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Light weight python interpreter, easy to embed into Qt applications

Project description

Latest Version Python versions License: MIT Test status

pyqtconsole is a lightweight python console for Qt applications. It’s made to be easy to embed in other Qt applications and comes with some examples that show how this can be done. The interpreter can run in a separate thread, in the UI main thread or in a gevent task.


Simply type:

pip install pyqtconsole

Or to install a development version from local checkout, type:

pip install -e .

Simple usage

The following snippet shows how to create a console that will execute user input in a separate thread. Be aware that long running tasks will still block the main thread due to the GIL. See the examples directory for more examples.

import sys
from threading import Thread
from PyQt5.QtWidgets import QApplication

from pyqtconsole.console import PythonConsole

app = QApplication([])
console = PythonConsole()



  • Separate thread - Runs the interpreter in a separate thread, see the example Running the interpreter in a separate thread obviously limits the interaction with the Qt application. The parts of Qt that needs to be called from the main thread will not work properly, but is excellent way for having a ‘plain’ python console in your Qt app.
  • main thread - Runs the interpreter in the main thread, see the example Makes full interaction with Qt possible, lenghty operations will of course freeze the UI (as any lenghty operation that is called from the main thread). This is a great alternative for people who does not want to use the gevent based approach but still wants full interactivity with Qt.
  • gevent - Runs the interpreter in a gevent task, see the example Allows for full interactivity with Qt without special consideration (at least to some extent) for longer running processes. The best method if you want to use pyQtgraph, Matplotlib, PyMca or similar.

Customizing syntax highlighting

The coloring of the syntax highlighting can be customized by passing a formats dictionary to the PythonConsole constructer. This dictionary must be shaped as follows:

import pyqtconsole.highlighter as hl
console = PythonConsole(formats={
    'keyword':    hl.format('blue', 'bold'),
    'operator':   hl.format('red'),
    'brace':      hl.format('darkGray'),
    'defclass':   hl.format('black', 'bold'),
    'string':     hl.format('magenta'),
    'string2':    hl.format('darkMagenta'),
    'comment':    hl.format('darkGreen', 'italic'),
    'self':       hl.format('black', 'italic'),
    'numbers':    hl.format('brown'),
    'inprompt':   hl.format('darkBlue', 'bold'),
    'outprompt':  hl.format('darkRed', 'bold'),

All keys are optional and default to the value shown above if left unspecified.


This module depends on QtPy which provides a compatibility layer for Qt4 and Qt5. The console is tested under both Qt4 and Qt5.



Date: 17.03.2020

  • fix accepting input with AltGr modifier on win10 (#53)


Date: 17.03.2020

  • add PySide2 compatibility
  • add Ctrl-U shortcut to clear the input buffer
  • use standard QtPy package to provide the compatibility layer
  • hide the cursor during the execution of a python command
  • mimic shell behaviour when using up and down key to go to end of history
  • fix crash when closing the interpreter window of the threaded example
  • disable excepthook on displaying exception
  • write ‘n’ before syntax errors for consistency

Thanks to @roberthdevries and @irgolic for their contributions!


Date: 25.11.2019

  • fix TypeError in highlighter when called without formats


Date: 21.11.2019

  • fix AttributeError due to QueuedConnection on PyQt<5.11 (#23)
  • fix exception on import when started within spyder (#26)
  • fix gevent example to incorporate interoperability code for gevent/Qt (#28)
  • fix not waiting for empty line when entering code blocks before applying input (#30)
  • fix TypeError during compilation step on python 3.8
  • allow user to override syntax highlighting color preferences (#29) note that this is provisional API
  • automate release process (#34)

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