“Widgets and Gadgets and GUIs, Oh My!”

This chapter is a continuation of our look at GUI programming in Python. The previous chapter used simple widgets—buttons, labels, and the like—to demonstrate the fundamentals of Tkinter coding in Python. That was simple by design: it’s easier to grasp the big GUI picture if widget interface details don’t get in the way. But now that we’ve seen the basics, this chapter and the next move on to present a tour of more advanced widget objects and tools available in the Tkinter library.

As we’ll find, this is where GUI scripting starts getting both practical and fun. In these two chapters, we’ll meet classes that build the interface devices you expect to see in real programs—e.g., sliders, check buttons, menus, scrolled lists, dialogs, graphics, and so on. After these chapters, the last GUI chapter moves on to present larger GUIs that utilize the coding techniques and the interfaces shown in all prior GUI chapters. In these two chapters, though, examples are small and self-contained so that we can focus on widget details.

This Chapter’s Topics

Technically, we’ve already used a handful of simple widgets in Chapter 8. So far we’ve met Label, Button, Frame, and Tk, and studied pack geometry management concepts along the way. Although all of these are basic, they represent Tkinter interfaces in general and can be workhorses in typical GUIs. Frame containers, for instance, are the basis of hierarchical display layout.

In this and the following chapter, we’ll ...

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