Programming with gtkmm 4

1. Introduction

1.1. This book

This book explains key concepts of the gtkmm C++ API for creating user interfaces. It also introduces the main user interface elements ("widgets"). Although it mentions classes, constructors, and methods, it does not go into great detail. Therefore, for full API information you should follow the links into the reference documentation.

This book assumes a good understanding of C++, and how to create C++ programs.

We would very much like to hear of any problems you have learning gtkmm with this document, and would appreciate input regarding improvements. Please see the Contributing section for further information.

1.2. gtkmm

gtkmm is a C++ wrapper for GTK+, a library used to create graphical user interfaces. It is licensed using the LGPL license, so you can develop open software, free software, or even commercial non-free software using gtkmm without purchasing licenses.

gtkmm was originally named gtk-- because GTK+ already has a + in the name. However, as -- is not easily indexed by search engines the package generally went by the name gtkmm, and that's what we stuck with.

1.2.1. Why use gtkmm instead of GTK+?

gtkmm allows you to write code using normal C++ techniques such as encapsulation, derivation, and polymorphism. As a C++ programmer you probably already realise that this leads to clearer and better organized code.

gtkmm is more type-safe, so the compiler can detect errors that would only be detected at run time when using C. This use of specific types also makes the API clearer because you can see what types should be used just by looking at a method's declaration.

Inheritance can be used to derive new widgets. The derivation of new widgets in GTK+ C code is so complicated and error prone that almost no C coders do it. As a C++ developer you know that derivation is an essential Object Orientated technique.

Member instances can be used, simplifying memory management. All GTK+ C widgets are dealt with by use of pointers. As a C++ coder you know that pointers should be avoided where possible.

gtkmm involves less code compared to GTK+, which uses prefixed function names and lots of cast macros.

1.2.2. gtkmm compared to Qt

Trolltech's Qt is the closest competition to gtkmm, so it deserves discussion.

gtkmm developers tend to prefer gtkmm to Qt because gtkmm does things in a more C++ way. Qt originates from a time when C++ and the standard library were not standardised or well supported by compilers. It therefore duplicates a lot of stuff that is now in the standard library, such as containers and type information. Most significantly, Trolltech modified the C++ language to provide signals, so that Qt classes cannot be used easily with non-Qt classes. gtkmm was able to use standard C++ to provide signals without changing the C++ language. See the FAQ for more detailed differences.

1.2.3. gtkmm is a wrapper

gtkmm is not a native C++ toolkit, but a C++ wrapper of a C toolkit. This separation of interface and implementation has advantages. The gtkmm developers spend most of their time talking about how gtkmm can present the clearest API, without awkward compromises due to obscure technical details. We contribute a little to the underlying GTK+ code base, but so do the C coders, and the Perl coders and the Python coders, etc. Therefore GTK+ benefits from a broader user base than language-specific toolkits - there are more implementers, more developers, more testers, and more users.

2. Installation

2.1. Dependencies

Before attempting to install gtkmm-4.0, you might first need to install these other packages.

  • libsigc++-3.0
  • gtk+-4.0
  • glibmm-2.60
  • cairomm-1.16
  • pangomm-2.44
  • atkmm-2.30

These dependencies have their own dependencies, including the following applications and libraries:

  • pkg-config
  • glib
  • ATK
  • Pango
  • cairo
  • gdk-pixbuf
  • graphene

2.2. Unix and Linux

2.2.1. Prebuilt Packages

Recent versions of gtkmm are packaged by nearly every major Linux distribution these days. So, if you use Linux, you can probably get started with gtkmm by installing the package from the official repository for your distribution. Distributions that include gtkmm in their repositories include Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Fedora, Mandriva, Suse, and many others.

The names of the gtkmm packages vary from distribution to distribution (e.g. libgtkmm-4.0-dev on Debian and Ubuntu or gtkmm40-devel on Red Hat Fedora), so check with your distribution's package management program for the correct package name and install it like you would any other package.

The package names will not change when new API/ABI-compatible versions of gtkmm are released. Otherwise they would not be API/ABI-compatible. So don't be surprised, for instance, to find gtkmm 4.8 supplied by Debian's libgtkmm-4.0-dev package.

