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0.2.0 Oct 22, 2023
0.1.2 Aug 13, 2022
0.1.1 Jun 26, 2022
0.1.0 May 4, 2022

#297 in Text processing

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MIT license

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.github/workflows/promkit.yml docs.rs

A toolkit for building your own interactive command-line tools in Rust.

Getting Started

Put the package in your Cargo.toml.

promkit = "0.2.0"


  • Support cross-platform both UNIX and Windows owing to crossterm
  • Various building methods
    • Support ranging from presets for easy use to layout building using Components, and even for displaying your own data structures
  • Versatile customization capabilities
    • Themes for defining the outer shell style, including text and cursor colors
    • Validation for user input and error message construction
    • and so on...


promkit provides presets so that users can utilize prompts immediately without having to build complex Components for specific use cases.

cargo run --example readline


See examples for more examples.

Why promkit?

Similar libraries in this category include the following:

promkit offers several advantages over these libraries:

Resilience to terminal resizing

Performing operations that involve executing a command in one pane while simultaneously opening a new pane is a common occurrence. During such operations, if UI corruption is caused by resizing the terminal size, it may adversely affect the user experience.
Other libraries can struggle when the terminal is resized, making typing and interaction difficult or impossible. For example:

promkit processes the data to fit the screen size, reducing the likelihood of rendering issues, such as misalignment. This approach ensures that UI elements remain consistent even when the terminal is resized, providing a smoother user experience.

Unified component approach

promkit takes a unified approach by having all of its components inherit the same Component trait. This design choice enables users to seamlessly support their custom data structures for display, similar to the relationships seen in TUI projects like ratatui-org/ratatui and EdJoPaTo/tui-rs-tree-widget. In other words, it's straightforward for anyone to display their own data structures using widgets within promkit.
In contrast, other libraries tend to treat each prompt as a mostly independent entity. If you want to display a new data structure, you often have to build the UI from scratch, which can be a time-consuming and less flexible process.

pub trait Component {
    fn make_pane(&self, width: u16) -> Pane;
    fn handle_event(&mut self, event: &Event);
    fn postrun(&mut self);

In the provided presets of promkit, this mechanism is implemented. If you'd like to try it out, you can refer to the implementations of components and preset for guidance.

In summary, promkit's resilience to terminal resizing and its unified component approach make it a compelling choice for interactive command-line applications, especially when compared to console-rs/dialoguer and mikaelmello/inquire. These features provide a more reliable and extensible experience for developers, allowing them to focus on building powerful command-line interfaces.

Understanding dataflow and component interactions

Dataflow from receiving events to rendering

This diagram shows the data flow for TextEditor component.

  subgraph Dataflow
    Event --> EventHandler
    subgraph TextEditor as Compoent
      EventHandler --> |edit| TextBuffer
      TextBuffer --> |matrixify| Pane
      Pane -->|extract| Lines
    Lines --> F([Draw])

When an event comes in, it is handled by the handler inside the TextEditor component. The handler then edits (e.g. insert character) TextBuffer. This TextBuffer is used to construct a Pane, which is essentially a matrix of lines divided by a specific width. The panes are extracted a certain number of lines in order to fit within the terminal screen when rendering. Finally, these Lines are passed to a draw function which renders them on the screen.

Relationship between TextBuffer, TextEditor, and Readline

A preset is composed of a combination of multiple components. Let's take the Readline preset as an example to explain.

  • Readline (preset)
    • Readline is a high-level preset component designed for text input. It provides a convenient interface for soliciting and managing user text input, error message presentation, and validation. Readline leverages the capabilities of TextEditor and State<TextEditor> for text editing and state management.
  • TextBuffer
    • TextBuffer is a low-level component responsible for managing text content. It handles tasks related to storing, editing, and tracking the cursor position of text data.
  • TextEditor, State<TextEditor> (component)
    • TextEditor is a component that operates and displays text data through TextBuffer. It accepts user text input, manages editing, and displays the content while reflecting changes back to TextBuffer.
    • State<TextEditor> represents the state of TextEditor at different stages, including the initial state, the state before editing, and the state after editing. It holds snapshots of the TextEditor at these different stages.


This project is licensed under the MIT License. See the LICENSE file for details.


~43K SLoC