WWT in Qt applications

Along with the web-based JupyterLab or Jupyter widget options, you can also use WWT in Python-based desktop applications using its support for the Qt graphical toolkit.


To use the WWT Qt viewer from an IPython session, do:

In [1]: from pywwt.qt import WWTQtClient

In [2]: %gui qt

In [3]: wwt = WWTQtClient()

Note that the order is important — for now pywwt.qt.WWTQtClient has to be imported before %gui qt is run. Once the WorldWide Telescope viewer is visible, you can start to interact with the wwt object in the next cell of the notebook. You can find out more about interacting with this object in Basic controls and Showing annotations.


The pywwt.qt.WWTQtClient class is not the Qt widget itself but an object that opens the widget and allows you to control the WWT settings. If you need access to the underlying widget, see the Embedding section.


You can also start the widget from a script, in which case the %gui qt is not necessary:

from pywwt.qt import WWTQtClient
wwt = WWTQtClient()

The pywwt.qt.WWTQtClient class takes a block_until_ready argument which can be used to tell Python to wait for WorldWide Telescope to be open before proceeding with the rest of the script:

wwt = WWTQtClient(block_until_ready=True)

Furthermore, by default WorldWide Telescope will close once Python reaches the end of the script. If you want to prevent this from happening, add the following extra line at the end of your script:


This will cause the script to pause until the WorldWide Telescope window is closed. You can find out more about interacting with the wwt object in Basic controls and Showing annotations.


If you are developing a Qt Application, you can embed the WorldWide Telescope Qt widget by creating an instance of the pywwt.qt.WWTQtClient class, then accessing the underlying Qt widget using the widget attribute:

from pywwt.qt import WWTQtClient
wwt_client = WWTQtClient()
wwt_client.widget  # refers to the Qt widget

The Qt widget can then be added to any layout in your application.