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Introduction to Visual Elements

Visual Elements are user interface objects displayed on a given page. Visual elements reflect some application data or give the page some structuring or layout information. Most visual elements allow users to interact with the page content.

There are two types of Visual Elements:

  • Controls typically represent user data that the user can interact with.
    Beside the generic controls provided in Taipy GUI and listed in this section, the taipy package come with a dedicated set of Taipy GUI controls that let users display and interact with Taipy Core entities. These controls are listed in the Scenario Management controls section.

  • Blocks let you organize controls (or blocks) in pages to provide the best possible user experience.

If you are familiar with what Visual Elements are and how they are declared, you may want to jump directly to the list of the available visual elements:

List of available controls

List of available blocks

Properties

Each visual element has a type and a set of properties. To add a visual component to a page, appropriate syntax must be used, indicating the type of visual element and the properties of the element.

Property name

Every element type has a default property name that holds its 'main' representation: a string for a text element, an array for a selector, or a numerical value for a slider.

To set the value for this property, the short syntax for the visual element syntax can be used.

Property value

Every property value can be set to a value that depends on the property type or a formatted string literal, also known as an f-string. This string may reference variable names defined in the code, and the value of the property is set to the evaluated string.

Dynamic properties

When a property is listed as dynamic, changing the value of any variable in its expression's value will immediately update the visual element that uses it. All properties are not dynamic, though, for performance reasons: when a Python variable bound to an element's property is modified, it can tremendously impact the rendering of the graphical component on the page displayed by the user's browser. The component may have to be entirely rebuilt to reflect the new variable value, which might be slow and hit the user experience.
Visual Elements that are costly to render on the browser provide a property called rebuild that allows one to explicitly request the render of the component. Please check the relevant sections for the chart and table controls for more information.

Syntax

You create visual elements using either a specific Markdown syntax (see the Markdown class) or specific HTML tags (see the Html class).

Markdown

The basic syntax for creating Taipy constructs in Markdown is: <|...|...|> (opening with a less than character followed by a vertical bar character — sometimes called pipe — followed by a potentially empty series of vertical bar-separated fragments and closing with a vertical bar character immediately followed by the greater than character).
Taipy interprets any text between the <| and the |> markers and tries to create visual elements to be inserted in the resulting page.

The most common use of this construct is to create controls. Taipy expects the control type name to appear between the two first vertical bar characters (as in <|control|...}>).

Shortcut for the default property

If the first fragment text is not the name of a control type, Taipy will consider this fragment to be the default value for the default property of the control, whose type name must then appear as the second element.

<|visual_element_type|default_property_name=default_property_value|>
Is equivalent to
<|default_property_value|visual_element_type|>

Every visual element has a default property, and using the default property syntax (where the default property value appears as the first || fragment) underscore, but placing it first, the most important property value for this visual element: it would be the content of a text control, the label of a button, or the data set displayed by a chart, for example.

Every following |-separated fragment is interpreted as a property name-property value pair using the syntax: property_name=property_value (note that all space characters are significative).

So creating a visual element in Markdown text is just a matter of inserting a text fragment similar to:

<|visual_element_type|property_name=property_value|...|>

Multiple properties

You can have as many property name-property value pairs as needed, and all of the space characters of the property value part are significant:
The fragment <|Content |text|> will be displayed as the string "Content" followed by a space character, because it is part of the property value (in this case, the default property value, which is the property called value for the text control)

Shortcut for Boolean properties

Should the =property_value fragment be missing, the property value is interpreted as the Boolean value True.
Furthermore, if the property name is preceded by the text "no␣", "not␣", "don't␣" or "dont␣" (including the trailing space character), then no property value is expected, and the property value is set to False.

Unknown properties

If you set a property that a visual element does not recognize, it is ignored without any warning.

Indentation and block elements: element tag identifiers

Markdown depends heavily on text indentation to decide whether or not a new paragraph or section should be created.
When dealing with block elements to create sections on your page, you might be tempted to indent the opening element tags, so the Markdown text is easier to read.

The following Markdown content:

<|
The part content
<|
First sub-part content.
|>
<|
Second sub-part content.
|>
|>
would be easier to read if indented, as shown here:
<|
  The part content
  <|
  First sub-part content.
  |>
  <|
  Second sub-part content.
  |>
|>
Finding the opening '<|' when looking at a '|>' fragment is far easier, and you have a hint of the elements' structure.
Unfortunately, this indentation may break the Markdown parsing, and your page will not look how you expected.

