Library for creating command interfaces with Python.
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Library for writing console (command oriented) user interfaces. It depends only on the Python standard library.

The package makes it easy and quick to create an interactive command oriented tool. The style is similar to embedded systems, such as routers, and POSIX shells. This is not an alternate Python REPL, such as IPython or bpython. You can use it to implement a custom command interface for your application that gets customizable command parsing, custom prompts, help system, and output paging.

The docopt module is built-in, so no additional packages need to be installed.

There are also some simple user-input helpers for selecting from lists.

Includes an enhanced debugger that uses the CLI toolkit for a better debugging experience.

Some notable features:

  • Implicit paged output (like more).
  • Concise prompt string specification, similar to a shell (percent [%] expansions).
  • Colored output formatting and input prompts.
  • Support 256 colors.

Command Lines

Just override the elicit.ui.BaseCommands class. Any methods defined with doc strings become a command that can be called. The command gets an arguments parameter that is a docopt-style pre-parsed dictionary of arguments parsed according to the Usage: line in the doc string.

For example:

from elicit import commands

class BasicCommands(commands.BaseCommands):

    def mycommand(self, arguments):
        """Perform some function.

            mycommand [-o]
        self._ui.print("got arguments:", arguments)

This defines a new command, mycommand, with a option -o.


The elicit.present subpackage has some functionality useful for interactive presentatations using the Python REPL.

Thanks to David Beazley for the inspiration.


An enhanced debugger that uses this CLI toolkit is also provided.