Kivy For The Non Computer Scientist – Part 17: Making Natural Looking GUI’s Using Kivy’s Float Layout.
In this blogpost we’ll look at how one can create more natural looking GUI’s by employing a background graphic and Kivy’s float layout. The post will also provide complete code and a background graphic, that place buttons and labels in precise locations for a 720p Jukebox interface. The interface is from the open source Convergence Jukebox project. The interface will appear as follows;
Some things to understand before proceeding.
- The GUI shown above and the code provided require that the graphic be rendered at 720p.
- Only at 720p will all of the labels and buttons to line up appropriately in this example.
- Assuming your display can handle 720p the GUI will render to that resolution when the code is run.
- Float Layouts have unique properties in that;
- Kivy Buttons and Labels (widgets) can be placed anywhere on the GUI.
- Each widget type can be given both common and unique properties when deployed on the GUI itself.
The code for the above GUI is as follows;
import kivy kivy.require("1.9.1") # Used to alert user if this code is run on an earlier version of Kivy. from kivy.app import App from kivy.uix.floatlayout import FloatLayout from kivy.lang import Builder from kivy.core.window import Window # Used to set Window to set window size and full screen Window.fullscreen = False # Does not force full screen Window.size = (1280, 720) # Sets 720p Builder.load_string(''' <Label>: # Sets generic properties for Label instances. Can be overridden by changing properties in specific instance. color: 0,.7,0,1 # Sets Label generic text colour to green. font_size: 18 # Sets Label generic text font size to 18. valign: 'middle' # Sets Label generic text vertical alignment to middle. halign: 'left' # Sets Label generic text horizontal alignment to left. text_size: self.size # Forces text to be wrapped to fit Label size. <Button>: # Sets generic properties for Button instances. Can be overridden by changing properties in specific instance. font_size: 18 # Sets Button generic font size to 18. color: 1,1,1,1 # Sets Button generic colour to white. bold: True # Sets Button generic text property to bold. background_normal: "" # Resets Button background default to plain. background_color: (0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0) # Sets Button generic background colour to transparent. halign: 'center' # Sets Button generic horizontal alignment to center. valign: 'middle' # Sets Button generic vertical alignment to middle. text_size: self.size # Sets Button generic text to be wrapped to fit Button size. size_hint: .255, .0620 # Sets Button generic size. <FloatLayout>: # Creates a FloatLayout canvas.before: BorderImage: # Used to display background image. source: 'jukebox.png' # Background image filename. pos: self.pos # Positions image to take up 100% of layout. size: self.size # Positions image to take up 100% of layout. Label: # Creates an instance of Label on GUI. Properties below overide generic settings on this Label instance only. id: sort_mode # Identifies Label as sort_mode text: "Sort Mode By Artist" # Text for this Label. font_size: 38 # Overrides generic Label font size to 38 for this Label only. halign: 'center' # Overrides generic Label horizontal alignment to center for this Label only. size_hint: .3, 1 # Overrides generic Label size for this Label only. pos: 12,280 # Positions this label. Label: # Creates an instance of Label on GUI. Properties below overide generic settings on this Label instance only. id: play_mode # Identifies Label as sort_mode text: "Mode: play_mode" # Text for this Label. pos: 40,245 # Positions this label. Label: id: title_song text: "Title: title_song" pos: 40,225 Label: id: title_artist text: "Artist: title_artist" pos: 40,205 Label: id: title_year text: "Year: 2017" size_hint: 0.35, 1 pos: 40,185 Label: id: title_length text: "Length: title_length" pos: 135,185 Label: id: title_album text: "Title: title_album" pos: 40,165 Label: id: sort_mode text: "UPCOMING SELECTIONS" font_size: 28 halign: 'center' size_hint: .32, 1 pos: 1,131 Label: id: selection_one text: "selection_one" pos: 40,102 Label: id: selection_two text: "selection_two" pos: 40,81 Label: id: selection_three text: "selection_three" pos: 40,60 Label: id: selection_four text: "selection_four" pos: 40,40 Label: id: selection_five text: "selection_five" pos: 40,19 Label: id: selection_six text: "selection_six" pos: 40,-1 Label: id: selection_seven text: "selection_seven" pos: 40,-21 Label: id: selection_eight text: "selection_eight" pos: 40,-41 Label: id: selection_nine text: "selection_nine" pos: 40,-61 Label: id: selection_ten text: "selection_ten" pos: 40,-81 Label: id: selection_eleven text: "selection_eleven" pos: 40,-101 Label: id: selection_twelve text: "selection_twelve" pos: 40,-121 Label: id: selection_thirteen