How to create canvas animations in Tkinter Python

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by dot icon Updated: Jul 27, 2023

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Tkinter is a standard Python library for creating graphical user interfaces (GUIs). It provides various widgets and tools to design and install GUI applications. One of the fundamental components of Tkinter is the Canvas widget. This serves as a drawing area or a platform. This is used for displaying graphics and other visual elements.    


The tkinter.A Canvas widget is like a blank canvas or a drawing board. That is where you can place shapes, lines, text, images, and other graphical elements. It allows you to create and manipulate 2D graphics in a window. That is useful for building interactive apps, data visualizations, games, and more. The Tkinter Canvas is a versatile tool for creating graphics and interactive elements.    


Different types of data that can be displayed on a tkinter canvas:   

  • Text: You can display plain text on a tkinter canvas using the create_text method. This allows you to add labels, annotations, or any textual information on the canvas.   
  • Lines and Shapes: The Canvas widget allows you to draw. You can draw lines, rectangles, ovals, circles, polygons, and other basic shapes.    
  • Images: You can display images on the canvas using the create_image method. This is useful for showing icons, photos, or any other visual content in your application.   
  • Graphs and Plots: Tkinter doesn't have graph plotting capabilities. Instead, you can use the canvas to create custom graphs and plots.    
  • Interactive Widgets: You can embed interactive widgets. Widgets like buttons, sliders, entry fields, etc., on the canvas.    
  • Animations: The canvas can be used to create simple animations. It can be done by updating the positions or appearance of various elements on the canvas.    
  • Data Visualization: you can use the canvas to represent data in charts and graphs.   
  • Custom Widgets and GUI Elements: You can draw your elements or widgets. It helps organize shapes, images, and text on the canvas.  


In Tkinter, the Canvas widget provides a versatile platform for drawing. It manipulates graphical elements. Here are some different methods available for manipulating data on a Tkinter canvas.   

  • Simple Drag and Drop: Allows you to enable drag and drop functionality for items on the canvas.   
  • Scaling and Resizing: You can resize or scale items on the canvas. This can be done using functions like Canvas.scale to apply transformations.   
  • Rotation: The canvas.rotate method allows you to rotate canvas items. This is done around a given point (x, y) by a specified angle.   
  • Layering and Stacking: Tkinter lets you control the stacking order of canvas items. This is done using canvas.lift(item) to bring an item to the top. The canvas.lower(item) to send it to the bottom to reposition it relative to its current position.   
  • Cloning and Copying: You can clone or copy canvas items using canvas.create_<item_type>(...). You create a new item based on the properties of an existing item.    
  • Deleting Items: To remove items from the canvas, you can use canvas.delete(item) or canvas.delete(ALL).   
  • Scripting and Animations: Tkinter allows you to script animations. This is done by updating the canvas items' positions, colors, or other attributes over time.    
  • Interactivity: You can make canvas items interactive by binding events to them.    
  • Coordinate Transformations: Tkinter provides methods to transform coordinates between screen and canvas space.   
  • Grouping and Hierarchies: You can group many canvas items using canvas.create_group(). This is to apply transformations or event bindings to many items.   


You can create various buttons on a canvas widget using the GUI library for Python in tkinter.   

Different types of buttons can be created:   

  • Text Button: A simple text button is a basic button that displays text on it.   
  • Rectangle Button: You can create a rectangular button using the create_rectangle method.   
  • Oval Button: An oval button can be created using the create_oval method.    
  • Image Button: To create a more complex button with an image, you can use the create_image method.    


Creating effective user interfaces with Tkinter involves thoughtful design and organization. Here are some tips to help you create better UIs using layout managers and custom widgets:   

  • Choose the Right Layout Manager: Tkinter provides various layout managers. They are pack, grid, and place.    
  • Pack: Good for simple layouts, stacking widgets.   
  • Grid: Ideal for creating complex layouts with rows and columns.   
  • Place: Useful for absolute positioning but use it as it can lead to less responsive UIs.   
  • Consistent and Intuitive Design: Maintain consistency in your UI design. This is done by including colors, fonts, spacing, and alignment.    
  • Use Frame Widgets: Group related widgets using Frame widgets.   
  • Whitespace and Padding: Adequate spacing between widgets improves visual appeal and usability.    
  • Responsive Design: Design the UI for window resizing and changing screen resolutions.   
  • Custom Widgets: Create custom widgets when necessary.    
  • Avoid Overcrowding: Tight only a few elements into a small space.    
  • Use Event-Driven Programming: Tkinter is event-driven, so make use of it.    
  • Handle User Input: Install input validation and error handling for user inputs.   
  • Avoid Hardcoding Sizes: Instead of specifying fixed pixel sizes for widgets. We can use relative sizes and weights.    
  • Add Tooltips: Consider adding tooltips to widgets with more information.    
  • Testing and Feedback: Always test your UI with real users to gather feedback.    
  • Documentation and Comments: Provide clear comments in your code and document. This is the purpose of custom widgets and complex layout structures.    
  • Use Iconography: Incorporate meaningful icons to enhance the visual representation of certain actions.    


Creating a dynamic and interactive tkinter app involves understanding how to handle events. Also, try to understand How to use timers. Here's some advice to help you achieve that:   

  • Understanding the Event-Driven Nature of Tkinter   
  • Defining Event Handlers   
  • Incorporating User Input   
  • Keeping the User Interface Responsive   
  • Organizing Code with Classes    


In conclusion, using Tkinter in programming offers a wide range of benefits. Those benefits make it an invaluable tool for creating user interfaces. Its ease of use and simplicity allow developers to build interactive apps. The app is built without the need for extensive coding knowledge. This accessibility makes it an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced programmers.  


Using Tkinter in programming offers an accessible, flexible, and powerful platform. These platforms are used for creating effective and appealing user interfaces. Its ease of use and integration with Python make it an excellent choice for developers of all levels. In contrast, its potential for designing engaging interfaces ensures a positive user experience. By leveraging Tkinter, programmers can bring their ideas to life and create software.   

Here is an example of how to create Canvas annimations in Tkinter Python: