Hello, Python! print(“Xcalc”): Simple Calculator with Python

Last updated on December 25th, 2023 at 03:34 pm

Unlike most programmers, Python (highly recommended as a first language) wasn’t my initial programming language. I began system programming with C++ in 2015; I didn’t have much of a choice then, as C++ was part of my first semester curriculum. Going even further back to 2013, I had already glimpsed the PHP scripting language. As you can imagine, the idea of progressing beyond “print ‘Hello, World!'” in Python2 had always been present and was long overdue by the time I finished college.

Completing my college degree (officially) 2 months ago meant I have extra time in hand to try something new. Viz., Python!

I am already grounded with the concept of object oriented programming; I am no stranger to system programming languages like Java & C++, have expert skill set in PHP server scripting language. Indeed, it wouldn’t hurt to add another programming language to my CV.

Python should be easy, right?

Or so I thought. After dedicating 9 days to learning Python syntax (or, more accurately, unlearning the use of semi-colons and braces), loops, functions, classes, modules, and GUI (TK), I felt like I had reached the pinnacle of the Python programming language. Without delay, I took the LinkedIn quiz with the intention of showcasing my shiny new programming skills on my LinkedIn profile. However, as you might have guessed, I wasted no time in failing the LinkedIn quiz.

Not an auspicious start, some might say. However, amidst the setbacks, there were several positives. One of them is

My very own first Python GUI program, Xcalc

Simple Calculator (Xcalc) Python Program

As the program description in Help > About clearly states:

Simple Calculator (xcalc) is a personal Python project by Ebenezer Obasi (www.eobasi.com). It is designed to facilitate basic calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. However, should it fail, just know it’s my first Python GUI program.

Unlike most programming languages, learning the basics of Python is unbelievably easy if you are new to programming in general. However, if you are transitioning from a different programming background, such as Java and C++, unlearning the old habit of ending a line with a semi-colon can be a bit tricky. If this is your case, I should warn you ahead:

  • In Python, new line indicates the end of the preceding statement. Commas may be used but only to separate statements on the same line.
"""Code to calculate Simple Interest in Python3"""
#statements on each line; notice that semi-colon is not used
P = 1000
r = 3.82
t = 7
A = P * (1 + r * t)

#statements in one line; notice the use of semi-colons
P = 1000; r = 3.82; t = 7; A=P*(1+r*t);print(A)
  • Python used indentation in place of curly braces used in Java and C++ block statements.

C++ Function

//create a function in C++
int main(){
    cout << "Hello, World!" << endl;
    return 0;

Python Function

#create a function in Python
def main():
    print("Hello, World!")

#call the function
  • Python is a loosely type programming language. Meaning you don’t have to define a data type when you initialize a variable or function.
  • Pay heavy attention to indentation. Python relies on indentation for more than just clean codes.

Notwithstanding, Python has a smooth learning curve, regardless on your programming stand. In fact, some of the principal ideas behind Python include:

  • Simple is better than complex.
  • Beautiful is better than ugly.
  • Readability counts.
  • Special cases aren’t special enough to break the rules.
  • If the implementation is hard to explain, it’s a bad idea.
  • If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a good idea.
  • More from The Zen of Python.

Python comes with a lot of very useful libraries and modules that can make your job a lot easier. The Xcalc GUI program for instance, was written with Python3 TK GUI toolkit. It took only 168 line of codes to produce the Xcalc program.

