Button behavior and examples

Buttons created with st.button do not retain state. They return True on the script rerun resulting from their click and immediately return to False on the next script rerun. If a displayed element is nested inside if st.button('Click me'):, the element will be visible when the button is clicked and disappear as soon as the user takes their next action. This is because the script reruns and the button return value becomes False.

In this guide, we will illustrate the use of buttons and explain common misconceptions. Read on to see a variety of examples that expand on st.button using st.session_state. Anti-patterns are included at the end. Go ahead and pull up your favorite code editor so you can streamlit run the examples as you read. Check out Streamlit's Basic concepts if you haven't run your own Streamlit scripts yet.

When code is conditioned on a button's value, it will execute once in response to the button being clicked and not again (until the button is clicked again).

Good to nest inside buttons:

  • Transient messages that immediately disappear.
  • Once-per-click processes that saves data to session state, a file, or a database.

Bad to nest inside buttons:

  • Displayed items that should persist as the user continues.
  • Other widgets which cause the script to rerun when used.
  • Processes that neither modify session state nor write to a file/database.*

* This can be appropriate when disposable results are desired. If you have a "Validate" button, that could be a process conditioned directly on a button. It could be used to create an alert to say 'Valid' or 'Invalid' with no need to keep that info.

If you want to give the user a quick button to check if an entry is valid, but not keep that check displayed as the user continues.

In this example, a user can click a button to check if their animal string is in the animal_shelter list. When the user clicks "Check availability" they will see "We have that animal!" or "We don't have that animal." If they change the animal in st.text_input, the script reruns and the message disappears until they click "Check availability" again.

import streamlit as st animal_shelter = ['cat', 'dog', 'rabbit', 'bird'] animal = st.text_input('Type an animal') if st.button('Check availability'): have_it = animal.lower() in animal_shelter 'We have that animal!' if have_it else 'We don\'t have that animal.'

Note: The above example uses magic to render the message on the frontend.

If you want a clicked button to continue to be True, create a value in st.session_state and use the button to set that value to True in a callback.

import streamlit as st if 'clicked' not in st.session_state: st.session_state.clicked = False def click_button(): st.session_state.clicked = True st.button('Click me', on_click=click_button) if st.session_state.clicked: # The message and nested widget will remain on the page st.write('Button clicked!') st.slider('Select a value')

If you want a button to work like a toggle switch, consider using st.checkbox. Otherwise, you can use a button with a callback function to reverse a boolean value saved in st.session_state.

In this example, we use st.button to toggle another widget on and off. By displaying st.slider conditionally on a value in st.session_state, the user can interact with the slider without it disappearing.

import streamlit as st if 'button' not in st.session_state: st.session_state.button = False def click_button(): st.session_state.button = not st.session_state.button st.button('Click me', on_click=click_button) if st.session_state.button: # The message and nested widget will remain on the page st.write('Button is on!') st.slider('Select a value') else: st.write('Button is off!')

Alternatively, you can use the value in st.session_state on the slider's disabled parameter.

import streamlit as st if 'button' not in st.session_state: st.session_state.button = False def click_button(): st.session_state.button = not st.session_state.button st.button('Click me', on_click=click_button) st.slider('Select a value', disabled=st.session_state.button)

Another alternative to nesting content inside a button is to use a value in st.session_state that designates the "step" or "stage" of a process. In this example, we have four stages in our script:

  1. Before the user begins.
  2. User enters their name.
  3. User chooses a color.
  4. User gets a thank-you message.

A button at the beginning advances the stage from 0 to 1. A button at the end resets the stage from 3 to 0. The other widgets used in stage 1 and 2 have callbacks to set the stage. If you have a process with dependant steps and want to keep previous stages visible, such a callback forces a user to retrace subsequent stages if they change an earlier widget.

import streamlit as st if 'stage' not in st.session_state: st.session_state.stage = 0 def set_state(i): st.session_state.stage = i if st.session_state.stage == 0: st.button('Begin', on_click=set_state, args=[1]) if st.session_state.stage >= 1: name = st.text_input('Name', on_change=set_state, args=[2]) if st.session_state.stage >= 2: st.write(f'Hello {name}!') color = st.selectbox( 'Pick a Color', [None, 'red', 'orange', 'green', 'blue', 'violet'], on_change=set_state, args=[3] ) if color is None: set_state(2) if st.session_state.stage >= 3: st.write(f':{color}[Thank you!]') st.button('Start Over', on_click=set_state, args=[0])

If you modify st.session_state inside of a button, you must consider where that button is within the script.

A slight problem

In this example, we access st.session_state.name both before and after the buttons which modify it. When a button ("Jane" or "John") is clicked, the script reruns. The info displayed before the buttons lags behind the info written after the button. The data in st.session_state before the button is not updated. When the script executes the button function, that is when the conditional code to update st.session_state creates the change. Thus, this change is reflected after the button.

import streamlit as st import pandas as pd if 'name' not in st.session_state: st.session_state['name'] = 'John Doe' st.header(st.session_state['name']) if st.button('Jane'): st.session_state['name'] = 'Jane Doe' if st.button('John'): st.session_state['name'] = 'John Doe' st.header(st.session_state['name'])

Logic used in a callback

Callbacks are a clean way to modify st.session_state. Callbacks are executed as a prefix to the script rerunning, so the position of the button relative to accessing data is not important.

import streamlit as st import pandas as pd if 'name' not in st.session_state: st.session_state['name'] = 'John Doe' def change_name(name): st.session_state['name'] = name st.header(st.session_state['name']) st.button('Jane', on_click=change_name, args=['Jane Doe']) st.button('John', on_click=change_name, args=['John Doe']) st.header(st.session_state['name'])