text: "selection_thirten" pos: 40,-141 Label: id: selection_fourteen text: "selection_fourteen" pos: 40,-161 Label: id: selection_fifteen text: "selection_fifteen" pos: 40,-181 Label: id: selection_sixteen text: "selection_sixteen" pos: 40,-201 Label: id: credit_count text: "CREDITS 0" font_size: 34 halign: 'center' size_hint: .3, 1 pos: 12,-236 Label: text: "Twenty-Five Cents Per Selection" halign: 'center' size_hint: .3, 1 pos: 12,-267 Label: id: selections_available text: "selections_available" halign: 'center' size_hint: .3, 1 pos: 12,-287 Label: id: jukebox_name text: "Convergence Music System 2.0" color: 0,0,0,1 # Sets text colour to black. font_size: 38 bold: True halign: 'center' size_hint: .7, 1 pos: 390,292 Label: id: song_name text: "song_name" color: 1,1,1,1 # Sets text colour to white. font_size: 40 bold: True halign: 'center' size_hint: .7, 1 pos: 390,230 Label: id: artist_name text: "artist_name" color: 1,1,1,1 # Sets text colour to white. font_size: 40 bold: True halign: 'center' size_hint: .7, 1 pos: 390,180 Button: # Creates an instance of Button on GUI. Properties below overide generic settings on this Button instance only id: song_0 # Identifies Button as song_0. text: "song_0(Name)\\nsong_0(artist)" # Text for button includes line break. pos: 495,445 # Positions Button on GUI. Button: id: song_1 text: "song_1(Name)\\nsong_1(artist)" pos: 495,390 Button: id: song_2 text: "song_2(Name)\\nsong_2(artist)" pos: 495,335 Button: id: song_3 text: "song_3(Name)\\nsong_3(artist)" pos: 495,280 Button: id: song_4 text: "song_4(Name)\\nsong_4(artist)" pos: 495,225 Button: id: song_5 text: "song_5(Name)\\nsong_5(artist)" pos: 495,170 Button: id: song_6 text: "song_6(Name)\\nsong_6(artist)" pos: 495,115 Button: id: song_7 text: "song_7(Name)\\nsong_7(artist)" pos: 495,60 Button: id: song_8 text: "song_8(Name)\\nsong_8(artist)" pos: 835,445 Button: id: song_9 text: "song_9(Name)\\nsong_9(artist)" pos: 835,390 Button: id: song_10 text: "song_10(Name)\\nsong_10(artist)" pos: 835,335 Button: id: song_11 text: "song_11(Name)\\nsong_11(artist)" pos: 835,280 Button: id: song_12 text: "song_12(Name)\\nsong_12(artist)" pos: 835,225 Button: id: song_13 text: "song_13(Name)\\nsong_13(artist)" pos: 835,170 Button: id: song_14 text: "song_14(Name)\\nsong_14(artist)" pos: 835,115 Button: id: song_15 text: "song_15(Name)\\nsong_15(artist)" pos: 835,60 ''') class RootWidget(FloatLayout): pass class MainApp(App): def build(self): return RootWidget() MainApp().run()
You’ll also need this graphic and ensure its named jukebox.png and it’s placed in the same directory as the above code;
Here are some of the new items you’ll find in the code;
- Lines 12 and 18 – These lines establish generic properties for first the Label instances (line 12 and below) and then the Button instances (line 18 and below) when they are called.
- In FloatLayouts these generic properties can be overridden by changing properties when a specific instance is established.
- By setting up generic properties in this manner, the KV Language code is reduced significantly when instances are called.
- In this app 45 instances of Buttons and Labels are created.
- All lines involved in establishing the generic properties have comments as to what they do.
- Line 23 – Code that sets Button generic background colour to transparent.
- Lines 29 thru 33 – Code places and sets up GUI’s background image.
- Comments provide insight into role each property plays
- Lines 34 thru 40 – Code lays out first Label on Gui. Lines are commented so you know what function they play.
- Any properties declared on these lines that match generic properties, override generic settings for this instance only.
- Lines 39 and 40 – size_hint and pos properties work in concert with one another to set Label position. size_hint sets size of Label. pos positions top left corner of label.
- Positioning is one of the hardest things to explain in a FloatLayout. I just kept changing both the size_hint and pos values until Labels lined up.
- Lines 41 thru 44 – Code lays out second Label on Gui. Comments define what each line of code does.
- Lines 45 thru 245 – Code for the remainder of Labels and Buttons on Gui following principles outlined above.
- Lines 182 – 185 – Code for first Button placed on GUI.
- Line 184 – Text for button using a line break.
To conclude the great thing about using a FloatLayout is the ability to place a widget with great accuracy on your Kivy GUI. As well, the use of a background image and transparent button overlays as performed in this example makes for a much more natural looking interface for your user.
In this case we have a layout that displays all of the widget’s object names. Based on what was presented in earlier blogposts in this series, the Buttons and Labels texts can be updated accordingly as well as callbacks added to buttons to provide the desired functionality.