Qt5 Widgets

In this part of the Qt5 C++ programming tutorial, we will talk about some basic Qt5 widgets. We have examples for the QLabel, QSlider, QComboBox, QSpinBox, QLineEdit, and QMainWindow widgets.

Widgets are basic building blocks of a GUI application. Qt5 library has a rich set of various widgets.

QLabel

QLabel is used to display text and image. No user interaction is available. The following example displays text.

label.h
#pragma once

#include <QWidget>
#include <QLabel>

class Label : public QWidget {

  public:
    Label(QWidget *parent = 0);

  private:
    QLabel *label;
};

This is a header file for our code example.

label.cpp
#include <QVBoxLayout>
#include <QFont>
#include "label.h"

Label::Label(QWidget *parent)
    : QWidget(parent) {

  QString lyrics = "Who doesn't long for someone to hold\n\
Who knows how to love you without being told\n\
Somebody tell me why I'm on my own\n\
If there's a soulmate for everyone\n\
\n\
Here we are again, circles never end\n\
How do I find the perfect fit\n\
There's enough for everyone\n\
But I'm still waiting in line\n\
\n\
Who doesn't long for someone to hold\n\
Who knows how to love you without being told\n\
Somebody tell me why I'm on my own\n\
If there's a soulmate for everyone";

  label = new QLabel(lyrics, this);
  label->setFont(QFont("Purisa", 10));

  QVBoxLayout *vbox = new QVBoxLayout();
  vbox->addWidget(label);
  setLayout(vbox);
}

We use QLabel widget to display lyrics in a window.

label = new QLabel(lyrics, this);
label->setFont(QFont("Purisa", 10));

We create a label widget and set a specific font for it.

main.cpp
#include <QApplication>
#include <QTextStream>
#include "label.h"

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
    
  QApplication app(argc, argv);  
    
  Label window;

  window.setWindowTitle("QLabel");
  window.show();

  return app.exec();
}

This is the main file.

QLabel
Figure: QLabel

QSlider

QSlider is a widget that has a simple handle. This handle can be pulled back and forth. This way we are choosing a value for a specific task.

slider.h
#pragma once

#include <QWidget>
#include <QSlider>
#include <QLabel>

class Slider : public QWidget {
    
  Q_OBJECT
  
  public:
    Slider(QWidget *parent = 0);

  private:
    QSlider *slider; 
    QLabel *label;
};

The header file for the example.

slider.cpp
#include <QHBoxLayout>
#include "slider.h"

Slider::Slider(QWidget *parent)
    : QWidget(parent) {

  QHBoxLayout *hbox = new QHBoxLayout(this);
         
  slider = new QSlider(Qt::Horizontal , this);
  hbox->addWidget(slider);

  label = new QLabel("0", this);
  hbox->addWidget(label);

  connect(slider, &QSlider::valueChanged, label, 
    static_cast<void (QLabel::*)(int)>(&QLabel::setNum));
}

We display two widgets: a slider and a label. The slider controls the number displayed in the label.

slider = new QSlider(Qt::Horizontal , this);

A horizontal QSlider is created.

connect(slider, &QSlider::valueChanged, label, 
  static_cast<void (QLabel::*)(int)>(&QLabel::setNum));

In this code line, we connect the valueChanged() signal to the label's built-in setNum() slot. Since the setNum() method is overloaded, we use a static_cast to choose the correct method.

main.cpp
#include <QApplication>
#include "slider.h"

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
    
  QApplication app(argc, argv);  
    
  Slider window;

  window.setWindowTitle("QSlider");
  window.show();

  return app.exec();
}

This is the main file.

QSlider
Figure: QSlider

QComboBox

QComboBox is a widget which presents a list of options to the user in a way that takes up the minimum amount of screen space. It is a selection widget that displays the current item, and can pop up a list of selectable items. A combobox may be editable, allowing the user to modify each item in the list.

combobox.h
#pragma once

#include <QWidget>
#include <QComboBox>
#include <QLabel>

class ComboBoxEx : public QWidget {
    
  Q_OBJECT
  
  public:
    ComboBoxEx(QWidget *parent = 0);

  private:
    QComboBox *combo; 
    QLabel *label;
};

We work with two widgets: a combo box and a label.

