5 Best Ways to Display Text in a Pygame Window Using Python

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πŸ’‘ Problem Formulation: As a developer working with Pygame, there comes a point when you need to draw text on the screen, perhaps to display scores, instructions, or messages. This article addresses this need by walking you through various methods of rendering and displaying text within a Pygame window. Suppose also you’d like the text “Game Over” to appear at the end of a game; we’ll show you how to do just that.

Method 1: Using the pygame.font.Font class

The pygame.font.Font class is the Pygame library’s method for creating a Font object from a system font or a file, which can then render text into a new Surface. This is the most straightforward way to display text in Pygame.

Here’s an example:

import pygame

pygame.init()
screen = pygame.display.set_mode((640, 480))
pygame.display.set_caption('Display Text Example')

# Define colors
WHITE = (255, 255, 255)
BLACK = (0, 0, 0)

# Set the font and size
font = pygame.font.Font(None, 36)

# Render the text
text = font.render('Game Over', True, WHITE)

# Display the text
screen.fill(BLACK)
screen.blit(text, (250, 200))
pygame.display.flip()

# Wait until the window closes
running = True
while running:
    for event in pygame.event.get():
        if event.type == pygame.QUIT:
            running = False

pygame.quit()

The output shows the text “Game Over” displayed in white on the Pygame window’s black background.

This code snippet initializes the Pygame module, creates a window, and fills the background with black. It then sets up a font of size 36, renders the text “Game Over” in white, and blits this surface onto the screen at coordinates (250, 200). Finally, it updates the display and enters a loop to wait for the window to close.

Method 2: Using pygame.font.SysFont

The pygame.font.SysFont method creates a new Font object from a system font by name. This allows you to use any installed system font to display text in Pygame, providing more control over the typography in your project.

Here’s an example:

import pygame

pygame.init()
screen = pygame.display.set_mode((640, 480))

# Choose a font and size
font = pygame.font.SysFont('Comic Sans MS', 30)

# Render the text
text = font.render('Level Cleared!', False, (0, 128, 0))

# Blit the text
screen.blit(text, (200, 225))
pygame.display.flip()

# Close the window
done = False
while not done:
    for event in pygame.event.get():
        if event.type == pygame.QUIT:
            done = True

pygame.quit()

The text “Level Cleared!” will appear on the screen in green.

This snippet initializes Pygame, creates a display window, selects the Comic Sans MS font at size 30, then renders the “Level Cleared!” text in green and blits it to the screen at (200, 225). The window stays open waiting for a quit event to terminate the program.

Method 3: Antialiasing with pygame.font.Font.render

Antialiasing is the technique used to smooth the edges of the rendered text, making it appear less jagged and more visually appealing. The render method of a font object includes an antialiasing parameter that can improve the quality of the text displayed on the screen.

Here’s an example:

import pygame

pygame.init()
screen = pygame.display.set_mode((640, 480))

# Set up the font
font = pygame.font.Font(None, 48)

# Enable antialiasing
text = font.render('Smooth Text', True, (100, 100, 255))

# Display the text
screen.blit(text, (220, 190))
pygame.display.flip()

# End the program
running = True
while running:
    for event in pygame.event.get():
        if event.type == pygame.QUIT:
            running = False

pygame.quit()

The text “Smooth Text” will be displayed with smooth edges in a light blue color.

In this code, we have initialized Pygame, created a display window, selected a default font at size 48, and then rendered text with antialiasing enabled. The string “Smooth Text” is then displayed in light blue with smoothed edges for a higher quality appearance.

Method 4: Rotating and positioning text

Beyond simply displaying text, Pygame also allows developers to rotate text and position it precisely within the game window. This involves rendering the text and then transforming the resulting Surface with pygame.transform.rotate.

Here’s an example:

import pygame

pygame.init()
screen = pygame.display.set_mode((640, 480))

# Choose a font
font = pygame.font.SysFont('Arial', 40)

# Render the text
text = font.render('Rotated Text', True, (255, 255, 0))

# Rotate the text
text = pygame.transform.rotate(text, 45)

# Display the text
rect = text.get_rect(center=(320, 240))
screen.blit(text, rect)
pygame.display.flip()

# Close the game window
keep_open = True
while keep_open:
    for event in pygame.event.get():
        if event.type == pygame.QUIT:
            keep_open = False

pygame.quit()

“Rotated Text” will show up on the screen turned 45 degrees in a yellow color.

This example demonstrates how to render text, rotate the resulting Surface, and position it at the center of the screen using rect. The text “Rotated Text” is displayed in a bold yellow color, rotated at a 45-degree angle.

Bonus One-Liner Method 5: Simple Message Display

For a quick and straightforward way to display a simple message, you can use a one-liner function. This is less flexible than the methods above but can be useful for rapid prototyping or debugging.

Here’s an example:

import pygame

# Assuming Pygame has been initialized and a screen created

def show_message(message):
    screen.blit(pygame.font.Font(None, 36).render(message, True, (255,255,255)), (50, 50))
    pygame.display.flip()

Calling show_message('Hello, Pygame!') will display the message on the screen in white color positioned at coordinates (50, 50).

This one-liner function show_message encapsulates the creation of a font, the rendering of a message, and the display of this message onto the screen. It’s useful for quick text display without setting up font objects in advance.

Summary/Discussion

  • Method 1: Using pygame.font.Font. Suitable for most use cases. Requires font file. Can be slower for dynamic text.
  • Method 2: Using pygame.font.SysFont. Offers system font usage. May not be portable across all operating systems if relying on specific fonts.
  • Method 3: Antialiasing with pygame.font.Font.render. It improves text appearance. Slightly more resource-intensive.
  • Method 4: Rotating and positioning text. Adds visual flair and dynamics. Requires understanding of Surface transformations and positions.
  • Bonus Method 5: Simple one-liner function. Quick and easy for simple use. Lacks flexibility and customization options.