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I am trying to create a text editor for Ubuntu (going to give it a try!) using gtk2 and python. So far I have been able to implement the open function. However I just don't know how I can get the contents of the TextView and write them into a file (the user would have named and decided which directory to save it in).

Here is the code for the gtk.FileChooserDialog save function:

def on_saveButton_clicked(widget):
        print 'saveButton clicked'
        savechooser = gtk.FileChooserDialog(title='Save File', action=gtk.FILE_CHOOSER_ACTION_SAVE, 
                                                        buttons=(gtk.STOCK_CANCEL, gtk.RESPONSE_CANCEL,
                                                        gtk.STOCK_SAVE, gtk.RESPONSE_OK))
        filter = gtk.FileFilter()
        filter.set_name('All files')

        pyFilter = gtk.FileFilter()
        pyFilter.set_name('Python source file')

        rbFilter = gtk.FileFilter()
        rbFilter.set_name('Ruby source file')

        cppFilter = gtk.FileFilter()
        cppFilter.set_name('C++ source file')

        response =
        if response == gtk.RESPONSE_OK:
            filename = savechooser.get_filename()
            print filename, 'selected.'
        elif response == gtk.RESPONSE_CANCEL:
            print 'Closed, file not saved.'

Does anyone have any ideas?

share|improve this question
I'd start this kind of project by using GTK3 instead, look at this tutorial for example: – Sylvain Pineau Mar 15 '14 at 22:34
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In the first place, consider updating your code to Python 3 and Gtk+3 (PyGObject) as @SylvainPineau suggests. Then, you need to make the GtkTextView an instance property/member so you can access it from within on_saveButton_clicked. Lastly, to actually save the contents of the GtkTextBuffer you can use Python builtin functions or GIO.

With Python builtin functions (and assuming you save the GtkTextView in self.view):

if response == gtk.RESPONSE_OK:
    filename = savechooser.get_filename()
    print(filename, 'selected.')

    buf = self.view.get_buffer()
    text = buf.get_text(buf.get_start_iter(),
        open(filename, 'w').write(text)
    except SomeError as err:
        print('Could not save %s: %s' % (filename, err))

PS: I notice you are not using classes, since your on_saveButton_clicked function doesn't have the self argument. If so, for the sake of testing your current code you can make self.view into a TEXT_VIEW global variable.

share|improve this answer
Why would I need to use Gtk+3? – DevRobot Mar 16 '14 at 13:01
I'm using gtksourceview2. – DevRobot Mar 16 '14 at 13:02
@Abunujum, well, you don't have to use Gtk+3. It's recommended nonetheless, that way your application will be able to take advantage of the new features, improvements and bug fixes :) – edwin Mar 16 '14 at 18:49
Yes ... that may be a better idea, it will be useful in the long run I suppose. – DevRobot Mar 16 '14 at 21:01
In that line, I am creating a file object with write mode (because I am going to write to the file). In general, in the Python interpreter you can type help(thing) to get help about thing. Try running python in a terminal, then execute help(open) to check it out. – edwin Mar 17 '14 at 23:31

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