames it as tk.
  • line 4: Your application class must inherit from Tkinter's Frame class.
  • line 6: Calls the constructor for the parent class, Frame.
  • line 7: Necessary to make the application actually appear on the screen.
  • line 11: Creates a button labeled “Quit”.
  • line 12: Places the button on the application.
  • line 14: The main program starts here by instantiating the Application class.
  • line 15: This method call sets the title of the window to “Sample application”.
  • line 16: Starts the application's main loop, waiting for mouse and keyboard events.


External links[edit]