How to use buttons in kivy

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by gayathrimohan dot icon Updated: Sep 19, 2023

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Kivy is a popular Python library. Developers use this for developing multitouch applications, including graphical user interfaces (GUIs). 


Its buttons are a core component of its user interface toolkit. But Kivy buttons aren't regarded as decorative items. Rather, they are functional elements used to ease user interactions in applications. It provides various UI components, including buttons. You can use those buttons to create interactive interfaces. Kivy's button library offers a flexible way to create buttons. You can create it with customizable appearances and behaviors. It's particularly well-suited for creating cross-platform applications. Kivy offers various buttons, each with its purpose and style. Here are a few, along with their typical corresponding colors.  

Types of Buttons:  

  • Button: The standard button type used for general interactions. It is often displayed in a shade of gray or blue.  
  • ToggleButton: A button that toggles between two states. It might use green for an "on" state and gray for an "off" state.  
  • RadioButton: Used in groups to select a single option from many choices. Circular or rounded and might use blue or black for selected options.  
  • CheckBox: Used to select many options from a list. Usually square with a checkmark icon and might use green for selected options.  
  • IconButton: A button with an icon but no text. Colors can vary depending on the context, often matching the theme.  
  • Slider: It will help select a value from a range. The colors might be a combination of gray and green or blue.  
  • Spinner: Displays a dropdown menu for selecting from a list of options. It often uses blue or gray for the dropdown button.  
  • Switch: Like a ToggleButton, it switches between two states. It might use green for "on" and gray for "off."  
  • ActionToggleButton: Used for actions like play, pause, or record. Colors can vary based on the intended action, but use green, red, or gray.  


Kivy buttons offer various ways for user interaction in graphical applications. You can use them by defining their properties and handling their events:  

  • Button Label and Functionality: Set the text property to display a label on the button. Define the on_release event to specify the function. It would help if you executed that when you released the button.  
  • Button Size and Position: Adjust the button's size using the size property. Using the pos property adjusts its position.   
  • Button Styles and Appearance: Customize the button's appearance with properties. Those properties are background_normal, background_down, and background_color. This allows you to define how the button looks in its normal state when pressed and its background color.  
  • Button Behavior: Use properties like disabled to prevent interaction with the button. It is also used as a state to set the button's visual state.  
  • Button Events: Besides on_release, you can handle other events. Those events are like on_press, on_touch_down, and more.  
  • Button Bindings: Bind functions to specific events using the bind () method. This allows for greater flexibility in handling events.  
  • Button Icons and Images: You can use images or icons as button labels. You can do this by setting the text property to an empty string. Use the background_normal and background_down properties to the paths of the image files.  
  • Creating Custom Buttons: Extend the Button class to create custom buttons. We create these custom buttons with specialized behavior and appearance.  
  • Button Animation: Apply animations to buttons using the Kivy animation module. Allowing for smooth transitions and engaging user interactions accomplishes this.  
  • Button Layouts: Organize buttons within layouts to achieve a desired interface structure. Use layouts like BoxLayout, GridLayout, or AnchorLayout for efficient arrangement.  
  • Button Toggle Behavior: Install toggle behavior for buttons. Managing their state in code changes their appearance.  

When choosing a Kivy button:  

  • Functionality: Consider the button's purpose. Use a classic Button for standard interactions like ToggleButton for binary options.  
  • Visual Style: Classic buttons have a simple appearance. Explore MDRectangleFlatButton or MDFillRoundFlatButton from the Material Design package for a contemporary look.  
  • Layout: Ensure the button fits your layout. You can use MDIconButton for icons in modern designs. For more control, customize a ButtonBehavior subclass.  
  • Interaction: Classic buttons provide click interactions. Modern options like MDFloatingActionButton or MDRectangleFlatIconButton offer more dynamic feedback.  
  • Material Design: For a contemporary style, use KivyMD's library. Experiment with ripple effects, elevation, and typography.  
  • Color Scheme: Choose colors that match your App's theme.   
  • Size: Decide on the button's size based on its importance and surrounding elements. Modern designs often use larger buttons for emphasis.  
  • Animation: Consider adding animations for a modern touch. You can use Kivy's animation capabilities to create smooth transitions.  
  • User Experience: Ensure buttons are tappable, especially on touchscreens. Modern designs often include touch feedback like ripples.  
  • Consistency: Stick to a consistent button style throughout your App. Mixing classic and modern styles might need to be clarified for users.  


In conclusion, the Kivy button library is a powerful tool. Python developers use those tools to create interactive GUIs in applications. It provides flexibility to developers. We use flexibility to design buttons according to our needs and preferences.  

Fig: Preview of the output that you will get on running this code from your IDE


In this solution we are using kivy library of Python.


Follow the steps carefully to get the output easily.

  1. Download and Install the PyCharm Community Edition on your computer.
  2. Open the terminal and install the required libraries with the following commands.
  3. Install Kivy - pip install Kivy
  4. Create a new Python file on your IDE.
  5. Copy the snippet using the 'copy' button and paste it into your python file.
  6. Run the current file to generate the output.

