A cross platform package to do curses-like operations, plus higher level APIs and widgets to create text UIs and ASCII art animations
Under Apache License 2.0
By peterbrittain

python console cross-platform tui ascii-art curses

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:alt: Linux build status

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:alt: Code Health

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:alt: Code Coverage

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:alt: Latest stable version

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:alt: Join the chat at


Asciimatics is a package to help people create full-screen text UIs (from interactive forms to
ASCII animations) on any platform. It is licensed under the Apache Software Foundation License 2.0.


Why not? It brings a little joy to anyone who was programming in the 80s... Oh and it provides a
single cross-platform Python class to do all the low-level console function you could ask for,

In addition, it provides some simple, high-level APIs to provide more complex features including:

Currently this package has been proven to work on CentOS 6 & 7, Raspbian (i.e. Debian wheezy),
Ubuntu 14.04, Windows 7, 8 & 10, OSX 10.11 and Android Marshmallow (courtesy of,
though it should also work for any other platform that provides a working curses implementation.

It should be implementation agnostic and has been successfully tested on CPython and PyPy2.

(Please let me know if you successfully verified it on other platforms so that I can update this


Asciimatics supports Python versions 2 & 3. For the precise list of tested versions,
refer to pypi <>_.

To install asciimatics, simply install with pip as follows:

.. code-block:: bash

$ pip install asciimatics

This should install all your dependencies for you. If you don't use pip or it fails to install
them, you can install the dependencies directly using the packages listed in requirements.txt
Additionally, Windows users (who aren't using pip) will need to install pywin32.

How to use it?

To use the low-level API, simply create a Screen and use it to print coloured text at any location,
or get mouse/keyboard input. For example, here is a variant on the classic "hello world":

.. code-block:: python

from random import randint
from asciimatics.screen import Screen

def demo(screen):
while True:
screen.print_at('Hello world!',
randint(0, screen.width), randint(0, screen.height),
colour=randint(0, screen.colours - 1),
bg=randint(0, screen.colours - 1))
ev = screen.get_key()
if ev in (ord('Q'), ord('q')):


That same code works on Windows, OSX and Linux and paves the way for all the higher level features.
These still need the Screen, but now you also create a Scene using some Effects and then get the
Screen to play it. For example, this code:

.. code-block:: python

from asciimatics.effects import Cycle, Stars
from asciimatics.renderers import FigletText
from asciimatics.scene import Scene
from asciimatics.screen import Screen

def demo(screen):
effects = [
FigletText("ASCIIMATICS", font='big'),
int(screen.height / 2 - 8)),
FigletText("ROCKS!", font='big'),
int(screen.height / 2 + 3)),
Stars(screen, 200)
][Scene(effects, 500)])


should produce something like this:

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:alt: asciicast

Or maybe you're looking to create a TUI? In which case this
simple code <>__
will give you this:

.. image::
:alt: contact list sample


Full documentation of all the above (and more!) is available at

More examples

More examples of what you can do are available in the project samples directory, hosted on GitHub.

To view them, simply download these files and then simply run them directly with python.
Alternatively, you can browse recordings of many of the samples in the gallery at

Bugs and enhancements

If you have a problem, please check out the troubleshooting guide at If this doesn't solve your
problem, you can report bugs (or submit enhancement requests) at

Alternatively, if you just have some questions, feel free to drop in at

Contributing to the project

If you'd like to take part in this project (and see your name in the credits!), check out the
guidance at