2.2.2. Installing From Source

If your distribution does not provide a pre-built gtkmm package, or if you want to install a different version than the one provided by your distribution, you can also install gtkmm from source. The source code for gtkmm can be downloaded from http://www.gtkmm.org/.

After you've installed all of the dependencies, download the gtkmm source code, unpack it, and change to the newly created directory. gtkmm can be built and installed with the following sequence of commands:

# ./configure
# make
# make install

Remember that on a Unix or Linux operating system, you will probably need to be root to install software. The su or sudo command will allow you to enter the root password and have root status temporarily.

The configure script will check to make sure all of the required dependencies are already installed. If you are missing any dependencies, it will exit and display an error.

By default, gtkmm will be installed under the /usr/local directory. On some systems you may need to install to a different location. For instance, on Red Hat Linux systems you might use the --prefix option with configure, like so:

# ./configure --prefix=/usr

You should be very careful when installing to standard system prefixes such as /usr. Linux distributions install software packages to /usr, so installing a source package to this prefix could corrupt or conflict with software installed using your distribution's package-management system. Ideally, you should use a separate prefix for all software you install from source.

If you want to help develop gtkmm or experiment with new features, you can also install gtkmm from git. Most users will never need to do this, but if you're interested in helping with gtkmm development, see the Working with gtkmm's Source Code appendix.

2.3. Microsoft Windows

GTK+ and gtkmm were designed to work well with Microsoft Windows, and the developers encourage its use on the win32 platform. However, Windows has no standard installation system for development libraries. Please see the Windows Installation page for Windows-specific installation instructions and notes.

3. Basics

This chapter will introduce some of the most important aspects of gtkmm coding. These will be demonstrated with simple working example code. However, this is just a taster, so you need to look at the other chapters for more substantial information.

Your existing knowledge of C++ will help you with gtkmm as it would with any library. Unless we state otherwise, you can expect gtkmm classes to behave like any other C++ class, and you can expect to use your existing C++ techniques with gtkmm classes.

3.1. Simple Example

To begin our introduction to gtkmm, we'll start with the simplest program possible. This program will create an empty 200 x 200 pixel window.

Source Code

File: base.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include <gtkmm.h>

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.examples.base");

  Gtk::Window window;
  window.set_default_size(200, 200);

  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

We will now explain each line of the example

#include <gtkmm.h>

All gtkmm programs must include certain gtkmm headers; gtkmm.h includes the entire gtkmm kit. This is usually not a good idea, because it includes a megabyte or so of headers, but for simple programs, it suffices.

The next statement:

auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.examples.base");
creates a Gtk::Application object, stored in a Glib::RefPtr smartpointer. This is needed in all gtkmm applications. The create() method for this object initializes gtkmm.

The next two lines of code create a window and set its default (initial) size:

Gtk::Window window;
window.set_default_size(200, 200);

The last line shows the window and enters the gtkmm main processing loop, which will finish when the window is closed. Your main() function will then return with an appropriate success or error code. The argc and argv arguments, passed to your application on the command line, can be checked when run() is called, but this simple application does not use those arguments.

return app->run(window, argc, argv);

After putting the source code in simple.cc you can compile the above program with gcc using:

g++ simple.cc -o simple `pkg-config gtkmm-4.0 --cflags --libs`
Note that you must surround the pkg-config invocation with backquotes. Backquotes cause the shell to execute the command inside them, and to use the command's output as part of the command line. Note also that simple.cc must come before the pkg-config invocation on the command line.

3.2. Headers and Linking

Although we have shown the compilation command for the simple example, you really should use the automake and autoconf tools, as described in "Autoconf, Automake, Libtool", by G. V. Vaughan et al. The examples used in this book are included in the gtkmm-documentation package, with appropriate build files, so we won't show the build commands in future. You'll just need to find the appropriate directory and type make.

To simplify compilation, we use pkg-config, which is present in all (properly installed) gtkmm installations. This program 'knows' what compiler switches are needed to compile programs that use gtkmm. The --cflags option causes pkg-config to output a list of include directories for the compiler to look in; the --libs option requests the list of libraries for the compiler to link with and the directories to find them in. Try running it from your shell-prompt to see the results on your system.

