Introduction to the Plasmoid QML Declarative API

This document provides an overview/reference of the Declarative QML API for Plasmoids. It isn't a full binding to all of Qt or KDE's libraries, but a focused set of bindings designed to make writing Plasmoids fast and easy, while remaining powerful.

The API in this documentation covers the API of the Plasma specific QML components, so only the Declarative part of the API.

The QML ScriptEngine is based upon the Plasma JavaScript engine, making the API of the JavaScript part identical to the one of the JavaScript plasmoids engine. To see the api of the global Plasmoid object, see the JavaScript API documentation. (TODO: the JavaScript api page should probably be copied and stripped down the imperative bits not present there, it would make it harder to update tough) The most important API for using graphical widgets is the Plasma QtComponents API

What Is a Declarative Plasmoid?

To denote that this Plasmoid is a Declarative widget, ensure that in the metadata.desktop file there is this line:


What follows is a description of the Plasma declarative classes instantiable from QML.

fetching data from the plasmoid package

If you have a file in your plasmoid package under contents, let's say an image, you can access it with the plasmapackage url protocol:

Image {
    source: "plasmapackage:/images/foo.png"

The above code will load in the Image component the file foo.png located in contents/images of your plasmoid package.

import "plasmapackage:/code/foo.js" as Foo

Similarly, the above code will import a javascript file from the folder contents/code of your plasmoid package.

Properties exported from the main QML item

The root qml item can export some properties to influence its behavior:

  • property int minimumWidth: the plasmoid won't ever become narrower then that, size in pixels.
  • property int minimumHeight: minum height of the plasmoid, size in pixels.
  • property Component compactRepresentation: if the plasmoid is a popupapplet, the component in compactRepresentation will be used instead of the icon and will always be collapsed, regardless if it's in a panel or not.

Main Plasma QML Classes

Data Engines

While it's possible to fetch data from a Plasma DataEngine in the same way as the JavaScript API, it is preferrable to use the following declarative classes:


DataSource is a receiver for a dataEngine and can be declared inside QML:

 import org.kde.plasma.core 0.1 as PlasmaCore

 PlasmaCore.DataSource {
     id: dataSource
     engine: "time"
     connectedSources: ["Local"]
     interval: 500


It has the following properties:

  • bool valid (read only): true when the DataSource is successfully connected to a data engine
  • int interval: interval of polling of the dataengine, if 0 (default value, so no need to specify if you don't need it) no polling will be executed
  • string engine: the plugin name of the dataengine to load, e.g. "nowplaying", etc.
  • Array(string) connectedSources: all the sources of the dataengine we are connected to (and whose data will appear in the data property)
  • Array(string) sources (read only): all the sources available from the dataengine
  • variant map data (read only): It's the most important property, it's a map of all the data available from the dataengine: its structure will be as follows:
    • each key of the map will be a source name, in connectedSources
    • each value will be a variant hash, so an hash with strings as keys and any variant as value
    • example:["Local"]["Time"] indicates the Time key of the dataengine source called "Local"


It has the following signals:

Note that javascript/qml applies the 'on' prefix to signals. So the actual signal name in C++ which is e.g. newData(...) becomes onNewData(...).

  • onNewData(String sourceName, Plasma::DataEngine::Data data)
  • onSourceAdded(String source)
  • onSourceRemoved(String source)
  • onSourceConnected(String source)
  • onSourceDisconnected(String source)
  • onIntervalChanged()
  • onEngineChanged()
  • onDataChanged()
  • onConnectedSourcesChanged()
  • onSourcesChanged()


It has the following methods:

  • StringList keysForSource(String source): lists all the keys corresponding to a certain source: for instance in the "time" dataengine, for the "Local" source, keys will be:
    • "Timezone Continent"
    • "Offset"
    • "Timezone"
    • "Time"
    • "Date"
    • "Timezone City"
  • Service serviceForSource(String source): returns a Plasma service that corresponds a given source: see the section about services for how to use it.
  • void connectSource(String source): adds to connectedSources the new source
  • void disconnectSource(String source): removes that source from connectedSources


Due to their imperative nature, Plasma Services are not instantiated as QML classes, but rather created out of a DataSource with the method serviceForSource and used in the JavaScript portions of the QML files. This following example is a simplified version from the Now Playing QML widget in the kdeexamples git repository:

  var service = dataSource.serviceForSource(activeSource)
  var operation = service.operationDescription("seek")
  operation.seconds = 10

  var job = service.startOperationCall(operation)

Here dataSource is the id of a DataSource object, and activeSource is a source contained in one of its connectedSources. The service provides an operation called "seek", with a parameter called "seconds", that can be written on it as a property of a JavaScript object.


