Advanced Concepts

This page describes some of the more advanced uses of Questionary.


Many of the prompts support a validate argument, which allows the answer to be validated before being submitted. A user can not submit an answer if it doesn’t pass the validation.

The example below shows text() input with a validation:

import questionary
from questionary import Validator, ValidationError, prompt

class NameValidator(Validator):
    def validate(self, document):
        if len(document.text) == 0:
            raise ValidationError(
                message="Please enter a value",

questionary.text("What's your name?", validate=NameValidator).ask()

In this example, the user can not enter a non empty value. If the prompt is submitted without a value. Questionary will show the error message and reject the submission until the user enters a value.

Alternatively, we can replace the NameValidator class with a simple function, as seen below:

import questionary

  "What's your name?",
  validate=lambda text: True if len(text) > 0 else "Please enter a value"

Finally, if we do not care about the error message being displayed, we can omit the error message from the final example to use the default:

import questionary

print(questionary.text("What's your name?", validate=lambda text: len(text) > 0).ask())


The checkbox() prompt does not support passing a Validator. See the API Reference for all the prompts which support the validate parameter.

A Validation Example using the Password Question

Here we see an example of validate being used on a password() prompt to enforce complexity requirements:

import re
import questionary

def password_validator(password):

    if len(password) < 10:
        return "Password must be at least 10 characters"

    elif"[0-9]", password) is None:
        return "Password must contain a number"

    elif"[a-z]", password) is None:
        return "Password must contain an lower-case letter"

    elif"[A-Z]", password) is None:
        return "Password must contain an upper-case letter"

        return True

print(questionary.password("Enter your password", validate=password_validator).ask())

Keyboard Interrupts

Prompts can be invoked in either a ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’ way. The safe way captures keyboard interrupts and handles them by catching the interrupt and returning None for the asked question. If a question is asked using unsafe functions, the keyboard interrupts are not caught.


The following are safe (capture keyboard interrupts):

When a keyboard interrupt is captured, the message "Cancelled by user" is displayed (or a custom message, if one is given) and None is returned. Here is an example:

# Questionary handles keyboard interrupt and returns `None` if the
# user hits e.g. `Ctrl+C`


The following are unsafe (do not catch keyboard interrupts):

As a caller you must handle keyboard interrupts yourself when calling these methods. Here is an example:


except KeyboardInterrupt:
    # your chance to handle the keyboard interrupt
    print("Cancelled by user")

Asynchronous Usage

If you are running asynchronous code and you want to avoid blocking your async loop, you can ask your questions using await. questionary.Question and questionary.Form have ask_async and unsafe_ask_async methods to invoke the question using asyncio:

import questionary

answer = await questionary.text("What's your name?").ask_async()

Themes & Styling

You can customize all the colors used for the prompts. Every part of the prompt has an identifier, which you can use to style it. Let’s create your own custom style:

from questionary import Style

custom_style_fancy = Style([
    ('qmark', 'fg:#673ab7 bold'),       # token in front of the question
    ('question', 'bold'),               # question text
    ('answer', 'fg:#f44336 bold'),      # submitted answer text behind the question
    ('pointer', 'fg:#673ab7 bold'),     # pointer used in select and checkbox prompts
    ('highlighted', 'fg:#673ab7 bold'), # pointed-at choice in select and checkbox prompts
    ('selected', 'fg:#cc5454'),         # style for a selected item of a checkbox
    ('separator', 'fg:#cc5454'),        # separator in lists
    ('instruction', ''),                # user instructions for select, rawselect, checkbox
    ('text', ''),                       # plain text
    ('disabled', 'fg:#858585 italic')   # disabled choices for select and checkbox prompts

To use the custom style, you need to pass it to the question as a parameter:

questionary.text("What's your phone number", style=custom_style_fancy).ask()


Default values will be used for any token types not specified in your custom style.

Styling Choices in Select & Checkbox Questions

It is also possible to use a list of token tuples as a Choice title to change how an option is displayed in and questionary.checkbox. Make sure to define any additional styles as part of your custom style definition.

import questionary
from questionary import Choice, Style

custom_style_fancy = questionary.Style([
    ("highlighted", "bold"),  # style for a token which should appear highlighted

choices = [Choice(title=[("class:text", "order a "),
                         ("class:highlighted", "big pizza")])]
   "What do you want to do?",

Conditionally Skip Questions

Sometimes it is helpful to be able to skip a question based on a condition. To avoid the need for an if around the question, you can pass the condition when you create the question:

import questionary

response = questionary.confirm("Are you amazed?").skip_if(DISABLED, default=True).ask()

If the condition (in this case DISABLED) is True, the question will be skipped and the default value gets returned, otherwise the user will be prompted as usual and the default value will be ignored.

Create Questions from Dictionaries

Instead of creating questions using the Python functions, you can also create them using a configuration dictionary:

from questionary import prompt

questions = [
        'type': 'text',
        'name': 'phone',
        'message': "What's your phone number",
        'type': 'confirm',
        'message': 'Do you want to continue?',
        'name': 'continue',
        'default': True,

answers = prompt(questions)

The questions will be prompted one after another and prompt will return as soon as all of them are answered. The returned answers will be a dictionary containing the responses, e.g.

{"phone": "0123123", "continue": False}.

Each configuration dictionary for a question must contain the following keys:

type (required)

The type of the question.

name (required)

The name of the question (will be used as key in the answers dictionary).

message (required)

Message that will be shown to the user.

In addition to these required configuration parameters, you can add the following optional parameters:

qmark (optional)

Question mark to use - defaults to ?.

default (optional)

Preselected value.

choices (optional)

List of choices (applies when 'type': 'select') or function returning a list of choices.

when (optional)

Function checking if this question should be shown or skipped (same functionality as skip_if).

validate (optional)

Function or Validator Class performing validation (will be performed in real time as users type).

filter (optional)

Receive the user input and return the filtered value to be used inside the program.

Further information can be found at the questionary.prompt documentation.

A Complex Example using a Dictionary Configuration

Questionary allows creating quite complex workflows when combining all of the above concepts:

from pprint import pprint
from questionary import Separator, prompt

def ask_dictstyle(**kwargs):
    questions = [
            "type": "confirm",
            "name": "conditional_step",
            "message": "Would you like the next question?",
            "default": True,
            "type": "text",
            "name": "next_question",
            "message": "Name this library?",
            # Validate if the first question was answered with yes or no
            "when": lambda x: x["conditional_step"],
            # Only accept questionary as answer
            "validate": lambda val: val == "questionary",
            "type": "select",
            "name": "second_question",
            "message": "Select item",
            "choices": ["item1", "item2", Separator(), "other"],
            "type": "text",
            # intentionally overwrites result from previous question
            "name": "second_question",
            "message": "Insert free text",
            "when": lambda x: x["second_question"] == "other",
    return prompt(questions)

if __name__ == "__main__":

The above workflow will show to the user the following prompts:

  1. Yes/No question "Would you like the next question?".

  2. "Name this library?" - only shown when the first question is answered with yes.

  3. A question to select an item from a list.

  4. Free text input if "other" is selected in step 3.

Depending on the route the user took, the result will look like the following:

    'conditional_step': False,
    'second_question': 'Test input'   # Free form text
    'conditional_step': True,
    'next_question': 'questionary',
    'second_question': 'Test input'   # Free form text

You can test this workflow yourself by running the example.