However, this is even simpler when using the PKG_CHECK_MODULES() macro in a standard configure.ac file with autoconf and automake. For instance:

PKG_CHECK_MODULES([MYAPP], [gtkmm-4.0 >= 4.8.0])
This checks for the presence of gtkmm and defines MYAPP_LIBS and MYAPP_CFLAGS for use in your Makefile.am files.

gtkmm-4.0 is the name of the current stable API. There are older APIs called gtkmm-2.4 and gtkmm-3.0 which install in parallel when they are available. There are several versions of gtkmm-2.4, such as gtkmm 2.10 and there are several versions of the gtkmm-3.0 API. Note that the API name does not change for every version because that would be an incompatible API and ABI break. There might be a future gtkmm-5.0 API which would install in parallel with gtkmm-4.0 without affecting existing applications.

Note that if you mention extra modules in addition to gtkmm-4.0, they should be separated by spaces, not commas.

The GNU site has more information about autoconf and automake.

If you start by experimenting with a small application that you plan to use just for yourself, it's easier to start with a Makefile similar to the Makefile.example files in the Building applications chapter.

3.3. Widgets

gtkmm applications consist of windows containing widgets, such as buttons and text boxes. In some other systems, widgets are called "controls". For each widget in your application's windows, there is a C++ object in your application's code. So you just need to call a method of the widget's class to affect the visible widget.

Widgets are arranged inside container widgets such as frames and notebooks, in a hierarchy of widgets within widgets. Some of these container widgets, such as Gtk::Grid, are not visible - they exist only to arrange other widgets. Here is some example code that adds 2 Gtk::Button widgets to a Gtk::Box container widget:

m_box.add(m_Button1);
m_box.add(m_Button2);
and here is how to add the Gtk::Box, containing those buttons, to a Gtk::Frame, which has a visible frame and title:
m_frame.add(m_box);

Most of the chapters in this book deal with specific widgets. See the Container Widgets section for more details about adding widgets to container widgets.

Although you can specify the layout and appearance of windows and widgets with C++ code, you will probably find it more convenient to design your user interfaces with Glade and load them at runtime with Gtk::Builder. See the Glade and Gtk::Builder chapter.

Although gtkmm widget instances have lifetimes and scopes just like those of other C++ classes, gtkmm has an optional time-saving feature that you will see in some of the examples. The Gtk::make_managed() allows you to create a new widget and state that it will become owned by the container into which you place it. This allows you to create the widget, add it to the container and not be concerned about deleting it, since that will occur when the parent container (which may itself be managed) is deleted. You can learn more about gtkmm memory management techniques in the Memory Management chapter.

3.4. Signals

gtkmm, like most GUI toolkits, is event-driven. When an event occurs, such as the press of a mouse button, the appropriate signal will be emitted by the Widget that was pressed. Each Widget has a different set of signals that it can emit. To make a button click result in an action, we set up a signal handler to catch the button's "clicked" signal.

gtkmm uses the libsigc++ library to implement signals. Here is an example line of code that connects a Gtk::Button's "clicked" signal with a signal handler called "on_button_clicked":

m_button1.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
  &HelloWorld::on_button_clicked) );

For more detailed information about signals, see the appendix.

For information about implementing your own signals rather than just connecting to the existing gtkmm signals, see the appendix.

3.5. Glib::ustring

You might be surprised to learn that gtkmm doesn't use std::string in its interfaces. Instead it uses Glib::ustring, which is so similar and unobtrusive that you could actually pretend that each Glib::ustring is a std::string and ignore the rest of this section. But read on if you want to use languages other than English in your application.

std::string uses 8 bits per character, but 8 bits aren't enough to encode languages such as Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese. Although the encodings for these languages have been specified by the Unicode Consortium, the C and C++ languages do not yet provide any standardised Unicode support for UTF-8 encoding. GTK+ and GNOME chose to implement Unicode using UTF-8, and that's what is wrapped by Glib::ustring. It provides almost exactly the same interface as std::string, along with automatic conversions to and from std::string.