It is necessary to monitor the result of a Service operation, it's possible to connect to the finished signal provided by the job return paramenter of the startOperationCall service method. The finished signal has the same job as parameter, from which is possible to check the variant result property, to check the result.


Some data engines return as their data something that can be interpreted as a list of items, rather than simple key/value pairs. QML provides some item views such as ListView, GridView and Repeater. The DataModel QML object can provide, based on a DataSource a model suitable for those QML item views.

It has the following properties:

  • DataSource dataSource: the id of an existing (and connected) DataSource
  • String sourceFilter: it's a regular expression. If the DataSource is connected to more than one source, only inserts data from sources matching this filter expression in the model. To, for example, have a source watch all sources beginning with say "name:", the required regexp would be sourceFilter: "name:.*"
  • String keyRoleFilter: it's a regular expression. Only data with keys that match this filter expression will be inserted in the model
  • int count (read only): how many items are in the model


 ListView {
   model: PlasmaCore.DataModel {
        dataSource: microblogSource
        keyRoleFilter: "[\\d]*"
    delegate: Text {
        text: title

In the example, microblogSource is the id of a DataSource, and inserts in the model only entries that have a number as the key name (matched with [\\d]*, in this case tweets ids)

Each item in the model will have the form of a variant hash: all the keys of the hash will be registered as model role names, in the example, "title" is a role of the model containing a string (also reachable with model["title"]).

A special reserved role will always be present: "DataEngineSource": it will contain the name of the data engine source that gave origin to this item. Therefore, if you want merely the string of the current source that the model is model["DataEngineSource"].

Note that view.currentItem holds the item currently selected. However, due to ( this does not work in PathView. A workaround is to make your own.


SortFilterModel is a proxy model for easy sorting and/or filtering of the items in a DataModel (or any other QAbstractItemModel subclass that has been registered in QML with setContextProperty from a C++ application) Properties:

  • model sourceModel
  • String filterRegExp
  • String filterRole
  • String sortRole
  • Qt::SortOrder sortOrder
  • int count (read only)

Popup Applet

So you want your QML applet to be a popup applet, like the device notifier (an icon in the panel shows and expands the applet)?

Why, that's easy.

To change your plasmoid from being a regular boring one, in your metadata.desktop, simply change this following line:




Then in the main QML item's Component.onCompleted, do:

    plasmoid.popupIcon = "konqueror"

If you want to use other elements instead of an icon when collapsed in a panel, use the compactRepresentation property in the root Item.

Plasma Themes


This class instantiable from QML provides access to the Plasma Theme colors and other facilities such as fonts. From KDE 4.8 a Theme instance is always present given the org.kde.plasma.core plugin was imported, is not necessary to create it by hand. It has the following properties:

  • String themeName (read only)
  • bool windowTranslucentEnabled (read only)
  • Url homepage (read only)
  • bool useGlobalSettings (read only)
  • QString wallpaperPath (read only)
  • color textColor (read only)
  • color highlightColor (read only)
  • color backgroundColor (read only)
  • color buttonTextColor (read only)
  • color buttonBackgroundColor (read only)
  • color linkColor (read only)
  • color visitedLinkColor (read only)
  • color visitedLinkColor (read only)
  • color buttonHoverColor (read only)
  • color buttonFocusColor (read only)
  • color viewTextColor (read only)
  • color viewBackgroundColor (read only)
  • color viewHoverColor (read only)
  • color viewFocusColor (read only)
  • String styleSheet (read only)
  • Font defaultFont (read only)
  • Font desktopFont (read only)
  • Font smallestFont (read only)

Each Font element has the following properties:

  • bool bold
  • Capitalization capitalization (MixedCase, AllUppercase, AllLowercase, SmallCaps, Capitalize) (read only)
  • String family (read only)
  • bool italic (read only)
  • real letterSpacing (read only)
  • int pixelSize (read only)
  • real pointSize (read only)
  • bool strikeout (read only)
  • bool underline (read only)
  • Weight weight (Light, Normal, DemiBold, Bold, Black) (read only)
  • real wordSpacing (read only)
  • size mSize the size, width and height of an uppercase "M" in this font (read only)


Declaring a Svg element instantiates a Plasma Svg instance. This class doesn't draw anything. For drawing, SvgItem is used. Properties:

