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Library for building powerful interactive command lines in Python

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Number of watchers on Github 4190
Number of open issues 193
Average time to close an issue 12 days
Main language Python
Average time to merge a PR 9 days
Open pull requests 47+
Closed pull requests 112+
Last commit over 2 years ago
Repo Created over 6 years ago
Repo Last Updated over 2 years ago
Size 4.92 MB
Organization / Authorjonathanslenders
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Python Prompt Toolkit

|Build Status| |PyPI|

prompt_toolkit is a library for building powerful interactive command lines and terminal applications in Python.

Read the documentation on readthedocs <http://python-prompt-toolkit.readthedocs.io/en/stable/>_.

NOTICE: prompt_toolkit 2.0

Please notice that this is the 2.0 branch of prompt_toolkit. It is incompatible with the 1.0 branch, but much better in many regards. On Pypi you'll still find the 1.0 branch, but a release should follow soon. In the meantime, don't hesitate to test this branch and report any bugs.


ptpython <http://github.com/jonathanslenders/ptpython/>_ is an interactive Python Shell, build on top of prompt_toolkit.

.. image :: https://github.com/jonathanslenders/python-prompt-toolkit/raw/master/docs/images/ptpython.png

prompt_toolkit features

prompt_toolkit could be a replacement for GNU readline <https://tiswww.case.edu/php/chet/readline/rltop.html>_, but it can be much more than that.

Some features:

  • Pure Python.
  • Syntax highlighting of the input while typing. (For instance, with a Pygments lexer.)
  • Multi-line input editing.
  • Advanced code completion.
  • Both Emacs and Vi key bindings. (Similar to readline.)
  • Even some advanced Vi functionality, like named registers and digraphs.
  • Reverse and forward incremental search.
  • Runs on all Python versions from 2.6 up to 3.5.
  • Works well with Unicode double width characters. (Chinese input.)
  • Selecting text for copy/paste. (Both Emacs and Vi style.)
  • Support for bracketed paste <https://cirw.in/blog/bracketed-paste>_.
  • Mouse support for cursor positioning and scrolling.
  • Auto suggestions. (Like fish shell <http://fishshell.com/>_.)
  • Multiple input buffers.
  • No global state.
  • Lightweight, the only dependencies are Pygments, six and wcwidth.
  • Runs on Linux, OS X, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and Windows systems.
  • And much more...

Feel free to create tickets for bugs and feature requests, and create pull requests if you have nice patches that you would like to share with others.

About Windows support

prompt_toolkit is cross platform, and everything that you build on top should run fine on both Unix and Windows systems. On Windows, it uses a different event loop (WaitForMultipleObjects instead of select), and another input and output system. (Win32 APIs instead of pseudo-terminals and VT100.)

It's worth noting that the implementation is a best effort of what is possible. Both Unix and Windows terminals have their limitations. But in general, the Unix experience will still be a little better.

For Windows, it's recommended to use either cmder <http://cmder.net/>_ or conemu <https://conemu.github.io/>_.



pip install prompt_toolkit

For Conda, do:


conda install -c https://conda.anaconda.org/conda-forge prompt_toolkit

Getting started

The most simple example of the library would look like this:

.. code:: python

from prompt_toolkit import prompt

if __name__ == '__main__':
    answer = prompt('Give me some input: ')
    print('You said: %s' % answer)

For more complex examples, have a look in the examples directory. All examples are chosen to demonstrate only one thing. Also, don't be afraid to look at the source code. The implementation of the prompt function could be a good start.

Note for Python 2: all strings are expected to be unicode strings. So, either put a small u in front of every string or put from __future__ import unicode_literals at the start of the above example.

