Tag Archives: C++

Dark Fusion Theme for Qt 5

My favorite new theme (for Windows applications, at least) is the Fusion theme that came with Qt 5. I was working on an application recently where the people I was making it for wanted to be able to switch between a lighter and darker theme. Luckily, the Fusion theme uses the applications color palette. I’m putting the code up on Github in a gist, but there won’t be the code to switch between the two themes. I’ll post that later as a quick tip/tutorial.

You can find the theme on Github here. Alternatively, I’m posting the code below in a collapsed code box. Feel free to make changes and submit them back on Github though! You can use this theme in all your applications, but be sure to tell me about them if you can. I’d love to see what people do with it. 🙂

qApp->setStyle(QStyleFactory::create("Fusion"));

QPalette darkPalette;
darkPalette.setColor(QPalette::Window, QColor(53,53,53));
darkPalette.setColor(QPalette::WindowText, Qt::white);
darkPalette.setColor(QPalette::Base, QColor(25,25,25));
darkPalette.setColor(QPalette::AlternateBase, QColor(53,53,53));
darkPalette.setColor(QPalette::ToolTipBase, Qt::white);
darkPalette.setColor(QPalette::ToolTipText, Qt::white);
darkPalette.setColor(QPalette::Text, Qt::white);
darkPalette.setColor(QPalette::Button, QColor(53,53,53));
darkPalette.setColor(QPalette::ButtonText, Qt::white);
darkPalette.setColor(QPalette::BrightText, Qt::red);
darkPalette.setColor(QPalette::Link, QColor(42, 130, 218));

darkPalette.setColor(QPalette::Highlight, QColor(42, 130, 218));
darkPalette.setColor(QPalette::HighlightedText, Qt::black);
    
qApp->setPalette(darkPalette);

qApp->setStyleSheet("QToolTip { color: #ffffff; background-color: #2a82da; border: 1px solid white; }");
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Quick Tip: Stay in Unity Play Mode while Coding

If you aren’t familiar with Unity, it’s a free game engine with a built-in game editor. I use Unity almost every day, and as you can imagine, I’m coding a lot. Now, when you are writing the majority of code for a game, you are testing things out. Perhaps you want to see how fast is fast enough, or how far is far enough. It can be a pain to enter and exit play mode constantly, but wait!

Unity has a nifty little feature that will recompile code and execute it, even while in play mode. You can easily switch over to Visual Studio (or MonoDevelop) and save your changes. Then you can “Alt + Tab” back over into Unity and quickly see your changes. The only downside to this is that, with large projects (10,000+ lines of C#), this can take a few seconds–even on a really fast machine. However, it’s invaluable when testing things, as you never have to leave your spot in play mode. 😉

Happy coding!

Quick Tip: QProgressBar as a Busy Indicator

This is a super simple tip that doesn’t really have much to it. A busy indicator is just a visual cue to show the user that something is happening. To use a progress bar in Qt as one, you just need to set the minimum and maximum values to 0. If you do this, you get an infinite progress indicator. This is a better alternative to a progress bar when you have a process in which you cannot calculate the percentage completed, or one that takes a really long, undetermined, amount of time. An example with the Fusion style (that I use for basically any QWidgets these days) yields an animated diagonal stitch pattern:

Busy Progress Bar

The Qt Fusion style progress bar.

On Windows 7, you get a nice animated effect as well, but with a smaller colored area moving from left to right infinitely.

Windows 7 Busy Progress Bar

The Windows 7 version of the busy progress bar indicator

I hope the tip helped you out! Happy coding!

Run As Admin Utility Application

Recently, I wrote a small, win32 native utility to launch executables with administrator rights by utilizing a UAC prompt when launching the other application. You can check out the full source on Github if you want to learn more. The application can also utilize configurable and dynamic command line arguments, if your application needs that.

The release binary is around 30KB in size, and produces no pop-up windows unless there is an error. Errors are handled pretty well and displayed using a discrete message box. Feel free to redistribute it with your application, and attribution would be nice (just leave the executable name intact 😉 ).

Also, if you could, comment or let me know if you are using it. I’d love to get any feedback you have on it, or you can use the Github issue system for bugs/feature requests. A friend of mine has already told me he will be using this for his Python application, since he cannot find a better way to launch his application with administrator rights by default.

Check back often to see if I add new builds that support more features! Happy coding!

You can find the latest releases on Github here

Quick Tip: Copy a QPixmap to the System Clipboard in Qt

A few days ago, we went over copying any amount of text to the system clipboard using the system clipboard. However, you can also leverage the full-power of this by copying images and pixmaps to the system clipboard. Let’s get started!

Example UI with Pixmap

Our example UI for this. Simply set a pixmap on a label. along with a button.

Behold my stunning UI for this example. 😛 Now that you have your GUI setup, go to the push button’s slot (or wherever you want to put the code) and you are left with this:

    QClipboard *p_Clipboard = QApplication::clipboard();
    p_Clipboard->setPixmap(*(ui->label->pixmap()));

This is essentially what we did with text, however, with a different method. Note the dereference of the constant pointer we get to the label’s pixmap. This is essential, because the setPixmap() function wants a QPixmap object (taken by reference, not pointer). How can you not love C++? 🙂

Then you can paste it anywhere that lets you insert images through the paste!

The image pasted in MS Word

Here’s the copied pixmap pasted into Word. You can also paste it elsewhere, as long as the form accepts images from the clipboard.

And that about wraps it up. I hope you can use this in one of your projects, and share it if it was useful. Happy coding!

Quick Tip: Copy Any Text to the System Clipboard in Qt

Now, this is a super quick tip, as it’s really a no-brainer. The explanation (if you need one) is that a QApplication has a global instance of the clipboard, which can be accessed by simply getting a pointer to it. So lets just get to the code!

    QClipboard *p_Clipboard = QApplication::clipboard();
    p_Clipboard->setText(textForClipboard);

And viola! Just like that, your text should now be on the system clipboard. Happy coding!

Get some color back in Visual Studio 2012 icons!

If you are still using Visual Studio 2010 (or older?), then you can just ignore this. Apparently, Microsoft’s UI design team decided to change the icons to a more “monochrome” color palette in VS 2012, so what you get is essentially gray icons for everything. These icons are a far cry from what we have come to know as save, open file, open folder, etc. However, I personally don’t really care to be honest, unlike most developers. If you seriously use Visual Studio 2012, then there is no reason you shouldn’t do these two things:

  • Learn those shortcuts! This is a must. Visual Studio has so many shortcuts that most actions take two keys plus a modifier! It sure beats having to look through context menus that are so big, they fill up more than 1,080 pixels vertically…
  • Customize the layout where everything is somewhere you can find immediately. Re-arrange the toolbars and memorize the icons’ respective locations. Even if you know all the shortcuts (unlikely), there are still some things I prefer doing with the mouse–namely opening files, as it’s easier to use the mouse to browse through the files.

If this still isn’t enough, there is always the NiceVS Visual Studio extension, which appears to bring back the colored icons so many people have come to miss so much. Use at your own risk, however, as I didn’t even bother to test this plugin. If Microsoft’s made a UI decision that coincides with the Metro UI (which everyone also seems to hate), it isn’t going away easily. There’s no sense in installing a plugin to try and undo what Microsoft has done, in my opinion.