User:Aidosl/Python Text Area

How To Use KXmlGuiWindow
Tutorial Series   Beginner Tutorial
Previous   Hello World
What's Next   Coming Soon
Further Reading   KXmlGuiWindow


This tutorial carries on from Hello World and will introduce the KXmlGuiWindow class.

In the previous tutorial, the program caused a dialog box to pop up but we're going to take steps towards a functioning application.



KXmlGuiWindow provides a full main window view with menubars, toolbars, a statusbar and a main area in the centre for a large widget. Most KDE applications will derive from this class as it provides an easy way to define menu and toolbar layouts through XML files (this technology is called XMLGUI). While we will not be using XMLGUI in this tutorial, we will use it in the next.

In order to have a useful KXmlGuiWindow, we must subclass it. So we create two files, a mainwindow.cpp and a mainwindow.h which will contain our code.


  1. ifndef MAINWINDOW_H
  2. define MAINWINDOW_H
  1. include <KXmlGuiWindow>
  2. include <KTextEdit>

class MainWindow : public KXmlGuiWindow {

   MainWindow(QWidget *parent=0);
   KTextEdit* textArea;


  1. endif

First we Subclass KXmlGuiWindow on line 7 with class MainWindow : public KXmlGuiWindow.

Then we declare the constructor with MainWindow(QWidget *parent=0);.

And finally we declare a pointer to the object that will make up the bulk of our program. KTextEdit is a generic richtext editor with some KDE niceties like cursor auto-hiding.


  1. include "mainwindow.h"

MainWindow::MainWindow(QWidget *parent) : KXmlGuiWindow(parent) {

 textArea = new KTextEdit();

} First, of course, on line 1 we have to include the header file containing the class declaration.

On line 5, we initialise our text editor with an object. Then on line 6 we use KXmlGuiWindow's built-in setCentralWidget() function which tells the KXmlGuiWindow what should appear in the central section of the window.

Finally, KXmlGuiWindow::setupGUI() is called which does a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff and creates the default menu bars (Settings, Help).

Back to main.cpp

In order to actually run this window, we need to add a few lines in main.cpp:


  1. include <KApplication>
  2. include <KAboutData>
  3. include <KCmdLineArgs>
  1. include "mainwindow.h"

int main (int argc, char *argv[]) {

 KAboutData aboutData( "tutorial2", 0,
     ki18n("Tutorial 2"), "1.0",
     ki18n("A simple text area"),
     ki18n("Copyright (c) 2007 Developer") );
 KCmdLineArgs::init( argc, argv, &aboutData );
 KApplication app;

 MainWindow* window = new MainWindow();
 return app.exec();

} The only new lines here (compared to Tutorial 1) are 5, 18 and 19. On line 18, we create our MainWindow object and then on line 19, we display it.


The best way to build the program is to use CMake. All that's changed since tutorial 1 is that mainwindow.cpp has been added to the sources list and any tutorial1 has become tutorial2.


project (tutorial2)

find_package(KDE4 REQUIRED) include_directories(${KDE4_INCLUDES})




kde4_add_executable(tutorial2 ${tutorial2_SRCS}) target_link_libraries(tutorial2 ${KDE4_KDEUI_LIBS})

Compile it

To compile, link and run it, use:

mkdir build && cd build
cmake ..

Moving On

Now you can move on to using KActions.

This page was last edited on 15 July 2012, at 16:48. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.