by prompt-toolkit

prompt-toolkit / ptpython

A better Python REPL

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A better Python REPL


pip install ptpython

.. image ::

Ptpython is an advanced Python REPL. It should work on all Python versions from 2.6 up to 3.7 and work cross platform (Linux, BSD, OS X and Windows).

Note: this version of ptpython requires at least Python 3.6. Install ptpython 2.0.5 for older Python versions.


Install it using pip:


pip install ptpython

Start it by typing



  • Syntax highlighting.
  • Multiline editing (the up arrow works).
  • Autocompletion.
  • Mouse support. [1]
  • Support for color schemes.
  • Support for
    bracketed paste 
    _ [2].
  • Both Vi and Emacs key bindings.
  • Support for double width (Chinese) characters.
  • ... and many other things.

[1] Disabled by default. (Enable in the menu.)

[2] If the terminal supports it (most terminals do), this allows pasting without going into paste mode. It will keep the indentation.

pt_repr: A nicer repr with colors

When classes implement a

method, this will be used instead of
for printing. Any
prompt_toolkit "formatted text"
_ can be returned from here. In order to avoid writing a
as well, the
decorator can be applied. For instance:

.. code:: python

from ptpython.utils import ptrepr_to_repr
from prompt_toolkit.formatted_text import HTML

@ptrepr_to_repr class MyClass: def __pt_repr__(self): return HTML('Hello world!')

More screenshots

The configuration menu:

.. image ::

The history page and its help:

.. image ::


.. image ::

Embedding the REPL

Embedding the REPL in any Python application is easy:

.. code:: python

from ptpython.repl import embed
embed(globals(), locals())

You can make ptpython your default Python REPL by creating a

_ containing code like this:

.. code:: python

import sys try: from ptpython.repl import embed except ImportError: print("ptpython is not available: falling back to standard prompt") else: sys.exit(embed(globals(), locals()))

Multiline editing

Multi-line editing mode will automatically turn on when you press enter after a colon.

To execute the input in multi-line mode, you can either press

, or
followed by
. (If you want the first to work in the OS X terminal, you have to check the "Use option as meta key" checkbox in your terminal settings. For iTerm2, you have to check "Left option acts as +Esc" in the options.)

.. image ::

Syntax validation

Before execution,

will see whether the input is syntactically correct Python code. If not, it will show a warning, and move the cursor to the error.

.. image ::

Additional features

Running system commands: Press

in Emacs mode or just
in Vi navigation mode to see the "Shell command" prompt. There you can enter system commands without leaving the REPL.

Selecting text: Press

in Emacs mode or
(major V) in Vi navigation mode.


It is possible to create a

file to customize the configuration.

Have a look at this example to see what is possible: 

IPython support


(prompt_toolkit - IPython), to get a nice interactive shell with all the power that IPython has to offer, like magic functions and shell integration. Make sure that IPython has been installed. (
pip install

.. image ::

This is also available for embedding:

.. code:: python

from ptpython.ipython.repl import embed
embed(globals(), locals())

Django support

_ has a
management command. When
has been installed, it will by default use


There is an experimental PDB replacement:


Windows support

works better on Linux and OS X than on Windows. Some things might not work, but it is usable:

.. image ::


Q: The

forward search doesn't work and freezes my terminal.

A: Try to run

stty -ixon
in your terminal to disable flow control.

Q: The

-key doesn't work.

A: For some terminals you have to enable the Alt-key to act as meta key, but you can also type

before any key instead.


  • BPython 
  • IPython 

If you find another alternative, you can create an issue and we'll list it here. If you find a nice feature somewhere that is missing in

, also create a GitHub issue and maybe we'll implement it.

Special thanks to

  • Pygments 
    _: Syntax highlighter.
  • Jedi 
    _: Autocompletion library.
  • Docopt 
    _: Command-line interface description language.
  • wcwidth 
    _: Determine columns needed for a wide characters.
  • prompt_toolkit 
    _ for the interface.

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.. |License| image:: :target:

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