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A graphical interface, or GUI, is an interactive environment that is the first thing a user sees and interacts with aftering opening an application or website. A system of interactive visual components for computer software, a GUI displays objects that convey information, and it represents actions that a user can take. The objects can change color, size, or visibility when the user interacts with them. A GUI can include graphical elements like icons, cursors, and buttons that can also be enhanced with sounds or visual effects, such as transparency.
A good GUI is crucial for increasing your platform’s reputation and user count, and the combination of all of these elements plays a big role in your application or website’s user experience.
When creating GUIs, many developers turn to Python, which has a lot of different frameworks. Python is an interactive programming language that makes it easy to get started with programming a GUI framework. Python has a wide range of options for GUI frameworks, including Cross-Platform frameworks and Platform-Specific frameworks.
Here is a look at the 10 best Python libraries for GUI:
Developed by Riverbank Computing, PyQt5 is one of the most popular Python frameworks for GUI. The PyQt package is built around the Qt framework, which is a cross-platform framework used for creating various applications on different platforms.
PyQt5 is fully cross-platform, meaning developers can use it to build applications on a variety of platforms like Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. It offers QtGUI and QtDesigner modules that provide visual elements the developer can implement with drag and drop. You can also opt to create the element by code, which enables you to develop small-scale and large-scale applications easily.
Here are some of the main advantages of PyQt5:
- Coding versatility
- Various UI components
- Several learning resources
- Broad variety of native platform APIs for networking, database management, and more
Another top Python library for GUI is Tkinter, which is an open-source Python Graphic User Interface library. It is well known for its simplicity and comes pre-installed in Python, meaning there is no work on your part. These features make it a great choice for beginners and intermediates, but it is not capable of carrying out larger-scale projects.
With Tkinter, the visual elements are called widgets, and each of the widgets comes with a different level of customizability. It also offers a wide range of commonly used elements that many developers are already familiar with, such as Frame, Buttons, Checkbuttons, Labels, File Dialogs, and Canvas.
Here are some of the main advantages of Tkinter:
- Easy-to-use and fast to implement
- Flexible and stable
- Included in Python
- Provides a simple syntax
An OpenGL ES 2 accelerated framework, Kivy was designed for the creation of new user interfaces. It provides support for a variety of platforms like Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. The open-source library includes over 20 widgets in its toolkit.
Kivy was written with a mix of Python and Cython, and it helps build some of the most intuitive user interfaces with multi-touch applications. These multi-touch applications help implement Natural User Interface (NUI), which is a type of interface where the user naturally learns about the various interactions while they’re usually invisible.
Kivy enables interface designers to code and deploy to multiple platforms, and the built-in support for OpenGL ES 2 enables modern graphics and techniques.
Here are some of the main advantages of Kivy:
- Based on Python
- Code written once can be used across all devices
- Easy-to-use widgets with multi-touch support
- Deploy to multiple platforms
One more Python library for GUI is wxPython, which enables Python developers to create native user interfaces with zero additional overhead to the application. Like the other libraries and frameworks, wxPython works on a variety of platforms like Mac OS, Windows, Linux, and Unix-based systems.
wxPython includes many widgets, which is its biggest selling point. It also looks great across all platforms right away, and it doesn’t require much custom altering. With that said, it has a steeper learning curve than some of the other frameworks, such as Tkinter.
Here are some of the advantages of wxPython:
- Large library of widgets
- Native look-and-feel
- Highly flexible
- Helpful user community
PySimpleGUI was developed back in 2018 to make it easier for Python beginners to get started with GUI development. A lot of the other frameworks require more complicated work, but PySimpleGUI enables you to begin right away without worrying about the advanced intricacies of other libraries.
The framework relies on four other GUI frameworks: Qt, Tkinter, wxPython, and Remi. By implementing most of the code, the difficulty of them falls dramatically. Beginners can pick the GUI framework and have easy access to the visual elements that come with it, enabling them to create intuitive user interfaces.
Here are some of the main advantages of PySimpleGUI:
- Easy for beginners
- Doesn’t require advanced intricacies of other frameworks
- Uses Qt, Tkinter, wxPython, and Remi
- Create UIs based on favorite GUI framework
Libavg is a GUI framework that relies on Python as the scripting language. It is widely considered one of the best libraries for developing user interfaces for modern touch-based devices, and its hardware-acceleration is achieved through OpenGL and GPU shaders.
The Python library has a wide range of features like camera support, animation support, text alignment, GPU effects, and more. The advanced screen layout engine has rotation, scaling, blending modes, cropping, and other visual element techniques.
Libavg is written in C++, which helps it achieve fast execution times.
Here are some of the main advantages of Libavg:
- Python as scripting language
- Wide range of features
- Advanced screen layout engine
- Written in C++
The PyForms GUI framework is the Python implementation of Windows Forms, which enables developers to create highly interactive interfaces for Windows GUI mode, Web mode, and Terminal mode.
The open-source and cross-platform library makes it easy for developers to create applications for multiple platforms without needing to make significant changes to the code. It also provides instances of popular graphic-centric libraries like PyQT and Open GL.
PyForms can be broken down into three different sections: PyForms-GUI, PyForms-Web, and PyForms-Terminal. Each layer enables the execution of the PyForms application as Windows, or in Web or Terminal.
Here are some of the main features of PyForms:
- Highly interactive interfaces for Windows GUI mode, Web mode, and Terminal mode
- Doesn’t require significant changes to code
Another top Python GUI library is PySide2, or QT for Python, which offers the official Python bindings for Qt (PySide2). It enables the use of its APIs in Python applications, and the binding generator tool can be used to expose C++ projects into Python.
Qt is considered the golden standard for GUI design, with all other Python GUI frameworks being measured against it. This means PySide2 enables Python developers to access a wide collection of effective tools and libraries to quickly and flexibly create user interfaces.
Here are some of the main advantages of PySide2:
- Cross platform
- Extensive community support and documentation
- Supports Python 3 and Python 2.7
- Used by big companies like Mercedes
Nearing the end of our list is Wax, which is the wrapper for wxPython. Offering the same functionality as wxPython, Wax stands out thanks to it being far more user-friendly. Wax is also implemented as an extension module for Python, and it supports the development of cross-platform applications.
Wax was designed to create a more simple way to access Python elements and objects for building GUIs. With the underlying platform being wxWindows, which is highly efficient, Wax has a high level of efficiency and speed.
Here are some of the main advantages of Wax:
- Open-source and cross-platform
- Same functionality as wxPython
- Implemented as an extension module for Python
Closing out our list of 10 best Python libraries for GUI is PyGUI, which is a simple API that enables developers to create user interfaces with native elements for Python applications. It is a lightweight framework requiring less code between the app and target platform, which also ensures more efficiency.
PyGUI supports the creation of applications across different systems, such as Windows machines, MacOS devices, and Unix-based systems. The documentation for the library is in Python, meaning you don't need to refer to other GUI libraries.
Here are some of the main advantages of PyGUI:
- All documentation written in Python
- Available in Python 2 and 3
- Supports Python extensions like OpenGL and GTK
- Open-source and cross-platform
Alex McFarland is a Brazil-based writer who covers the latest developments in artificial intelligence. He has worked with top AI companies and publications across the globe.