Projects using prompt_toolkit


  • ptpython <http://github.com/jonathanslenders/ptpython/>_: Python REPL
  • ptpdb <http://github.com/jonathanslenders/ptpdb/>_: Python debugger (pdb replacement)
  • pgcli <http://pgcli.com/>_: Postgres client.
  • mycli <http://mycli.net>_: MySql client.
  • wharfee <http://wharfee.com/>_: A Docker command line.
  • xonsh <http://xon.sh/>_: A Python-ish, BASHwards-compatible shell.
  • saws <https://github.com/donnemartin/saws>_: A Supercharged AWS Command Line Interface.
  • cycli <https://github.com/nicolewhite/cycli>_: A Command Line Interface for Cypher.
  • crash <https://github.com/crate/crash>_: Crate command line client.
  • vcli <https://github.com/dbcli/vcli>_: Vertica client.
  • aws-shell <https://github.com/awslabs/aws-shell>_: An integrated shell for working with the AWS CLI.
  • softlayer-python <https://github.com/softlayer/softlayer-python>_: A command-line interface to manage various SoftLayer products and services.
  • ipython <http://github.com/ipython/ipython/>_: The IPython REPL
  • click-repl <https://github.com/click-contrib/click-repl>_: Subcommand REPL for click apps.
  • haxor-news <https://github.com/donnemartin/haxor-news>_: A Hacker News CLI.
  • gitsome <https://github.com/donnemartin/gitsome>_: A Git/Shell Autocompleter with GitHub Integration.
  • http-prompt <https://github.com/eliangcs/http-prompt>_: An interactive command-line HTTP client.
  • coconut <http://coconut-lang.org/>_: Functional programming in Python.
  • Ergonomica <https://ergonomica.github.io/>_: A Bash alternative written in Python.
  • Kube-shell <https://github.com/cloudnativelabs/kube-shell>_: Kubernetes shell: An integrated shell for working with the Kubernetes CLI
  • mssql-cli <https://github.com/dbcli/mssql-cli>_: A command-line client for Microsoft SQL Server.
  • robotframework-debuglibrary <https://github.com/xyb/robotframework-debuglibrary>_: A debug library and REPL for RobotFramework.
  • ptrepl <https://github.com/imomaliev/ptrepl>_: Run any command as REPL
  • clipwdmgr <https://github.com/samisalkosuo/clipasswordmgr>_: Command Line Password Manager.

Full screen applications:

  • pymux <http://github.com/jonathanslenders/pymux/>_: A terminal multiplexer (like tmux) in pure Python.
  • pyvim <http://github.com/jonathanslenders/pyvim/>_: A Vim clone in pure Python.

(Want your own project to be listed here? Please create a GitHub issue.)


The source code of prompt_toolkit should be readable, concise and efficient. We prefer short functions focusing each on one task and for which the input and output types are clearly specified. We mostly prefer composition over inheritance, because inheritance can result in too much functionality in the same object. We prefer immutable objects where possible (objects don't change after initialisation). Reusability is important. We absolutely refrain from having a changing global state, it should be possible to have multiple independent instances of the same code in the same process. The architecture should be layered: the lower levels operate on primitive operations and data structures giving -- when correctly combined -- all the possible flexibility; while at the higher level, there should be a simpler API, ready-to-use and sufficient for most use cases. Thinking about algorithms and efficiency is important, but avoid premature optimization.

Special thanks to

  • Pygments <http://pygments.org/>_: Syntax highlighter.
  • wcwidth <https://github.com/jquast/wcwidth>_: Determine columns needed for a wide characters.

.. |Build Status| image:: https://api.travis-ci.org/jonathanslenders/python-prompt-toolkit.svg?branch=master :target: https://travis-ci.org/jonathanslenders/python-prompt-toolkit#

