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A simple Textual canvas widget.

Project description


Being used for textual-mandelbrot An example of textual-canvas being used in a Textual application


This library aims to provide a very simple terminal-based drawing canvas widget for use with Textual. Initially developed for a (also-being-worked-on-right-now) less general project, I'm making it available on the off-chance anyone else might want to play with it now.

You might not want to rely on this just yet though; I'm still messing and experimenting.


The package can be installed with pip or related tools, for example:

$ pip install textual-canvas

It's early days

This is a very early release of this code, it's still very much a work in progress. This means things may change and break; it's also sitting atop Textual which is, of course, still undergoing rapid development. As much as possible I'll try and ensure that it's always working with the latest stable release of Textual.

Also, because it's early days... while I love the collaborative aspect of FOSS, I'm highly unlikely to be accepting any non-trivial PRs at the moment. Developing this is a learning exercise for me, it's a hobby project, and it's also something to help me further test Textual (disclaimer for those who may not have gathered, I am employed by Textualize).

On the other hand: I'm very open to feedback and suggestions so don't hesitate to engage with me in Discussions, or if it's a bug, in Issues. I can't and won't promise that I'll take everything on board (see above about hobby project, etc), but helpful input should help make this as useful as possible in the longer term.

The library

The library provides one very simple widget for use in Textual: Canvas. This is a scrollable and focusable widget that can be used to colour "pixels", acting as a basic building block for drawing other things. The "pixels" themselves are half a character cell in height, hopefully coming out roughly square in most environments.

The Canvas can be imported like this:

from textual_canvas import Canvas

And is created by providing a width and height (in its own idea of "pixels") plus an optional initial background colour (which should be a Textual Color).

In a Textual compose method you might use it something like this:

yield Canvas( 120, 120, Color( 30, 40, 50 ) )

Currently there are the following methods available for drawing:

  • clear( self, color: Color | None = None ) -> Self
  • set_pixel( self, x: int, y: int, color: Color ) -> Self
  • set_pixels( self, locations: Iterable[ tuple[ int, int ] ], color: Color ) -> Self
  • draw_line( self, x0: int, y0: int, x1: int, y1: int, color: Color ) -> Self
  • draw_rectangle( self, x: int, y: int, width: int, height: int, color: Color ) -> Self
  • draw_circle( self, center_x: int, center_y: int, radius: int, color: Color ) -> Self

I'll document all of this better, when I spend more time on it than the 1/2 hour somewhere between dinner and bedtime.

A quick and dirty example of this being used would be:

from    import App, ComposeResult
from textual.color  import Color
from textual_canvas import Canvas

class CanvasTestApp( App[ None ] ):
    """The Canvas testing application."""

    CSS = """
    Canvas {
        border: round green;
        width: 1fr;
        height: 1fr;

    def compose( self ) -> ComposeResult:
        yield Canvas( 120, 120, Color( 30, 40, 50 ) )

    def on_mount( self ) -> None:
        """Set up the display once the DOM is available."""
        canvas = self.query_one( Canvas )

        canvas.draw_line( 60, 40, 90, 80, Color( 128, 128, 128 ) )
        canvas.draw_line( 60, 40, 30, 80, Color( 128, 128, 128 ) )
        canvas.draw_line( 30, 80, 90, 80, Color( 128, 128, 128 ) )

        canvas.draw_line( 0, 70, 48, 55, Color( 255, 255, 255 ) )

        for n in range( 52, 59 ):
            canvas.draw_line( 48, 55, 58, n, Color( 128, 128, 128 ) )

        canvas.draw_line( 70, 52, 119, 57, Color( 255, 0, 0 ) )
        canvas.draw_line( 71, 53, 119, 58, Color( 255, 165, 0 ) )
        canvas.draw_line( 72, 54, 119, 59, Color( 255, 255, 0 ) )
        canvas.draw_line( 72, 55, 119, 60, Color( 0, 255, 0 ) )
        canvas.draw_line( 73, 56, 119, 61, Color( 0, 0, 255 ) )
        canvas.draw_line( 74, 57, 119, 62, Color( 75, 0, 130 ) )
        canvas.draw_line( 75, 58, 119, 63, Color( 143, 0, 255 ) )

if __name__ == "__main__":

To see this code in action you, in an environment where the library is installed, run:

$ python -m textual_canvas

You should see something like this:

Demo code


Lots. Lots and lots. As mentioned above, there's little tinker project that I'm building on top of this, so I'll be using that to see how this gets fleshed out.

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