  • QSize size
  • bool multipleImages
  • String imagePath can be anything in the desktoptheme/ folder. For more information on what is available, see Plasma Theme Elements
  • bool usingRenderingCache


  • QPixmap pixmap(QString elementID)
  • void resize(qreal width, qreal height)
  • void resize(): resets the image to its default dimension
  • QSize elementSize(QString elementId)
  • QRectF elementRect(QString elementId)
  • bool hasElement(QString elementId)
  • bool isValid(): true if valid svg file


Declaring a FrameSvg element instantiates a Plasma FrameSvg instance. This class doesn't draw anything. For drawing, FrameSvgItem is used. This is to be used when you need informations about the framesvg, such as hasElementPrefix().


  • All properties from Svg
  • EnabledBorders enabledBorders: flag combination of:
    • NoBorder
    • TopBorder
    • BottomBorder
    • LeftBorder
    • RightBorder


  • All methods from Svg
  • void setImagePath(QString path)
  • void resizeFrame(QSize size)
  • QSize frameSize()
  • qreal marginSize(Plasma::MarginEdge edge)
  • void getMargins(qreal left, qreal top, qreal right, qreal bottom): parameters are output, they get set with the margins from the FrameSvg
  • QRectF contentsRect(): the rectangle of the center element, taking the margins into account.
  • void setElementPrefix(QString prefix)
  • bool hasElementPrefix(const QString prefix)
  • QString prefix()
  • void setCacheAllRenderedFrames(bool cache)
  • bool cacheAllRenderedFrames()
  • void clearCache()
  • QPixmap framePixmap()

Sample Code:

    PlasmaCore.FrameSvg {
        id: myFrameSvg
        imagePath: "widgets/button"
        prefix: "pressed"


It's a graphical element that will actually paint a Svg instance. Properties:

  • String elementId: what element to render. If null, the whole svg will be rendered
  • Svg svg: instance of the Svg class mentioned above
  • QSizeF naturalSize (read only): default size of the Svg
  • bool smooth: paint with antialias (default false)

Sample Code:

    PlasmaCore.SvgItem {
        id: mySvgItem
        anchors {
            left: parent.left

        width: 300
        height: 3

        svg: mySvg
        elementId: "horizontal-line"


It's a graphical element that paints a Plasma::FrameSvg, so a rectangular image composed by 9 elements contained in a Svg file, useful for things like buttons and frames.


  • EnabledBorders: combination of TopBorder | BottomBorder | LeftBorder | RightBorder, NoBorder if no border of the frame is enabled


  • String imagePath: path of the file relative to the Plasma Theme, for instance "widgets/background"
  • String prefix: a FrameSvg can contain multiple frames, for instance a button contains "normal", "raised" and "pressed"
  • Margins margins (read only): the margins of the frame, see documentation below
  • EnabledBorders enabledBorders: what borders are enabled



  • real left (read only)
  • real top (read only)
  • real right (read only)
  • real bottom (read only)

Sample Code:

PlasmaCore.FrameSvgItem {
    id: myFrameSvgItem
    anchors.fill: parent
    imagePath: "translucent/dialogs/background"

Top Level windows


Dialog instantiates a Plasma::Dialog, it will be a Plasma themed top level window that can contain any QML component.


  • Item mainItem: the Item contained in the Dialog, it can be any QML Item instance
  • bool visible: if the window (not the mainItem) is visible
  • int x: x position of the window in screen coordinates
  • int y: y position of the window in screen coordinates
  • int width (read only): total width of the dialog, including margins
  • int height (read only): total height of the dialog, including margins
  • int windowFlags: Qt window flags of the Dialog
  • Margins margins (read only): margins of the Dialog


  • QPoint popupPosition(Item item, Qt::Alignment alignment=Qt::AlignLeft): the suggested position for the Dialog if it has to be correctly placed as popup of the QML item passed as parameter.
  • void setAttribute(Qt::WindowAttribute attribute, bool on): set an attribute for the dialog window



  • real left (read only)
  • real top (read only)
  • real right (read only)
  • real bottom (read only)


Declaring a ToolTip instance makes it possible to use Plasma tooltips with any QML item.


  • Item target: the QML item we want to show a tooltip of
  • String mainText
  • String subText
  • String image: freedesktop compliant icon name as image of the tooltip

Plasma QtComponents (4.8)

Plasma components documentation online at

This page was last edited on 11 September 2014, at 23:27. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.