Ttk Styles

Summary: in this tutorial, you’ll learn about the ttk styles, how to use and customize the widget’s styles, and how to change the appearance of a widget by extending the built-in styles.

Introduction to the ttk styles

A theme of a collection of styles that determine the appearances of ttk widgets.

A style is a description of the appearance of a widget class. Typically, a theme comes with a predefined set of styles.

Therefore, to change the appearance of ttk widgets, you can:

  • Modify the built-in styles
  • Create new styles

Generally, the style name of a ttk widget starts with the letter 'T' followed by the widget name, for example, TLabel and TButton.

In Tkinter, every widget has a default widget class. A widget class defines the default style for a widget.

The following table shows the style names of the common ttk widget classes:

Widget classStyle name
ButtonTButton
CheckbuttonTCheckbutton
ComboboxTCombobox
EntryTEntry
FrameTFrame
LabelTLabel
LabelFrameTLabelFrame
MenubuttonTMenubutton
NotebookTNotebook
PanedWindowTPanedwindow
Progressbar*Horizontal.TProgressbar or Vertical.TProgressbar, depending on the orient option.
RadiobuttonTRadiobutton
Scale*Horizontal.TScale or Vertical.TScale, depending on the orient option.
Scrollbar*Horizontal.TScrollbar or Vertical.TScrollbar, depending on the orient option
SeparatorTSeparator
SizegripTSizegrip
Treeview*Treeview

(*) The style names of the Progressbar , Scale, Scrollbar, and Treeview widgets don’t start with the letter T.

At runtime, you can get the widget class of a widget by calling the winfo_class() method of the widget instance.

The following example uses the winfo_class() method to get the widget class of a button widget:

button = ttk.Button(root, text='Click Me') print(button.winfo_class())
Code language: Python (python)

Output:

TButton
Code language: Python (python)

Modifying built-in ttk styles

Every style has a set of options that define the widget’s appearance.

To modify the appearance of a style, you use the configure() method of the Style class:

style = ttk.Style(root) style.configure(style_name, **options)
Code language: Python (python)

The following program shows how to change the font of all the Label and Button widgets by modifying the TLabel and TButton‘s styles:

import tkinter as tk from tkinter import ttk class App(tk.Tk): def __init__(self): super().__init__() self.geometry('300x110') self.resizable(0, 0) self.title('Login') # UI options paddings = {'padx': 5, 'pady': 5} entry_font = {'font': ('Helvetica', 11)} # configure the grid self.columnconfigure(0, weight=1) self.columnconfigure(1, weight=3) username = tk.StringVar() password = tk.StringVar() # username username_label = ttk.Label(self, text="Username:") username_label.grid(column=0, row=0, sticky=tk.W, **paddings) username_entry = ttk.Entry(self, textvariable=username, **entry_font) username_entry.grid(column=1, row=0, sticky=tk.E, **paddings) # password password_label = ttk.Label(self, text="Password:") password_label.grid(column=0, row=1, sticky=tk.W, **paddings) password_entry = ttk.Entry( self, textvariable=password, show="*", **entry_font) password_entry.grid(column=1, row=1, sticky=tk.E, **paddings) # login button login_button = ttk.Button(self, text="Login") login_button.grid(column=1, row=3, sticky=tk.E, **paddings) # configure style self.style = ttk.Style(self) self.style.configure('TLabel', font=('Helvetica', 11)) self.style.configure('TButton', font=('Helvetica', 11)) if __name__ == "__main__": app = App() app.mainloop()
Code language: Python (python)

Output:

How it works.

First, create a new instance of the ttk.Style class:

self.style = ttk.Style(self)
Code language: Python (python)

Second, change the font of the TLabel and TButton‘s styles using the configure() method of the Style object:

self.style.configure('TLabel', font=('Helvetica', 12)) self.style.configure('TButton', font=('Helvetica', 12))
Code language: Python (python)

Extending built-in ttk styles

To create a new style that is derived from a built-in style, you use the style name like this:

new_style.builtin_style
Code language: Python (python)

For example, to create a new style of the Label widget used for displaying a heading, you can name it as follows:

Heading.TLabel
Code language: Python (python)

The Heading.TLabel style inherits all options from the built-in TLabel style.

To override a specific option, you also use the configure() method of the Style class:

style = ttk.Style(self) style.configure(custom_style, **options)
Code language: Python (python)

The following example adds a heading to the login window. The heading has the style derived from the TLabel style:

import tkinter as tk from tkinter import ttk class App(tk.Tk): def __init__(self): super().__init__() self.geometry('300x150') self.resizable(0, 0) self.title('Login') # UI options paddings = {'padx': 5, 'pady': 5} entry_font = {'font': ('Helvetica', 11)} # configure the grid self.columnconfigure(0, weight=1) self.columnconfigure(1, weight=3) username = tk.StringVar() password = tk.StringVar() # heading heading = ttk.Label(self, text='Member Login', style='Heading.TLabel') heading.grid(column=0, row=0, columnspan=2, pady=5, sticky=tk.N) # username username_label = ttk.Label(self, text="Username:") username_label.grid(column=0, row=1, sticky=tk.W, **paddings) username_entry = ttk.Entry(self, textvariable=username, **entry_font) username_entry.grid(column=1, row=1, sticky=tk.E, **paddings) # password password_label = ttk.Label(self, text="Password:") password_label.grid(column=0, row=2, sticky=tk.W, **paddings) password_entry = ttk.Entry( self, textvariable=password, show="*", **entry_font) password_entry.grid(column=1, row=2, sticky=tk.E, **paddings) # login button login_button = ttk.Button(self, text="Login") login_button.grid(column=1, row=3, sticky=tk.E, **paddings) # configure style self.style = ttk.Style(self) self.style.configure('TLabel', font=('Helvetica', 11)) self.style.configure('TButton', font=('Helvetica', 11)) # heading style self.style.configure('Heading.TLabel', font=('Helvetica', 12)) if __name__ == "__main__": app = App() app.mainloop()
Code language: Python (python)

Output:

How it works.

First, add a heading to the window and assign the style Heading.TLabel to the style option of the Label widget:

heading = ttk.Label(self, text='Member Login', style='Heading.TLabel')
Code language: Python (python)

Then, change the font of the Heading.TLabel style to Helvetica, 12 pixels:

self.style.configure('Heading.TLabel', font=('Helvetica', 12))
Code language: Python (python)

Hierarchies of styles

It’s possible to create your own entire hierarchies of styles. For example, you can have a Message.TLabel style that inherits from the built-in TLabel style.

And then you can create styles that inherit from the Message.TLabel style like Error.Message.TLabel, Warning.Message.TLabel, and Information.Message.TLabel.

When you use a particular style e.g., Error.Message.TLabel, ttk looks for options in the Error.Message.TLabel style first. If it doesn’t find the options, it’ll search in the Message.TLabel style. And it continues searching for the options in the TLabel style.

The following picture illustrates the example of the style hierarchy:

The root style determines the appearance of all widgets. The name of the root style is '.'.

For example, if you want to change the text to a 12-pixel Helvetica font for all widgets, you can configure it as follows:

style = ttk.Style(root) style.configure('.', font=('Helvetica', 12))
Code language: Python (python)

Summary

  • A theme of a collection of styles. A style is a description of the appearance of a widget.
  • Use the widget.winfo_class() method to get the widget class of a widget. The widget class defines the default style for the widget.
  • Use the style.configure() method to modify the style of the widget.
  • To customize the built-in style, you can extend it using the style name new_style.builtin_style.
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