combobox.cpp
#include <QHBoxLayout>
#include "combobox.h"

ComboBoxEx::ComboBoxEx(QWidget *parent)
    : QWidget(parent) {
        
  QStringList distros = {"Arch", "Xubuntu", "Redhat", "Debian", 
      "Mandriva"};

  QHBoxLayout *hbox = new QHBoxLayout(this);
         
  combo = new QComboBox();
  combo->addItems(distros);
  
  hbox->addWidget(combo);
  hbox->addSpacing(15);

  label = new QLabel("Arch", this);
  hbox->addWidget(label);

  connect(combo, static_cast<void(QComboBox::*)(const QString &)>(&QComboBox::activated), 
      label, &QLabel::setText);
}

In the example, a selected item from the combo box is shown in the label.

QStringList distros = {"Arch", "Xubuntu", "Redhat", "Debian", 
    "Mandriva"};

A QStringList stores the data of the combo box. We have a list of Linux distributions.

combo = new QComboBox();
combo->addItems(distros);

A QComboBox is created and the items are inserted with the addItems() method.

connect(combo, static_cast<void(QComboBox::*)(const QString &)>(&QComboBox::activated), 
    label, &QLabel::setText);

The activated() signal of the combo box is plugged to the label's setText() slot. Since the signal is overloaded, we do a static cast.

main.cpp
#include <QApplication>
#include "combobox.h"

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
    
  QApplication app(argc, argv);  
    
  ComboBoxEx window;

  window.resize(300, 150);
  window.setWindowTitle("QComboBox");
  window.show();

  return app.exec();
}

This is the main file of the application.

QComboBox
Figure: QComboBox

QSpinBox

QSpinbox is a widget that is used to handle integers and discrete sets of values. In our code example, we will have one spinbox widget. We can choose numbers 0..99. The currently chosen value is displayed in a label widget.

spinbox.h
#pragma once

#include <QWidget>
#include <QSpinBox>

class SpinBox : public QWidget {
    
  Q_OBJECT

  public:
    SpinBox(QWidget *parent = 0);

  private:
    QSpinBox *spinbox;
};

This is the header file for the spinbox example.

spinbox.cpp
#include <QHBoxLayout>
#include <QLabel>
#include "spinbox.h"

SpinBox::SpinBox(QWidget *parent)
    : QWidget(parent) {
        
  QHBoxLayout *hbox = new QHBoxLayout(this);   
  hbox->setSpacing(15);
    
  spinbox = new QSpinBox(this);
  QLabel *lbl = new QLabel("0", this);

  hbox->addWidget(spinbox);  
  hbox->addWidget(lbl);
  
  connect(spinbox, static_cast<void (QSpinBox::*)(int)>(&QSpinBox::valueChanged), 
    lbl, static_cast<void (QLabel::*)(int)>(&QLabel::setNum));  
}

We place a spinbox on the window and connect its valueChanged() signal to the QLabel's setNum() slot.

connect(spinbox, static_cast<void (QSpinBox::*)(int)>(&QSpinBox::valueChanged), 
  lbl, static_cast<void (QLabel::*)(int)>(&QLabel::setNum)); 

We need to do casting twice because both the signal and the slot are overloaded.

main.cpp
#include <QApplication>
#include "spinbox.h"

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
    
  QApplication app(argc, argv);  
    
  SpinBox window;

  window.resize(250, 150);
  window.setWindowTitle("QSpinBox");
  window.show();

  return app.exec();
}

This is the main file.

QSpinBox
Figure: QSpinBox

QLineEdit

QLineEdit is a widget that allows to enter and edit a single line of plain text. There are undo/redo, cut/paste and drag & drop functions available for QLineEdit widget.

