phoenix_title wx.lib.agw.aui.aui_switcherdialog


The idea of SwitcherDialog is to make it easier to implement keyboard navigation in AUI and other applications that have multiple panes and tabs.

A key combination with a modifier (such as Ctrl + Tab) shows the dialog, and the user holds down the modifier whilst navigating with Tab and arrow keys before releasing the modifier to dismiss the dialog and activate the selected pane.

The switcher dialog is a multi-column menu with no scrolling, implemented by the MultiColumnListCtrl class. You can have headings for your items for logical grouping, and you can force a column break if you need to.

The modifier used for invoking and dismissing the dialog can be customised, as can the colours, number of rows, and the key used for cycling through the items. So you can use different keys on different platforms if required (especially since Ctrl + Tab is reserved on some platforms).

Items are shown as names and optional 16x16 images.

Base Functionalities

To use the dialog, you set up the items in a SwitcherItems object, before passing this to the SwitcherDialog instance.

Call SwitcherItems.AddItem and optionally SwitcherItems.AddGroup to add items and headings. These functions take a label (to be displayed to the user), an identifying name, an integer id, and a bitmap. The name and id are purely for application-defined identification. You may also set a description to be displayed when each item is selected; and you can set a window pointer for convenience when activating the desired window after the dialog returns.

Have created the dialog, you call ShowModal, and if the return value is wx.ID_OK, retrieve the selection from the dialog and activate the pane.

The sample code below shows a generic method of finding panes and notebook tabs within the current AuiManager, and using the pane name or notebook tab position to display the pane.

The only other code to add is a menu item with the desired accelerator, whose modifier matches the one you pass to SwitcherDialog.SetModifierKey (the default being wx.WXK_CONTROL).


Menu item:

if wx.Platform == "__WXMAC__":
    switcherAccel = "Alt+Tab"
elif wx.Platform == "__WXGTK__":
    switcherAccel = "Ctrl+/"
    switcherAccel = "Ctrl+Tab"

view_menu.Append(ID_SwitchPane, _("S&witch Window...") + "  " + switcherAccel)

Event handler:

def OnSwitchPane(self, event):

    items = SwitcherItems()

    # Add the main windows and toolbars, in two separate columns
    # We'll use the item 'id' to store the notebook selection, or -1 if not a page

    for k in range(2):
        if k == 0:
            items.AddGroup(_("Main Windows"), "mainwindows")
            items.AddGroup(_("Toolbars"), "toolbars").BreakColumn()

        for pane in self._mgr.GetAllPanes():
            name =
            caption = pane.caption

            toolbar = isinstance(info.window, wx.ToolBar) or isinstance(info.window, aui.AuiToolBar)
            if caption and (toolBar  and k == 1) or (not toolBar and k == 0):
                items.AddItem(caption, name, -1).SetWindow(pane.window)

    # Now add the wxAuiNotebook pages

    items.AddGroup(_("Notebook Pages"), "pages").BreakColumn()

    for pane in self._mgr.GetAllPanes():
        nb = pane.window
        if isinstance(nb, aui.AuiNotebook):
            for j in range(nb.GetPageCount()):

                name = nb.GetPageText(j)
                win = nb.GetPage(j)

                items.AddItem(name, name, j, nb.GetPageBitmap(j)).SetWindow(win)

    # Select the focused window

    idx = items.GetIndexForFocus()
    if idx != wx.NOT_FOUND:

    if wx.Platform == "__WXMAC__":

    # Show the switcher dialog

    dlg = SwitcherDialog(items, wx.GetApp().GetTopWindow())

    # In GTK+ we can't use Ctrl+Tab; we use Ctrl+/ instead and tell the switcher
    # to treat / in the same was as tab (i.e. cycle through the names)

    if wx.Platform == "__WXGTK__":

    if wx.Platform == "__WXMAC__":

    ans = dlg.ShowModal()

    if ans == wx.ID_OK and dlg.GetSelection() != -1:
        item = items.GetItem(dlg.GetSelection())

        if item.GetId() == -1:
            info = self._mgr.GetPane(item.GetName())

            nb = item.GetWindow().GetParent()
            win = item.GetWindow();
            if isinstance(nb, aui.AuiNotebook):

class_summary Classes Summary


A control for displaying several columns (not scrollable).


SwitcherDialog shows a Dialog with a list of panes and tabs for the user to choose.


An object containing information about one item.


An object containing switcher items.