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Builtin helpers

PyScript makes available convenience objects and functions inside Python as well as custom attributes in HTML.

In Python this is done via the pyscript module:

Accessing the document object via the pyscript module
from pyscript import document

In HTML this is done via py-* attributes:

An example of a py-click handler
<button id="foo" py-click="handler_defined_in_python">Click me</button>

Common features

These Python objects / functions are available in both the main thread and in code running on a web worker:


This object is a proxy for the web page's global window context.


Please note that in workers, this is still the main window, not the worker's own global context. A worker's global context is reachable instead via import js (the js object being a proxy for the worker's globalThis).


This object is a proxy for the the web page's document object. The document is a representation of the DOM and can be used to manipulate the content of the web page.


A function used to display content. The function is intelligent enough to introspect the object[s] it is passed and work out how to correctly display the object[s] in the web page.

The display function takes a list of *values as its first argument, and has two optional named arguments:

  • target=None - the DOM element into which the content should be placed.
  • append=True - a flag to indicate if the output is going to be appended to the target.

There are some caveats:

  • When used in the main thread, the display function automatically uses the current <script> tag as the target into which the content will be displayed.
  • If the <script> tag has the target attribute, the element on the page with that ID (or which matches that selector) will be used to display the content instead.
  • When used in a worker, the display function needs an explicit target="dom-id" argument to identify where the content will be displayed.
  • In both the main thread and worker, append=True is the default behaviour.


A Python decorator to indicate the decorated function should handle the specified events for selected elements.

The decorator takes two parameters:

  • The event_type should be the name of the browser event to handle as a string (e.g. "click").
  • The selector should be a string containing a valid selector to indicate the target elements in the DOM whose events of event_type are of interest.

The following example has a button with an id of my_button and a decorated function that handles click events dispatched by the button.

The HTML button
<button id="my_button">Click me!</button>
The decorated Python function to handle click events
from pyscript import when, display

@when("click", "#my_button")
def click_handler(event):
    Event handlers get an event object representing the activity that raised
    display("I've been clicked!")

This functionality is related to the HTML py-* attributes.


It is possible to define JavaScript modules to use within your Python code.

Such named modules will always then be available under the pyscript.js_modules namespace.


Please see the documentation (linked above) about restrictions and gotchas when configuring how JavaScript modules are made available to PyScript.

Main-thread only features


A class used to instantiate a new worker from within Python.


Currently this only works with Pyodide.

The following fragment demonstrates who to start the Python code in the file on a new worker from within Python.

Starting a new worker from Python
from pyscript import PyWorker

a_worker = PyWorker("./")

Worker only features


A function used to pass serializable data from workers to the main thread.

Imagine you have this code on the main thread:

Python code on the main thread
from pyscript import PyWorker

def hello(name="world"):
    display(f"Hello, {name}")

worker = PyWorker("./")
worker.sync.hello = hello

In the code on the worker, you can pass data back to handler functions like this:

Pass data back to the main thread from a worker
from pyscript import sync


HTML attributes

As a convenience, and to ensure backwards compatibility, PyScript allows the use of inline event handlers via custom HTML attributes.


This classic pattern of coding (inline event handlers) is no longer considered good practice in web development circles.

We include this behaviour for historic reasons, but the folks at Mozilla have a good explanation of why this is currently considered bad practice.

These attributes are expressed as py-* attributes of an HTML element that reference the name of a Python function to run when the event is fired. You should replace the * with the actual name of an event (e.g. py-click). This is similar to how all event handlers on elements start with on in standard HTML (e.g. onclick). The rule of thumb is to simply replace on with py- and then reference the name of a Python function.

A py-click event on an HTML button element.
<button py-click="handle_click" id="my_button">Click me!</button>
The related Python function.
from pyscript import window

def handle_click(event):
    Simply log the click event to the browser's console.

Under the hood, the pyscript.when decorator is used to enable this behaviour.


In earlier versions of PyScript, the value associated with the attribute was simply evaluated by the Python interpreter. This was unsafe: manipulation of the attribute's value could have resulted in the evaluation of arbitrary code.

This is why we changed to the current behaviour: just supply the name of the Python function to be evaluated, and PyScript will do this safely.