.. |PyPI| image:: https://img.shields.io/pypi/v/prompt_toolkit.svg :target: https://pypi.python.org/pypi/prompt-toolkit/ :alt: Latest Version

python-prompt-toolkit open issues Ask a question     (View All Issues)
  • over 3 years Some cmd/powershell hotkeys don't work
  • over 3 years Implement "operate-and-get-next (C-o)"
  • over 3 years Implement M-y and kill-ring
  • over 3 years Scrolbar button is not always visible in long menus
  • over 3 years Problems understanding PipeInput
  • over 3 years NoConsoleScreenBufferError when executing the hello world example in Windows.
  • almost 4 years AssertionError raised when using prompt in Pycharm
  • almost 4 years RuntimeError when autocompleting Flask-SQLAlchemy queries
  • almost 4 years Vi-mode `cw` inconsistent with actual vi
  • almost 4 years Fake EOF?
  • almost 4 years BrokenPipeError/OSError
  • almost 4 years If environment variable TERM is set to "dumb", don't use escape sequences
  • almost 4 years telnet echo twice
  • almost 4 years Don't crash when a signal handler raises an exception.
  • almost 4 years Allow showing options of a command before typed
  • almost 4 years 'Meta + #' should comment out line.
  • almost 4 years vi-mode binding to move the cursor to the center/top of the screen, *adding* lines as necessary
  • almost 4 years Option to disable bell?
  • almost 4 years Stop replacing \r with \n
  • almost 4 years Additional text objects (vi-mode)
  • almost 4 years Support terminal output color indexes
  • almost 4 years Completion always expands to full configured space_for_menu size.
  • almost 4 years AssertionError from full screen tutorial code
  • about 4 years Styling an editing buffer?
  • about 4 years Force ANSI escape sequences on windows
  • about 4 years Add example for converting from readline-based key bindings to Prompt Toolkit
  • about 4 years Pycharm terminal sends unknown mouse escape sequences
  • about 4 years Incorrect line wrapping when content does not fit the window
  • about 4 years selection mode highlighting is very confusing in my terminal
  • about 4 years Rethink control-space (Emacs selection mode)
python-prompt-toolkit open pull requests (View All Pulls)
  • Refactor layout window
  • Fix documentation errors
  • Disable bracketed paste support in ConEmu
  • Fixed examples/autocompletion.py
  • Implementation of named registers.
  • Use singleton object for Float x/ycursor
  • Vi movement bindings 't' and 'f' were off by one.
  • ignore termios errors on get/set terminal attributes
  • [Work In Progress] GTK eventloop integration + example.
  • Implementation of readline compatible API (work in progress)
  • Carry the weight in layout dimensions to allow stretching
  • Update documentation on creating full screen applications.
  • Handle inclusive and linewise motions properly in Vi mode.
  • Added auto_scroll_vertically/auto_scroll_horizontally parameters to t…
  • Provide simple caching function for autosuggestion
  • Share code between HSplit, VSplit
  • Support for ZeroWidthEscape tokens in prompt and token lists. Used to…
  • Handle arrow keys correctly in emacs-term.
  • Do not re-invoke completer if only 1 completion.
  • Misleading full screen layout exemple
  • Add cursor_position property to Completion
  • Failsafe for running from the python terminal
  • Support -ve argument for C-k. Fixes #347
  • Allow `words` to be a callable for WordCompleter
  • When accepting the input from the CLI, wait for a CPR when one is exp…
  • Implement Emacs Meta-. key binding (insert last word)
  • lazy pkg_resources import
  • Suppress exceptions coming from signals while running the prompt_toolkit eventloop.
  • Multi-line insertion
  • CI & test tweaks:
  • doc fixes
  • Work in progress: breakindent implementation.
  • win32 console debug
  • Fix ansicolors codes for windows terminal.
  • Added Emacs mode Meta-. binding 'yank last arg'
  • Implemented change repetition (using '.') in VIM mode.
  • Implementation of a search-and-replace feature
  • [WIP] prompt_toolkit==2.0 - Rewrite of the internal architecture.
  • Test on 3.6
  • Updated docs to use load_key_bindings() instead of KeyBindingManager.
  • sample for custom control based on TokenListControl
  • BUG: Use yield from in Win32AsyncioEventLoop
  • Add robotframework-debuglibrary to README
  • 2.0 don't need to access member `string`
  • history search if line contains or starts with string
  • Added Slacker to README.rst
  • docs: fix HTML example to match markup
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