Implementing Event Handlers and Callbacks in Python GUI - tkinter

In graphical user interfaces (GUI), event handlers and callbacks are crucial elements that enable users to interact with the interface and trigger specific actions or responses. In Python, the tkinter library provides a simple yet powerful way to create GUI applications. In this article, we will explore how to implement event handlers and callbacks using tkinter.

Understanding Event Handlers and Callbacks

Before diving into the implementation details, let's briefly understand what event handlers and callbacks are.

Event Handlers: In GUI applications, an event handler is a piece of code or a function that is executed when a specific event occurs. Events can include actions such as button clicks, mouse movements, keystrokes, etc. When an event is triggered, the associated event handler listens for that event and performs the necessary actions based on the event type.

Callbacks: A callback function, often associated with an event handler, is a function that is executed as a response to a specific event. It can be considered as a "callback" to the event. Callbacks enable the application to execute specific behaviors or processes when an event occurs.

Implementing Event Handlers and Callbacks in tkinter

Now that we have a clear understanding of event handlers and callbacks, let's see how we can implement them using tkinter.

  1. Create a tkinter window: Start by creating a main window using the tkinter module.
import tkinter as tk

# Create a window
window = tk.Tk()
  1. Define the event handlers: Next, define the event handlers for various events that you want to handle. For example, let's create an event handler for a button click event.
def button_click():
    print("Button clicked!")
  1. Create GUI elements: Add the necessary GUI elements to the window, such as buttons, labels, etc., and specify the associated event handlers or callbacks.
# Create a button and associate the event handler
button = tk.Button(window, text="Click me!", command=button_click)

In this example, the command parameter of the Button widget is set to the button_click function. It means that whenever the button is clicked, the button_click function will be called.

  1. Start the event loop: Finally, start the event loop that constantly waits for events to occur and calls the respective event handlers or callbacks.
# Start the event loop

The mainloop() function is a tkinter method that continuously listens for various events happening within the GUI. It ensures that the event handlers are called whenever an event occurs.


Event handlers and callbacks play a crucial role in GUI applications as they enable user interaction and trigger specific actions. With the tkinter library in Python, implementing event handlers and callbacks is relatively straightforward. By defining event handlers, associating them with GUI elements, and starting the event loop, you can create interactive and responsive GUI applications in Python.

Remember, this article only scratches the surface of event handlers and callbacks in tkinter. There are many other events and functionalities you can explore to enhance your GUI application further. So, keep learning and experimenting to master the art of GUI programming with Python!

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