Text Areas

A text area can display multiple lines of text.  When the text extends beyond the borders of the widget, the user can view it by manipulating vertical and horizontal scroll bars.  The next screen shot shows an interaction with a program that displays a schedule of earnings for an investment.  The code for this program is in the file textareademo.py.



The text area is added to this window is the usual manner:


# Add the text area to the window (in __init__)

self.outputArea = self.addTextArea("", row = 4, column = 0,

                                    columnspan = 2,

                                    width = 50, height = 15)


Note that the text area stretches across two columns in the last row, and has a width and height specified in characters.  Scroll bars allow the user to view text that extends beyond the visible boundaries of the text area. 

An important attribute of a text area is wrap, whose value is NONE by default.  This means that a line of text can continue beyond the right border of the text area without wrapping around to the next line.  The other possible values of wrap are WORD and CHAR (all of these values are tkinter constants).  The text area in the example program leaves wrap off.

The event handler method for the Compute button takes the inputs from the fields and produces an output string to display in the text area. 


def compute(self):

    """Computes the investment schedule based on the inputs."""

    # Obtain and validate the inputs

    startBalance = self.amount.getNumber()

    rate = self.rate.getNumber() / 100

    years = self.period.getNumber()

    if startBalance == 0 or rate == 0 or years == 0:



    totalInterest = 0.0

    # Set the header for the table

    result = "%4s%18s%10s%16s\n" % ("Year", "Starting balance",

                                  "Interest", "Ending balance")


    # Compute and append the results for each year

    for year in range(1, years + 1):

        interest = startBalance * rate

        endBalance = startBalance + interest

        result += "%4d%18.2f%10.2f%16.2f\n" % \

                  (year, startBalance, interest, endBalance)

        startBalance = endBalance

        totalInterest += interest


    # Append the totals for the period

    result += "Ending balance: $%0.2f\n" % endBalance

    result += "Total interest earned: $%0.2f\n" % totalInterest




In addition to the getText and setText methods, the TextArea class includes an appendText method, which adds text to the end of the existing text rather than replacing it.