pytabby Updates

A flexible, non-opinionated, tabbed menu system to interactively control program flow for terminal-based programs. It’s a class with one sole public method which runs in a while loop as you switch tabs (if you want tabs, that is; you’re free not to have any) or if you enter invalid input, and then returns a string based on the value you selected that you can use to control the outer program flow.

Of course, you can run the class itself in a while loop in the enclosing program, getting menu choice after menu choice returned as you navigate a program.

Blog post about why I did this.


pip install pytabby



On readthedocs.


from pytabby import Menu
myconfig = Menu.safe_read_yaml('path/to/yaml')
# or Menu.read_json() or just pass a dict in the next step
mymenu = Menu(myconfig)
result =

if result == 'result1':
elif result == 'result2':
# etc...

See it in action!


*Why did you make this?

Well, it was one of those typical GitHub/PyPI scenarios, I wanted a specific thing, so I made a specific thing and then I took >10X the time making it a project so that others can use the thing; maybe some people will find it useful, maybe not. I like running programs in the terminal, and this allowed me to put a bunch of utilities like duplicate file finders and bulk file renamers all under one umbrella. If you prefer GUIs, there are plenty of simple wrappers out there,

Why can’t I return handlers?

Out of scope for this project at this time, but it’s on the Wish List. For now, the Menu instance just returns strings which the outer closure can then use to control program flow, including defining handlers using control flow/if statement based on the string returned by

Why are my return values coming in/out strings?

To keep things simple, all input and output (return) values are converted to string. So if you have config['tabs'][0]['items][0]['item_returns'] = 1, the return value will be ‘1’.

Why do ‘items’ have both ‘item_choice_displayed’ and ‘item_inputs’ keys?

To keep things flexible, you don’t have to display exactly what you’ll accept as input. For example, you could display ‘yes/no’ as the suggested answers to a yes or no question, but actually accept [‘y’, ‘n’, ‘yes’, ‘no’], etc.

I have ‘case_sensitive’ = False, but my return value is still uppercase.

case_sensitive only affects inputs, not outputs

What’s up with passing a dict with the tab name as a message to

The message might be different depending on the tab, and run() only exits when it returns a value when given a valid item input. It changes tabs in a loop, keeping that implementation detail abstracted away from the user, as is right.


  • PyYAML>=5.1

  • schema>=0.7.0


You can have two or more tabs, in which case you will see the tab headers you can switch between above the menu choices, or you can

Indices and tables