Xcalc Source Code

import tkinter
import tkinter.messagebox



BTN_FONT = ("Arial", 14)

DISPLAY_FONT = ("Arial", 18)
DISPLAY_SM_FONT = ("Arial", 14)


numpad = [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0, '.']
operators = ['+','-', '/', '*', '=']

box = tkinter.Tk()

def winDocument( params = {}):
    winParams = {
        "title": "Document::Simple Calculator",
        "content": "",
        "minwidth": 400,
        "minheight": 400,
    winDocument = tkinter.Toplevel(box)
    winDocument.minsize(width=winParams["minwidth"], height=winParams["minheight"])

    content = tkinter.Message(winDocument, text=winParams["content"], background="#2f4f68", foreground="#fff", font=("Arial", 14))

def menubar():
    menubar = tkinter.Menu(box)

    helpmenu = tkinter.Menu(menubar, tearoff=0)
    helpmenu.add_command(label="About...", command=lambda: winDocument(params={
        "title": "About...",
        "content": "Simple Calculator (xcalc) is a vanity python project by Ebenezer Obasi (www.eobasi.com). It should enable you do basic calculation such as addition, substraction, multiplication and division, but should it fail, just know it's my first Python GUI program.\
        \n\nTips:\n - Use ** operator to get the power of a number.\n- Use // operator to get the floor of numbers divided.\
        \n\nFeel free to contact me anytime at [email protected]"
    }), background="#2f4f68", foreground="#fff", font=("Arial", 14))
    menubar.add_cascade(label="Help", menu=helpmenu)

    return menubar

def btnCallBack(x):
    if str(x) == '=':
            calc = eval(equation.get())
    elif str(x) == 'clear':
    elif str(x) == 'c':
        e = str(equation.get())
        e = e[:-1]

def generateBtn(master, label, grid = {}, params = {}):
    btnParams = {
        "text": label,
        "bg": "#2f4f68",
        "bd": 0,
        "font": BTN_FONT,
        "fg": "#fff",
        "activebackground": "#324e64",
        "activeforeground": "#fff",
        "width": BTN_WIDTH,
        "height": BTN_HEIGTH,
        "command": lambda: btnCallBack(label)
    btn = tkinter.Button(master, btnParams)

box.configure(background = "#3c4248")
box.title("Simple Calculator")
box.geometry("{}x{}".format(WIN_WIDTH, WIN_HEIGHT))
box.minsize(width=WIN_WIDTH, height=WIN_HEIGHT)
box.maxsize(width=WIN_WIDTH, height=WIN_HEIGHT)

dispalyArea = tkinter.Frame(box, bg="#333")
dispalyArea.grid(columnspan = 2, row = 0, column = 0)

numArea = tkinter.Frame(box, bg="#201c29")
numArea.grid( row = 1, column = 0, ipady="20")

operatorArea = tkinter.Frame(box, bg="#201c29")
operatorArea.grid( row = 1, column = 1, ipady="20")

equation = tkinter.StringVar()

display = tkinter.Entry(dispalyArea, {
    "textvariable": equation,
    'bg': "#333",
    "fg": "#fff",
    'bd': 0,
    #'anchor': "w",
display.grid(columnspan=3,row = 0, ipadx=10, column=0, padx="5")

column = row = count = 0

for x in range(0, len(numpad)):
    params = {}
    grid = {"column":column, "row":row}

    if x == (len(numpad) - 1) and column < (NUM_COLUMN_COUNT - 1):
        grid.update({"columnspan":(NUM_COLUMN_COUNT - 1)})

    generateBtn(numArea, label=numpad[x], grid=grid, params=params)

    if count == (NUM_COLUMN_COUNT - 1):
        row += 1
        column = 0
        count = 0
        count += 1
        column += 1

generateBtn(operatorArea, label='c', grid={ "column":0, "row":0, "columnspan":2}, params={"width":BTN_WIDTH*3})

row = 1; column = count = 0
for x in range(0, len(operators)):
    params = {}
    grid = {"column":column, "row":row}

    if x == (len(operators) - 1) and len(operators) % 2 == 1:
        if column < 1:

    generateBtn(operatorArea, label=operators[x], grid=grid, params=params)

    if count == 1:
        row += 1
        column = 0
        count = 0
        count += 1
        column += 1

generateBtn(dispalyArea, label='clear', grid={ "column":3, "row":0, "columnspan":1})


You can download Xcalc full source code from Github >> https://github.com/eobasi/xcalc

Xcalc Structure

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