One of the benefits of UTF-8 is that you don't need to use it unless you want to, so you don't need to retrofit all of your code at once. std::string will still work for 7-bit ASCII strings. But when you try to localize your application for languages like Chinese, for instance, you will start to see strange errors, and possible crashes. Then all you need to do is start using Glib::ustring instead.

Note that UTF-8 isn't compatible with 8-bit encodings like ISO-8859-1. For instance, German umlauts are not in the ASCII range and need more than 1 byte in the UTF-8 encoding. If your code contains 8-bit string literals, you have to convert them to UTF-8 (e.g. the Bavarian greeting "Grüß Gott" would be "Gr\xC3\xBC\xC3\x9F Gott").

You should avoid C-style pointer arithmetic, and functions such as strlen(). In UTF-8, each character might need anywhere from 1 to 6 bytes, so it's not possible to assume that the next byte is another character. Glib::ustring worries about the details of this for you so you can use methods such as Glib::ustring::substr() while still thinking in terms of characters instead of bytes.

Unlike the Windows UCS-2 Unicode solution, this does not require any special compiler options to process string literals, and it does not result in Unicode executables and libraries which are incompatible with ASCII ones.

Reference

See the Internationalization section for information about providing the UTF-8 string literals.

3.6. Mixing C and C++ APIs

You can use C APIs which do not yet have convenient C++ interfaces. It is generally not a problem to use C APIs from C++, and gtkmm helps by providing access to the underlying C object, and providing an easy way to create a C++ wrapper object from a C object, provided that the C API is also based on the GObject system.

To use a gtkmm instance with a C function that requires a C GObject instance, use the C++ instance’s gobj() function to obtain a pointer to the underlying C instance. For example:

Gtk::Button button("example");
gtk_button_do_something_that_gtkmm_cannot(button.gobj());

To obtain a gtkmm instance from a C GObject instance, use one of the many overloaded Glib::wrap() functions. The C instance’s reference count is not incremented, unless you set the optional take_copy argument to true. For example:

GtkButton* cbutton = get_a_button();
Gtk::Button* button = Glib::wrap(cbutton);
button->set_label("Now I speak C++ too!");
The C++ wrapper shall be explicitly deleted if
  • it's a widget or other class that inherits from Gtk::Object, and
  • the C instance has a floating reference when the wrapper is created, and
  • Gtk::manage() has not been called on it (which includes if it was created with Gtk::make_managed()), or
  • Gtk::manage() was called on it, but it was never added to, or was later removed from, its parent.
Glib::wrap() binds the C and C++ instances to each other. Don't delete the C++ instance before you want the C instance to die.

In all other cases the C++ instance is automatically deleted when the last reference to the C instance is dropped. This includes all Glib::wrap() overloads that return a Glib::RefPtr.

3.7. Hello World in gtkmm

We've now learned enough to look at a real example. In accordance with an ancient tradition of computer science, we now introduce Hello World, a la gtkmm:

Source Code

File: helloworld.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_HELLOWORLD_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_HELLOWORLD_H

#include <gtkmm/button.h>
#include <gtkmm/window.h>

class HelloWorld : public Gtk::Window
{

public:
  HelloWorld();
  ~HelloWorld() override;

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_clicked();

  //Member widgets:
  Gtk::Button m_button;
};

#endif // GTKMM_EXAMPLE_HELLOWORLD_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "helloworld.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  HelloWorld helloworld;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(helloworld, argc, argv);
}

File: helloworld.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "helloworld.h"
#include <iostream>

HelloWorld::HelloWorld()
: m_button("Hello World")   // creates a new button with label "Hello World".
{
  // Sets the margin around the button.
  m_button.set_margin(10);

  // When the button receives the "clicked" signal, it will call the
  // on_button_clicked() method defined below.
  m_button.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &HelloWorld::on_button_clicked));

  // This packs the button into the Window (a container).
  add(m_button);
}

HelloWorld::~HelloWorld()
{
}

void HelloWorld::on_button_clicked()
{
  std::cout << "Hello World" << std::endl;
}

