How do you configure IDLE on a Mac, seeing as there's no Configure Option...

Mensanator mensanator at
Tue Jan 5 06:24:55 CET 2010

On Jan 4, 2:25 pm, Ned Deily <n... at> wrote:
> In article
> <ec96e1391001040805j13b4e5cet3f1b74e9a81ed... at>,
>  Benjamin Kaplan <benjamin.kap... at> wrote:
> > On Sun, Jan 3, 2010 at 8:42 PM, Mensanator <mensana... at> wrote:
> > > ...because there's no [Options] menu on the shell window?
> > > Or at least give me a clue to how to use Courier New font?
> > > For some inscrutable reason, depite the plethora of formatting tools,
> > > someone decided that proportional spaced fonts ought to be the
> > > default for IDLE.
> > Mac Applications don't have "options" menus. They have a "preferences"
> > pane which is the second item in the application menu (the one that
> > takes the name of the active program) and has a keyboard shortcut of
> > Cmd-,
> > Apple's user-interface guidelines are pretty specific, so you'll find
> > that this works for all native OS X (i.e. not X11) applications.
> But be aware that IDLE on OS X has had various problems with missing
> and/or duplicate menu items.  IIRC, the current OS X IDLEs
> (2.6.4 and 3.1.1) should be OK and you can modify the font via the
> Preferences menu

No, I already checked. Both system preferences and X11 preferences.

> (and currently changed preferences apply to all
> versions of IDLE).  Note also that there are two different ways to
> launch the OS X IDLE. installers put a double-clickable
> in /Applications/Python n.x.

Yeah, I've still got that one installed, but it has the broken

> There is also a command-line
> "idlen.n" in /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/n.n/bin
> which, optionally, has a symlink from /usr/local/bin.

AARRGGHH!!! I'm pulling my hair out!

I haven't been using the IDLE from the broken disk image.

I assume I've been using the IDLE from macports. From the command
prompt I've
been typing "idle". This launches a "shell" window which appears to
have an X11
parent application for which there are no "preferences" applicable to

However, if I use the quick launcher from the, I get a
"shell" whose
parent is named "IDLE"! And that one has a completely different
one similar the the Windows Configure which allows me to set the font!

Now, if I close this shell and start IDLE from the command line again,
I still
get a "shell" with an X11 parent, but, lo and behold, the font has
changed to
what I had previously set with the IDLE parent.

Course, I can't import gmpy, cause the version can't
compile it, so I
still have to use the macports install of 3.1, but that's ok, once I
the IDLE application to set the preferences, I can switch back to the
X11 version and the preferences will follow.


That was fun. Thanks for the help everyone. Don't ask me to explain
what I just
did, sometimes you just have to let art flow over you.

> --
>  Ned Deily,
>  n... at

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