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

Ned Deily nad at
Tue Jan 5 07:32:47 CET 2010

In article 
<0d70cb54-3d77-4176-b621-e764ecf613b7 at>,
 Mensanator <mensanator at> wrote:
> 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
> fonts.
> 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
> preferences,
> 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
> use
> the IDLE application to set the preferences, I can switch back to the
> X11 version and the preferences will follow.

The prefs follow because all versions of IDLE use the same (unversioned) 
directory for configuration files, ~/.idlerc/.  In particular, the 
configuration file ~/.idlerc/config-main.cfg contains, among other 
things, any changes to the default font.  So, if you're successful at 
changing it in one version of IDLE, it will likely affect all versions 
you have.  Note the file is a simple ini format:

font = monaco

so you can edit it by hand.

BTW, the IDLEs and the Apple-supplied IDLEs use the 
system-supplied Aqua (aka Quartz) Tk not the X11 one that MacPorts 
builds by default.  The MacPorts Tk port does have a "quartz" variant 
but that doesn't yet work in 64-bit mode.

 Ned Deily,
 nad at

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