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pick is a small python library to help you create curses based interactive selection list in the terminal. See it in action:



$ pip install pick


pick comes with a simple api:

>>> from pick import pick

>>> title = 'Please choose your favorite programming language: '
>>> options = ['Java', 'JavaScript', 'Python', 'PHP', 'C++', 'Erlang', 'Haskell']
>>> option, index = pick(options, title)
>>> print(option)
>>> print(index)


>>> C++
>>> 4

pick multiselect example:

>>> from pick import pick

>>> title = 'Please choose your favorite programming language (press SPACE to mark, ENTER to continue): '
>>> options = ['Java', 'JavaScript', 'Python', 'PHP', 'C++', 'Erlang', 'Haskell']
>>> selected = pick(options, title, multiselect=True, min_selection_count=1)
>>> print(selected)


>>> [('Java', 0), ('C++', 4)]


  • options: a list of options to choose from
  • title: (optional) a title above options list
  • indicator: (optional) custom the selection indicator, defaults to *
  • default_index: (optional) set this if the default selected option is not the first one
  • multiselect: (optional), if set to True its possible to select multiple items by hitting SPACE
  • min_selection_count: (optional) for multi select feature to dictate a minimum of selected items before continuing
  • options_map_func: (optional) a mapping function to pass each option through before displaying

Register custom handlers

Sometimes you may need to register custom handlers for specific keyboard keys, you can use the register_custom_handler API:

>>> from pick import Picker
>>> title, options = 'Title', ['Option1', 'Option2']
>>> picker = Picker(options, title)
>>> def go_back(picker):
...     return None, -1
>>> picker.register_custom_handler(ord('h'),  go_back)
>>> option, index = picker.start()
  • the custom handler will be called with the picker instance as it's parameter.
  • the custom handler should either return a two element tuple, or None.
  • if None is returned, the picker would continue to run, otherwise the picker will stop and return the tuple.

Options Map Function

If your options are not in a format that you want displayed (such as a dictionary), you can pass in a mapping function which each option will be run through. The return value of the function will be displayed.

  • the selected option returned will be the original value and not the displayed return result from the options_map_func function.

pick options map function example:

>>> from pick import pick

>>> title = 'Please choose an option: '
>>> options = [{'label': 'option1'}, {'label': 'option2'}, {'label': 'option3'}]

>>> def get_label(option): return option.get('label')

>>> selected = pick(options, title, indicator='*', options_map_func=get_label)
>>> print(selected)


Please choose an option:

* option1


>>> ({ 'label': 'option1' }, 0)