Tkinter Open File Dialog

Summary: in this tutorial, you’ll learn how to show an open file dialog in Tkinter applications.

Introduction to the Tkinter Open File Dialog functions

When developing a Tkinter application that deals with the file system, you need to provide a dialog that allows file selections.

To do that, you can use the tkinter.filedialog module. The following steps show how to display an open file dialog:

First, import the tkinter.filedialog module:

from tkinter import filedialog as fd
Code language: Python (python)

Second, call the fd.askopenfilename() function to show a dialog that allows a single file selection:

filename = fd.askopenfilename()
Code language: Python (python)

The askopenfilename() function returns the file name that you selected.

The askopenfilename() also supports other useful options including the initial directory displayed by the dialog or filtering files by their extensions.

The following program displays a button:

If you click the button, it’ll open a file dialog:

After you select a file, the program will show the full path of the selected file:

The program:

import tkinter as tk from tkinter import ttk from tkinter import filedialog as fd from tkinter.messagebox import showinfo # create the root window root = tk.Tk() root.title('Tkinter Open File Dialog') root.resizable(False, False) root.geometry('300x150') def select_file(): filetypes = ( ('text files', '*.txt'), ('All files', '*.*') ) filename = fd.askopenfilename( title='Open a file', initialdir='/', filetypes=filetypes) showinfo( title='Selected File', message=filename ) # open button open_button = ttk.Button( root, text='Open a File', command=select_file ) open_button.pack(expand=True) # run the application root.mainloop()
Code language: Python (python)

Selecting multiple files

The askopenfilenames() function displays a file dialog for multiple file selections. It returns the selected file names as a tuple. For example:

import tkinter as tk from tkinter import ttk from tkinter import filedialog as fd from tkinter.messagebox import showinfo # create the root window root = tk.Tk() root.title('Tkinter File Dialog') root.resizable(False, False) root.geometry('300x150') def select_files(): filetypes = ( ('text files', '*.txt'), ('All files', '*.*') ) filenames = fd.askopenfilenames( title='Open files', initialdir='/', filetypes=filetypes) showinfo( title='Selected Files', message=filenames ) # open button open_button = ttk.Button( root, text='Open Files', command=select_files ) open_button.pack(expand=True) root.mainloop()
Code language: Python (python)

Opening files directly

After getting the selected file names, you can open them using the open() method.

To make it more convenient, the tkinter.filedialog module also provides some functions that allow you to select one or more files and return the file objects directly.

The askopenfile() function displays a file dialog and returns a file object of the selected file:

f = fd.askopenfile()
Code language: Python (python)

And the askopenfiles() function shows a file dialog and returns file objects of the selected files:

f = fd.askopenfiles()
Code language: Python (python)

The following program illustrates how to use the askopenfile() function:

It’ll allow you to open a text file and display the file content on a Text widget:

import tkinter as tk from tkinter import ttk from tkinter import filedialog as fd # Root window root = tk.Tk() root.title('Display a Text File') root.resizable(False, False) root.geometry('550x250') # Text editor text = tk.Text(root, height=12) text.grid(column=0, row=0, sticky='nsew') def open_text_file(): # file type filetypes = ( ('text files', '*.txt'), ('All files', '*.*') ) # show the open file dialog f = fd.askopenfile(filetypes=filetypes) # read the text file and show its content on the Text text.insert('1.0', f.readlines()) # open file button open_button = ttk.Button( root, text='Open a File', command=open_text_file ) open_button.grid(column=0, row=1, sticky='w', padx=10, pady=10) root.mainloop()
Code language: Python (python)

Summary

  • Use the askopenfilename() function to display an open file dialog that allows users to select one file.
  • Use the askopenfilenames() function to display an open file dialog that allows users to select multiple files.
  • Use the askopenfile() or askopenfiles() function to display an open file dialog that allows users to select one or multiple files and receive a file or multiple file objects.
Did you find this tutorial helpful ?