I hope you found this useful.

I found this code snippet by searching for 'How to use buttons in kivy' in Kandi. You can try any such use case!

Environment Tested

I tested this solution in the following versions. Be mindful of changes when working with other versions.

  1. PyCharm Community Edition 2023.1
  2. The solution is created in Python 3.11.1 Version
  3. Kivy 2.2.0 Version

Using this solution, we can able to use buttons in kivy in Python with simple steps. This process also facilities an easy way to use, hassle-free method to create a hands-on working version of code which would help us to use buttons in kivy in Python.

Dependent Libraries

kivyby kivy

Python doticonstar image 15962 doticonVersion:2.2.0doticon
License: Permissive (MIT)

Open source UI framework written in Python, running on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android and iOS


            kivyby kivy

            Python doticon star image 15962 doticonVersion:2.2.0doticon License: Permissive (MIT)

            Open source UI framework written in Python, running on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android and iOS

                      You can search for any dependent library on kandi like 'Kivy'.


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                      2. For further learning resources, visit the Open Weaver Community learning page


                      1. What is Kivy GUI, and how does it differ from other independent GUI tools?   

                      Kivy is an open-source Python library used to develop multitouch applications. It allows you to create user interfaces (UIs) for desktop and mobile platforms. What sets Kivy apart is its focus on touch interfaces and cross-platform compatibility. Unlike some other GUI tools that might be platform-specific. The designers of Kivy have made it work on various platforms. It utilizes a unique language called Kivy Language (KV) for UI design. Its main pro is the ability to create consistent UIs. We design these UIs across different devices and operating systems.   


                      2. How can I apply Material Design to my Simple Drawing App using Kivy buttons?  

                      Using Kivy buttons, you can apply Material Design to your Simple Drawing App. You can follow these steps:  

                      • Install Material Design Library: Use the kivymd library as an extension of Kivy. You can install using the command pip: pip install kivymd.  
                      • Import Required Modules: Import the necessary modules from kivy and kivymd.   
                      • Set Up KivyMD Theme: Initialize KivyMD and set up the theme using the MDApp class. Also, use its theme_cls attribute.  
                      • Use KivyMD Components: Replace your existing Kivy buttons with KivyMD buttons. Those buttons are like MDFloatingActionButton, MDRaisedButton, or MDFillRoundFlatButton. According to Material Design guidelines, we style these components.  
                      • Customize Button Properties: You can customize button properties. Those properties are such as text, color, icon, and actions.  

                      Here's a basic example of how your code might look:  

                      from kivy.lang import Builder  

                      from import MDApp  

                      KV = '''  


                        orientation: 'vertical'  


                          text: 'Draw'  

                          pos_hint: {'center_x': 0.5}  

                          on_release: app.draw_action()  


                          icon: 'eraser'  

                          pos_hint: {'center_x': 0.5}  

                          on_release: app.clear_canvas()  


                      class DrawingApp(MDApp):  

                        def build(self):  

                          self.theme_cls.primary_palette = "Indigo"  

                          return Builder.load_string(KV)  

                        def draw_action(self):  

                          # Implement your drawing logic here  


                        def clear_canvas(self):  

                          # Implement logic to clear the drawing canvas  


                      if name == '__main__':  

                        DrawingApp().run ()  


                      3. How do I control the position of a button in a Kivy GUI?   

                      In Kivy, you can control the position of a button in a GUI by setting its pos property. This property takes a tuple of (x, y) coordinates, where (0, 0) is the bottom-left corner of the widget.   

                      For example:   

                      from import App  

                      from kivy.uix.button import Button  

                      class MyKivyApp(App):  

                        def build(self):  

                          button = Button (text='Click me', pos= (100, 200))  

                          return button  

                      if name == '__main__':  

                        MyKivyApp(). run ()  

                      This code creates a button positioned at (100, 200) on the screen. You can adjust the (x, y) values to place the button wherever you want within the Kivy layout.  


                      4. What Python Programming concepts are necessary for creating a button code in Kivy? 

                      To create a button in Kivy using Python, you'll need to understand the following concepts:  

                      • Importing Modules: You need to import the necessary modules from Kivy. It is usually kivy and kivy.App.  
                      • App Class: You'll need to define a class that inherits from App, which will be the main application class.  
                      • Layouts: Understanding different layouts. They are BoxLayout GridLayout. Users use these to organize and position UI elements like buttons.  
                      • Widgets: Familiarity with Kivy's widget hierarchy is important. Buttons are a widget type, and you'll need to create and customize them.  
                      • Event handling: You must define functions that will call when you press the button. We call these functions event handlers.  
                      • KV Language: While not necessary. Learning Kivy's KV language can simplify the creation and organization of UI elements.  
                      • Properties: Understanding how to set properties of widgets. Such as text, color, size, and position.  

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