In our example, we show three labels and three line edits.

ledit.h
#pragma once

#include <QWidget>

class Ledit : public QWidget {
    
  public:
    Ledit(QWidget *parent = 0);
};

The header file for the example.

ledit.cpp
#include <QGridLayout>
#include <QLabel>
#include <QLineEdit>
#include "ledit.h"

Ledit::Ledit(QWidget *parent)
    : QWidget(parent) {
        
  QLabel *name = new QLabel("Name:", this);
  name->setAlignment(Qt::AlignRight | Qt::AlignVCenter);
  QLabel *age = new QLabel("Age:", this);
  age->setAlignment(Qt::AlignRight | Qt::AlignVCenter);
  QLabel *occupation = new QLabel("Occupation:", this);
  occupation->setAlignment(Qt::AlignRight | Qt::AlignVCenter);

  QLineEdit *le1 = new QLineEdit(this);
  QLineEdit *le2 = new QLineEdit(this);
  QLineEdit *le3 = new QLineEdit(this);

  QGridLayout *grid = new QGridLayout(); 

  grid->addWidget(name, 0, 0);
  grid->addWidget(le1, 0, 1);
  grid->addWidget(age, 1, 0);
  grid->addWidget(le2, 1, 1);
  grid->addWidget(occupation, 2, 0);
  grid->addWidget(le3, 2, 1);

  setLayout(grid);
}

We display three labels and three line edits. These widgets are organized with the QGridLayout manager.

main.cpp
#include "ledit.h"
#include <QApplication>

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
    
  QApplication app(argc, argv);  
    
  Ledit window;

  window.setWindowTitle("QLineEdit");
  window.show();

  return app.exec();
}

This is the main file.

QLineEdit
Figure: QLineEdit

Statusbar

A statusbar is a panel that is used to display status information about the application.

In our example, we have two buttons and a statusbar. Each of the buttons shows a message if we click on them. The statusbar widget is part of the QMainWindow widget.

statusbar.h
#pragma once

#include <QMainWindow>
#include <QPushButton>

class Statusbar : public QMainWindow {
    
  Q_OBJECT  

  public:
    Statusbar(QWidget *parent = 0);

  private slots:
    void OnOkPressed();
    void OnApplyPressed();

  private:
    QPushButton *okBtn;
    QPushButton *aplBtn;
};

The header file for the example.

statusbar.cpp
#include <QLabel>
#include <QFrame>
#include <QStatusBar>
#include <QHBoxLayout>
#include "statusbar.h"

Statusbar::Statusbar(QWidget *parent)
    : QMainWindow(parent) {
        
  QFrame *frame = new QFrame(this);
  setCentralWidget(frame);
  
  QHBoxLayout *hbox = new QHBoxLayout(frame);

  okBtn = new QPushButton("OK", frame);
  hbox->addWidget(okBtn, 0, Qt::AlignLeft | Qt::AlignTop);

  aplBtn = new QPushButton("Apply", frame);
  hbox->addWidget(aplBtn, 1, Qt::AlignLeft | Qt::AlignTop);

  statusBar();

  connect(okBtn, &QPushButton::clicked, this, &Statusbar::OnOkPressed);
  connect(aplBtn, &QPushButton::clicked, this, &Statusbar::OnApplyPressed);
}

void Statusbar::OnOkPressed() {
    
  statusBar()->showMessage("OK button pressed", 2000);
}

void Statusbar::OnApplyPressed() {
    
 statusBar()->showMessage("Apply button pressed", 2000);
}

This is the statusbar.cpp file.

QFrame *frame = new QFrame(this);
setCentralWidget(frame);

The QFrame widget is put into the center area of the QMainWindow widget. The central area can take only one widget.

okBtn = new QPushButton("OK", frame);
hbox->addWidget(okBtn, 0, Qt::AlignLeft | Qt::AlignTop);

aplBtn = new QPushButton("Apply", frame);
hbox->addWidget(aplBtn, 1, Qt::AlignLeft | Qt::AlignTop);

We create two QPushButton widgets and place them into a horizontal box. The parent of the buttons is the frame widget.

statusBar();

To display a statusbar widget, we call the statusBar() method of the QMainWindow widget.

void Statusbar::OnOkPressed() {
    
  statusBar()->showMessage("OK button pressed", 2000);
}

The showMessage() method shows the message on the statusbar. The last parameter specifies the number of milliseconds that the message is displayed on the statusbar.

main.cpp
#include <QApplication>
#include "statusbar.h"

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
    
  QApplication app(argc, argv);  
    
  Statusbar window;

  window.resize(300, 200);
  window.setWindowTitle("QStatusBar");
  window.show();
  
  return app.exec();
}

This is the main file.

Statusbar example
Figure: Statusbar example

In this part of the Qt5 tutorial, we have introduced several Qt5 widgets.