How to stop Tkinter Frame from shrinking to fit its contents?

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Question :

How to stop Tkinter Frame from shrinking to fit its contents?

This is the code that’s giving me trouble.

f = Frame(root, width=1000, bg="blue")
f.pack(fill=X, expand=True)

l = Label(f, text="hi", width=10, bg="red", fg="white")
l.pack()

If I comment out the lines with the Label, the Frame displays with the right width. However, adding the Label seems to shrink the Frame down to the Label’s size. Is there a way to prevent that from happening?

Asked By: Johnston

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Answer #1:

By default, both pack and grid shrink or grow a widget to fit its contents, which is what you want 99.9% of the time. The term that describes this feature is geometry propagation. There is a command to turn geometry propagation on or off when using pack (pack_propagate) and grid (grid_propagate).

Since you are using pack the syntax would be:

f.pack_propagate(0)

or maybe root.pack_propagate(0), depending on which widgets you actually want to affect. However, because you haven’t given the frame height, its default height is one pixel so you still may not see the interior widgets. To get the full effect of what you want, you need to give the containing frame both a width and a height.

That being said, the vast majority of the time you should let Tkinter compute the size. When you turn geometry propagation off your GUI won’t respond well to changes in resolution, changes in fonts, etc. Tkinter’s geometry managers (pack, place and grid) are remarkably powerful. You should learn to take advantage of that power by using the right tool for the job.

Answered By: Bryan Oakley

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