How to create a file dialog in Tkinter Python

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by dot icon Updated: Aug 10, 2023

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A Tkinter file dialog is a GUI component. It helps select files from their system. It offers a reliable way to browse the file system and choose files or directories. Tkinter provides a file dialog module that offers several types of file dialogs. They are:  

  • Open File Dialog  
  • Save File Dialog  
  • Directory Dialog  


Using a Tkinter file dialog involves the following steps:   

  • Import the Tkinter module.   
  • Open a file dialog.  
  • Process the selected file. 


A Tkinter file dialog can open the following common file types: 

  • Txt files,   
  • Image files,   
  • Document files,   
  • Audio and video files, and   
  • Custom file extensions.   


The layout of a file dialog library provides an interface for file selection. Here are the key elements found in a Tkinter file dialog are:   

  • Title Bar,   
  • File List,   
  • File Input Field,   
  • File Navigation Buttons,   
  • Open Buttons,   
  • File Type Filters,   
  • Path Navigation Bar.   


To open the file dialog window using the method from the filedialog module in tkinter,   

  • Filedialog.askopenfilename() for selecting a single file. 
  • Filedialog.askopenfilenames() for selecting many files.   


You can use the functions based on your requirements. To create an instance of the file dialog from the tkinter module, you can follow these steps:   

  • Import the necessary modules.   
  • Create a Tkinter root window.   
  • Create an instance of the file dialog.   
  • Configure the file dialog options.   
  • Open the file dialog.   


There are several options available to customize its appearance like   

  • Setting the initial directory,   
  • Filtering files by extension,   
  • Specifying file types to display.   


By using these options, you can enhance the usability of the file dialog in your application. The tkinter file dialog is useful for creating file selection in GUI applications. Proper error handling ensures the handling of file access issues.  

Here is an example of How to create a file dialog in Tkinter Python.