Adventures in Machine Learning

Enhancing User Experience: 3 Ways to Use User Input in Python

Python is a programming language that continues to gain popularity among developers and programmers due to its simplicity and versatility. One of the aspects that make it so attractive is the interactivity it offers, allowing users to input values and interact with the program.

One of the interactions that can be accomplished with Python is taking user input and using it to select and validate an option. In this article, we will explore how to use user input to select an option from a list or answer a multiple choice question in Python.

Using User Input to Select an Option from a List:

You may have come across situations where you need the user to select an option from a list of available choices. One way to accomplish this is by presenting the choices to the user and asking them to input the corresponding number.

However, a more user-friendly approach is to construct a message with the available options and let the users type in their choice. One way to achieve this is by using a formatted string literal (f-strings) that contains the available options and their corresponding numbers.

We can then use the enumerate function to assign the index of each option, which can be used as a reference for validation. Here’s an example:


options = [‘Option A’, ‘Option B’, ‘Option C’]

message = f’Please select an option:n{“”.join([f”{i+1}.

{option}n” for i, option in enumerate(options)])}’


while True:

choice = input()

if choice.isnumeric() and 0 < int(choice) <= len(options):

chosen_option = options[int(choice) – 1]

print(f’You chose {chosen_option}’)



print(‘Invalid choice. Please try again.’)


In the example above, we first define a list of available options and construct a message using an f-string.

The enumerate function is used to loop through each option, assign an index (i), and construct a string that contains the index and option value. We then use a while loop with a True condition to accept input until a valid choice is made.

The isnumeric() method is used to check if the input is a valid number, while int(choice) is used to convert the string to an integer. The condition ensures that the choice is within the range of available options.

Finally, we use the chosen index to access the chosen option in the options list and print the confirmation. Multiple Choice Questions with User Input:

Another scenario where user input is commonly used in Python is when you want to ask a multiple-choice question.

Unlike selecting an option from a list, multiple-choice questions typically use letters to represent the options, which adds a layer of complexity to input validation. To accomplish this, we can present the options and their corresponding letters to the user and ask them to input the letter of their choice.

We can then use conditional statements to check if the input is one of the specified choices. Here’s an example:


question = ‘What is the capital of France?’

options = {‘A’: ‘Rome’, ‘B’: ‘Paris’, ‘C’: ‘Berlin’, ‘D’: ‘Brussels’}

message = f'{question}nn{“n”.join([f”{letter}.

{option}” for letter, option in options.items()])}n’

while True:

choice = input(message).upper()

if choice in options:

if choice == ‘B’:



print(‘Incorrect. Please try again.’)



print(‘Invalid choice.

Please try again.’)


In the example above, we define a question and a dictionary of possible answers. We then use an f-string to construct a message that presents each option with its corresponding letter.

We use a while loop with a True condition to accept input until a valid choice is made. The input() function is used to prompt the user with the message, and the upper() method is used to convert the input to uppercase for case insensitivity.

We then use conditionals to check if the choice is one of the specified letters. If the choice is ‘B’, we print ‘Correct!’.

Otherwise, we print ‘Incorrect. Please try again.’ and return to the start of the loop.


In conclusion, Python’s interactivity allows for endless possibilities when it comes to user input. By understanding how to construct messages with available options and validate user input, you can create programs that are more user-friendly and engaging.

We hope this article has provided valuable insights into how to utilize user input to select an option from a list or answer a multiple-choice question in Python.

3) Using the inquirer package to select an option with user input

Python offers a lot of ways to accept input from users, and one convenient way of doing this is using the inquirer package. Inquirer is a Python package that allows Python developers to create interactive command-line interfaces that work well on both Unix and Windows platforms.

To get started with the Inquirer package, you have to install it first. You can easily install the package via the pip package installer by typing “pip install inquirer” on your command-line (terminal/PowerShell), and hitting enter.

Once the installation is complete, you can import the package at the beginning of your script as follows:

“` python

import inquirer


Once you have imported it, you can start using inquirer’s different functionalities. One convenient functionality of the inquirer package is that it allows you to select options presented with arrow keys on the keyboard and press enter to choose the desired option.

This feature makes selecting from a list of options much easier for users. Here is an example:


import inquirer

options = [


message=”Please choose an option:”,

choices=[‘Option A’, ‘Option B’, ‘Option C’])


answer = inquirer.prompt(options)

print(“Your choice is: “, answer[‘Option’])


In the example above, we create a list of options to present to the user using the `inquirer.list()` function. Using this function, we present the users with a prompt message followed by the list of options we want to provide.

When the user makes their choice, the message is returned, and the choice the user made is printed on the terminal using the `print()` function. It is important to note that Windows users may encounter some issues with the inquirer module as it is still experimental on Windows operating systems.

Windows users who want to use this module should download Python for Windows and run the module separately to test and see whether it works on their system or not.

4) Additional Resources

If you are interested in learning more about Python and using user input to create interactive command-line interfaces, there are plenty of resources available online. Here are some great tutorials to get started with:


RealPython’s Guide to Python input and output

This online tutorial provides an in-depth explanation of how to work with input and output functions in Python. It covers all the basics, such as opening and writing files, as well as more advanced topics, such as text encoding.

2. The Python in the command line by Jonathan Fernandes

This tutorial gives a comprehensive introduction to using Python in a command-line interface.

It explores different use cases for the command line and provides clear examples of how to work with user input. 3.

Inquirer on GitHub

The inquirer package’s GitHub repository includes several examples of how to use the package, as well as installation instructions. This resource is perfect for those looking for a deep dive into the package’s functionality and how to implement it into your projects.

4. RealPython’s Guide to the Inquirer package

This tutorial is a step-by-step introduction to using the inquirer package, complete with code snippets and a breakdown of the different question types available.

In conclusion, using user input to create interactive command-line interfaces in Python is an excellent way to improve user experience and engagement. With tools like the inquirer package, it is much easier to achieve the desired effect without writing too much code.

The resources listed above offer more insight into how to create user-friendly interfaces using Python, allowing you to take your programming skills to the next level. In conclusion, accepting user input is an essential aspect of creating engaging and user-friendly command-line interfaces with Python.

This article has highlighted three ways through which user input can be utilized to select options: Using formatted strings, multiple-choice questions, and the Inquirer package. The importance of presenting options in a user-friendly manner and the need for validating user input have also been emphasized.

Resources were recommended for those seeking additional insights into this topic. By implementing these techniques, programmers can create command-line interfaces that provide an excellent user experience, improving their software’s overall functionality.

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