Logic nested in a button with a rerun

Although callbacks are often preferred to avoid extra reruns, our first 'John Doe'/'Jane Doe' example can be modified by adding st.rerun instead. If you need to acces data in st.session_state before the button that modifies it, you can include st.rerun to rerun the script after the change has been committed. This means the script will rerun twice when a button is clicked.

import streamlit as st import pandas as pd if 'name' not in st.session_state: st.session_state['name'] = 'John Doe' st.header(st.session_state['name']) if st.button('Jane'): st.session_state['name'] = 'Jane Doe' st.rerun() if st.button('John'): st.session_state['name'] = 'John Doe' st.rerun() st.header(st.session_state['name'])

When a button is used to modify or reset another widget, it is the same as the above examples to modify st.session_state. However, an extra consideration exists: you cannot modify a key-value pair in st.session_state if the widget with that key has already been rendered on the page for the current script run.



Don't do this!

import streamlit as st st.text_input('Name', key='name') # These buttons will error because their nested code changes # a widget's state after that widget within the script. if st.button('Clear name'): st.session_state.name = '' if st.button('Streamlit!'): st.session_state.name = ('Streamlit')

Option 1: Use a key for the button and put the logic before the widget

If you assign a key to a button, you can condition code on a button's state by using its value in st.session_state. This means that logic depending on your button can be in your script before that button. In the following example, we use the .get() method on st.session_state because the keys for the buttons will not exist when the script runs for the first time. The .get() method will return False if it can't find the key. Otherwise, it will return the value of the key.

import streamlit as st # Use the get method since the keys won't be in session_state # on the first script run if st.session_state.get('clear'): st.session_state['name'] = '' if st.session_state.get('streamlit'): st.session_state['name'] = 'Streamlit' st.text_input('Name', key='name') st.button('Clear name', key='clear') st.button('Streamlit!', key='streamlit')

Option 2: Use a callback

import streamlit as st st.text_input('Name', key='name') def set_name(name): st.session_state.name = name st.button('Clear name', on_click=set_name, args=['']) st.button('Streamlit!', on_click=set_name, args=['Streamlit'])

Option 3: Use containers

By using st.container you can have widgets appear in different orders in your script and frontend view (webpage).

import streamlit as st begin = st.container() if st.button('Clear name'): st.session_state.name = '' if st.button('Streamlit!'): st.session_state.name = ('Streamlit') # The widget is second in logic, but first in display begin.text_input('Name', key='name')

When dynamically adding widgets to the page, make sure to use an index to keep the keys unique and avoid a DuplicateWidgetID error. In this example, we define a function display_input_row which renders a row of widgets. That function accepts an index as a parameter. The widgets rendered by display_input_row use index within their keys so that dispaly_input_row can be executed multiple times on a single script rerun without repeating any widget keys.

import streamlit as st def display_input_row(index): left, middle, right = st.columns(3) left.text_input('First', key=f'first_{index}') middle.text_input('Middle', key=f'middle_{index}') right.text_input('Last', key=f'last_{index}') if 'rows' not in st.session_state: st.session_state['rows'] = 0 def increase_rows(): st.session_state['rows'] += 1 st.button('Add person', on_click=increase_rows) for i in range(st.session_state['rows']): display_input_row(i) # Show the results st.subheader('People') for i in range(st.session_state['rows']): st.write( f'Person {i+1}:', st.session_state[f'first_{i}'], st.session_state[f'middle_{i}'], st.session_state[f'last_{i}'] )

When you have expensive processes, set them to run upon clicking a button and save the results into st.session_state. This allows you to keep accessing the results of the process without re-executing it unnecessarily. This is especially helpful for processes that save to disk or write to a database. In this example, we have an expensive_process that depends on two parameters: option and add. Functionally, add changes the output, but option does not—option is there to provide a parameter

import streamlit as st import pandas as pd import time def expensive_process(option, add): with st.spinner('Processing...'): time.sleep(5) df = pd.DataFrame({'A': [1, 2, 3], 'B': [4, 5, 6], 'C':[7, 8, 9]}) + add return (df, add) cols = st.columns(2) option = cols[0].selectbox('Select a number', options=['1', '2', '3']) add = cols[1].number_input('Add a number', min_value=0, max_value=10) if 'processed' not in st.session_state: st.session_state.processed = {} # Process and save results if st.button('Process'): result = expensive_process(option, add) st.session_state.processed[option] = result if option in st.session_state.processed: st.write(f'Option {option} processed with add {add}') st.write(st.session_state.processed[option][0])

Astute observers may think, "This feels a little like caching." We are only saving results relative to one parameter, but the pattern could easily be expanded to save results relative to both parameters. In that sense, yes, it has some similarities to caching, but also some important differences. When you save results in st.session_state, the results are only available to the current user in their current session. If you use st.cache_data instead, the results are available to all users across all sessions. Furthermore, if you want to update a saved result, you have to clear all saved results for that function to do so.

Here are some simplified examples of how buttons can go wrong. Be on the lookout for these common mistakes.

import streamlit as st if st.button('Button 1'): st.write('Button 1 was clicked') if st.button('Button 2'): # This will never be executed. st.write('Button 2 was clicked')
import streamlit as st if st.button('Sign up'): name = st.text_input('Name') if name: # This will never be executed. st.success(f'Welcome {name}')
import streamlit as st import pandas as pd file = st.file_uploader("Upload a file", type="csv") if st.button('Get data'): df = pd.read_csv(file) # This display will go away with the user's next action. st.write(df) if st.button('Save'): # This will always error. df.to_csv('data.csv')

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