Cooked Input Quick Start

Getting started in cooked_input is very easy. This quick start shows how to use cooked_input to get simple keyboard input from the user. For more advanced appplications see the tutorial and how to sections.

Installing cooked_input:

To install cooked_input:

pip install cooked_input

Getting Simple Values:

All cooked_input applications start with importing the cooked_input library:

import cooked_input as ci

Getting Strings:

The simplest usage of cooked_input is to use get_string to get a string value:

ci.get_string(prompt="What is your name?")

Running this code produces:

>>> ci.get_string(prompt="What is your name?")

What is your name?: john cleese
'john cleese'

This acts just like the Python input command (or raw_input in legacy Python.) Unlike input cooked_input will keep on asking until you enter valid input. Get_string will not accept a blank line.


To allow get_string to accept a blank line, like input, set the required parameter to False:

ci.get_string(prompt="What is your name?", required=False)

Since we are entering a name, we want to make sure the value is capitalized. Cooked_input provides a number of cleaners that can be used to clean up the input value. CapitalizationCleaner can be used to change the case of the value. It takes a style parameter to say how you want the value changed. In this case we want use use ALL_WORDS_CAP_STYLE to capitalize the first letter of each of the words in the value:

cap_cleaner = ci.CapitalizationCleaner(style=ci.ALL_WORDS_CAP_STYLE)
ci.get_string(prompt="What is your name?", cleaners=[cap_cleaner])

Now the input will be cleaned up with the proper capitalization:

>>> ci.get_string(prompt="What is your name?", cleaners=[cap_cleaner])

What is your name?: jOhn CLeEse
'John Cleese'

This is just one of the capitalization options. For the full list see the documentation for CapitalizationCleaner.

Getting Integers:

Cooked_input has a number of convenience functions to get different input types. Integers can be fetched using the get_int function:

ci.get_int(prompt="How old are you?", minimum=1)

get_int requests the input and returns a whole number (i.e. an integer.) If the input cannot be converted to an integer it will print an error message and ask the user again. Get_int can also take parameters for the minimum and maximum values allowed. Since we are asking for a person’s age, we want to make sure the number is a positive number (i.e. the person is at least 1 year old.) Since no maximum value is given in this example there is no maximum age for this input:

>>>  ci.get_int(prompt="How old are you?", minimum=1)

How old are you?: abc
"abc" cannot be converted to an integer number
How old are you?: 0
"0" too low (min_val=1)
How old are you?: 67

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what get_int can do. There are a lot of examples of using get_int in in the cooked_input examples directory. shows examples of more complicated restrictions on the allowed number (validators), suggesting default values, and other more advanced usages of get_int. The examples directory is a good place to look to see how to use many of cooked_input’s features.

Getting Dates:

A good example of how cooked_input can be helpful is get_date. Get_date is used to get dates and times (more specifically a Python datetime value.) The following code shows how to ask the user for their birthday. Today’s date is used in the example below as the maximum beause it doesn’t make sense that the user’s birthday is in the future:

import datetime
today =
birthday = ci.get_date(prompt="What is your birthday?", maximum=today)

Running this returns a datetime:

What is your birthday?: 4/1/1957
1957-04-01 00:00:00

Get_date is very flexible regarding how you can type times and dates. For instance, "April 4, 1967", "today", "1 hour from now", "9:30 am yesterday" and "noon 3 days ago" are all valid date values. Cooked_input functions can also take a default value. For instance, using "today" as the default value will use today’s date if the user hits enter without entering a value:

appt_date = ci.get_date(prompt="Appointment date?", default="today")


Appointment date? (enter for: today):

More Convenience Functions:

Cooked_input provides several more convenience functions for getting different input types:

Function Return type
get_string string
get_int int
get_float float
get_date datetime
get_boolean boolean (True or False)
get_yes_no string (“yes” or “no”)

There are also convenience functions for a number of other cooked_input features, such as: getting lists, choosing values from a table or showing a menu. For more information see the convenience functions documentation,


It is easy to add support for input types not included with cooked_input. See the tutorial for examples of adding custom types (convertors) and validators.

Further Reading:

Cooked_input has a lot more features and capabilities for getting, cleaning and validating inputs. Cooked_input also has capabilities for user commands and data tables. To learn about the advanced capabilities of cooked_input, see the tutorial and how to.