How To Add Images In Tkinter

How To Place Images In Tkinter QR Cover

Before we start: This Python tutorial is a part of our series of Python Package tutorials. You can find other Tkinter related topics too!

Tkinter relies on the Python Pillow (aka PIL) package for image processing capabilities. Using Pillow, a Tkinter function that displays a text-based message can instead display an image-based message.

Note that depending on the purpose of an image in a Tkinter application, different coding may be required. The reason for this is because images in applications can vary from background wallpaper, to positioned images that represent processes in underlying code, to clickable images or icons that perform an action when clicked. 

How to Display Images with Tkinter’s Label Widget

Tkinter’s label widget can be used to display either images or text. To display an image requires the use of Image and ImageTk imported from the Python Pillow (aka PIL) package.

A label widget can display either PhotoImage or BitmapImage objects:

  • The PhotoImage class is used to display grayscale or true color icons, as well as images in labels. Note that only GIF and PGM/PPM image formats are supported. For information on how you can work with more image formats, see the Pillow section below.
  • The BitmapImage class is used to display only monochrome (two-color) images in labels.

Tkinter has three built-in Layout Managers that can be used to position labels containing images in a frame: pack, grid, and place. For example, a label can be placed in a frame using the place layout manager at x,y coordinates, as shown in the following example:, y=60)

How to Use Pillow with Tkinter

Tkinter relies on Pillow for working with images. Pillow is a fork of the Python Imaging Library, and can be imported in a Python console as PIL. Pillow has the following characteristics: 

  • Support for a wide range of image file formats, including PNG, JPEG and GIF.
  • Basic image processing and manipulation functionality
  • Width and height options that can be used to set the Label size for an image. If a size is not specified, the Label will be just large enough to display its contents.

To check if Pillow is already installed, enter the following command in a Python console:


If Pillow is not installed, you can install it with:

python3 -m pip install pillow

How to Manipulate Images with PIL and ImageTk

To import ImageTk and Image in a Python console, enter: 

from PIL import ImageTk, Image  

An image can be opened with the following code snippet:

image1 ="<path/image_name>")

The resize() option can be used to set an image’s height and width. In the following example, an image’s dimensions are set to 50 pixels high and wide:

image1 = img.resize((50, 50), Image.ANTIALIAS)

If an image size is not specified, the Label will be just large enough to display its contents. 

How to Display a Background Image with Tkinter

The following example displays a background image in a frame:

Import tkinter
from tkinter import *
from PIL import Image, ImageTk

root = Tk()

# Create a photoimage object of the image in the path
image1 ="<path/image_name>")
test = ImageTk.PhotoImage(image1)

label1 = tkinter.Label(image=test)
label1.image = test

# Position image<x_coordinate>, y=<y_coordinate>)

How to Display an Image on a Tkinter Button

The following example displays an image positioned on a button 

import tkinter
from tkinter import *
from PIL import Image, ImageTk

root = Tk()

# Position text in frame
Label(root, text = 'Position image on button', font =('<font_name>', <font_size>)).pack(side = TOP, padx = <x_coordinate#>, pady = <y_coordinate#>)

# Create a photoimage object of the image in the path
photo = PhotoImage(file = "</path/image_name>")

# Resize image to fit on button
photoimage = photo.subsample(1, 2)

# Position image on button
Button(root, image = photoimage,).pack(side = BOTTOM, pady = <y_coordinate#>)

Next steps

Now that you know how to add images using Python’s Tkinter, let’s move on to other things you can do with Tkinter:

Python For Data Science

Pre-bundled with the most important packages Data Scientists need, ActivePython is pre-compiled so you and your team don’t have to waste time configuring the open source distribution. You can focus on what’s important–spending more time building algorithms and predictive models against your big data sources, and less time on system configuration.

Some Popular Python Packages for Data Science/Big Data/Machine LearningYou Get Pre-compiled – with ActivePython

  • pandas (data analysis)
  • NumPy (multi-dimensional arrays)
  • SciPy (algorithms to use with numpy)
  • HDF5 (store & manipulate data)
  • Matplotlib (data visualization)
  • Jupyter (research collaboration)
  • PyTables (managing HDF5 datasets)
  • HDFS (C/C++ wrapper for Hadoop)
  • pymongo (MongoDB driver)
  • SQLAlchemy (Python SQL Toolkit)

python for datascience

Use ActivePython and accelerate your Python projects.

  • The #1 Python solution used by innovative enterprise teams
  • Comes pre-bundled with top Python packages
  • Spend less time resolving dependencies and more time on quality coding

Take a look at ActivePython

Remi M