Taipy GUI provides a way for you to simplify the match of a closing element tag with its opening element tag.
You can use, instead of the '<|...|>' sequence, the '<id|...|id>' where id must be a valid Python identifier. Then the parsing of the Markdown content will indicate structural problems (like element tags that don't match), and you can find matching element tags easier.

The example above could use this feature:

<main_section|
The part content
<sub_section1|
First sub-part content.
|sub_section1>
<sub_section2|
Second sub-part content.
|sub_section2>
|main_section>

Some examples

Multiple properties

You can have several properties defined in the same control fragment:

<|button|label=Do something|active=False|>

The default property shortcut

The default property name for the control type button is label. In Taipy, the Markdown text

<|button|label=Some text|>
Is exactly equivalent to
<|Some text|button|>
which is slightly shorter.

The missing Boolean property value shortcuts

Defining a Boolean property with no value is equivalent to setting that property to True:

<|button|active=True|>
is equivalent to
<|button|active|>

Prefixing a Boolean property name with "no␣", "not␣", "don't␣" or "dont␣" and not setting the propery value is equivalent to setting that property to False:

<|button|active=False|>
is equivalent to
<|button|not active|>

There are very few exceptions to the <|control_type|...|> syntax, which are described in their respective documentation section. The most obvious exception is the text control, which can be created without even mentioning its type.

HTML

If you choose to embed Taipy visual elements into existing HTML pages, you can use the following syntax:

<taipy:visual_element_type property_name="property_value" ...> </taipy:visual_element_type>

The text element of the visual element tag can be used to indicate the default property value for this visual element:

<taipy:visual_element_type default_property_name="default_property_value" ... />
is equivalent to
<taipy:visual_element_type>default_property_value</taipy:visual_element_type>

HTML syntax extensions

The HTML text that is given to the Html page renderer is not parsed as pure HTML. Rather, the page is transformed before it is rendered to HTML and delivered to the client. Therefore, Taipy was able to introduce a few changes to the pure HTML syntax that make it easier to use in the context of describing Taipy pages.

  • Attribute names that be array elements. Some visual elements (such as the chart control) need indexed properties. An attribute name such as y[1] is valid in the Taipy context, where it would not be in the raw HTML grammar.

  • Empty attribute value. In the HTML used by Taipy, you can mention an attribute with no value. It would be equivalent to setting it to True.

Generic properties

Every visual element type has the following properties:

  • id: The identifier of the element. This identifier is generated in the HTML component and can be used for styling.
  • class_name: An additional CSS class that is added to the generated HTML component. Note that all visual elements are generated with the "taipy-visual_element_type" CSS class set (e.g. the button control generates an HTML element that has the taipy-button CSS class).
  • properties: The name of a variable that holds a dictionary where all property name/value pairs will be used by a given visual element declaration.

All or most Taipy visual elements expose similar properties that can be used generically across your pages.

The id property

You can specify an identifier for a specific visual element.

This identifier is used as the id attribute of the generated HTML component so you can use it in your CSS selectors. You can look at the Styling section for more information.

Note

This identifier is also sent to the on_action callback if this visual element can trigger actions (see Actions for details).

The properties property

There are situations where your visual element may need a lot of different properties. This is typically the case for complex visual elements like the chart or the table controls.

When an element needs many properties and property values, the content may become difficult to read. Something you can do about this is create a Python dictionary that contains all the key-value pairs for your properties (name and value), then use the name of the variable that holds that dictionary as the value of the properties property.

Example

Say your Markdown content needs the following control: <|dialog|title=Select an item in the list|open={show_dialog}|labels=Cancel;Validate|page_id=page|close_label=Cancel|>

As this syntax can be cumbersome, you might prefer to define a simple Python dictionary:

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dialog_props = {
  "title":       "Select an item in the list",
  "labels":      "Cancel;Validate",
  "page_id":     "page",
  "close_label": "Cancel"
}

Then shorten your Markdown text with the following syntax:

<|{show_dialog}|dialog|properties=dialog_props|>

The propagate property

There are situations where you don't want a variable bound to a control value (such as the knob location of a slider) to be updated immediately when the user manipulates the control. You may for example want to check the received value in the on_change callback and decide to use this new value or not.
This is the purpose of the propagate property.

When the propagate property is set to True, then the application variable bound to a control is updated when the user modifies the value represented by the control.

Info

Note that if there is a function called on_change() accessible to the Gui instance (see the section on Variable Value Change for details), it will be invoked no matter what the propagate value is. The variable value that this function receives is the new requested value, but this value is not set to the variable bound to the control.

Besides those common properties, every visual element type has a specific set of properties that you can use, listed in the documentation page for each visual element.