Try to compile and run it before going on. You should see something like this:

Figure 3-1Hello World

Pretty thrilling, eh? Let's examine the code. First, the HelloWorld class:

class HelloWorld : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  HelloWorld();
  ~HelloWorld() override;

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_clicked();

  //Member widgets:
  Gtk::Button m_button;
};

This class implements the "Hello World" window. It's derived from Gtk::Window, and has a single Gtk::Button as a member. We've chosen to use the constructor to do all of the initialisation work for the window, including setting up the signals. Here it is, with the comments omitted:

HelloWorld::HelloWorld()
: m_button("Hello World")
{
  m_button.set_margin(10);
  m_button.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &HelloWorld::on_button_clicked));
  add(m_button);
}

Notice that we've used an initialiser statement to give the m_button object the label "Hello World".

Next we call the Button's set_margin() method. This sets the amount of space around the button.

We then hook up a signal handler to m_button's clicked signal. This prints our friendly greeting to stdout.

Next, we use the Window's add() method to put m_button in the Window. (add() comes from Gtk::Container, which is described in the chapter on container widgets.) The add() method places the Widget in the Window.

Now let's look at our program's main() function. Here it is, without comments:

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");
  HelloWorld helloworld;
  return app->run(helloworld, argc, argv);
}

First we instantiate an object stored in a RefPtr smartpointer called app. This is of type Gtk::Application. Every gtkmm program must have one of these.

Next we make an object of our HelloWorld class, whose constructor takes no arguments, but it isn't visible yet. When we call Gtk::Application::run(), giving it the helloworld Window and the command-line arguments, it shows the Window and starts the gtkmm event loop. During the event loop gtkmm idles, waiting for actions from the user, and responding appropriately. When the user closes the Window, run() will return, causing the final line of our main() function be to executed. The application will then finish.

Like the simple example we showed earlier, this Hello World program does not use the command-line parameters. It's not necessary to pass them to run().

4. Changes in gtkmm 3

gtkmm-3.0 is an old version of the gtkmm API that installs in parallel with the still older gtkmm-2.4 API and the new gtkmm-4.0 API. The last version of the gtkmm-2.4 API was gtkmm 2.24. gtkmm 3 has no major fundamental differences to gtkmm 2 but does make several small changes that were not possible while maintaining binary compatibility. If you never used the gtkmm-2.4 API then you can safely ignore this chapter.

gtkmm 3's library is called libgtkmm-3.0 rather than libgtkmm-2.4 and installs its headers in a similarly-versioned directory, so your pkg-config check should ask for gtkmm-3.0 rather than gtkmm-2.4.

gtkmm 3 added some new classes:

  1. Gtk::AppChooser, Gtk::AppChooserButton, Gtk::AppChooserDialog allow the user to select an installed application to open a particular type of content.

  2. Gtk::Grid is a new container widget that will eventually replace Gtk::Box and Gtk::Table. It arranges its children according to properties of those children rather than its own layout details.

  3. Gtk::Switch displays On/Off states more explictly than Gtk::CheckButton. It may be useful, for instance, when allowing users to activate hardware.

gtkmm 3 also made several small changes to the API, which you will probably encounter when porting code that used gtkmm-2.4. Here is a short list:

  1. Gtk::CellLayout, used by Gtk::IconView, Gtk::TreeView::Column and Gtk::ComboBox, now has a Gtk::CellArea which can be used to specify more details of how the CellRenderers are arranged and aligned.

  2. Gtk::ComboBox now derives from CellLayout, allowing easier layout and alignment of its Gtk::CellRenderers.

  3. Gtk::Adjustment and IconSet and Gdk::Cursor are now used via Glib::RefPtr.

  4. Gtk::Box, Gtk::ButtonBox, Gtk::IconView, Gtk::Paned, Gtk::ProgressBar, Gtk::ScaleButton, Gtk::Scrollbar and Gtk::Separator now derive from Gtk::Orientable, allowing their orientation (vertical or horizontal) to be specified without requiring the use of a derived class such as Gtk::HBox.

  5. Gtk::IconView, Gtk::TextView, Gtk::TreeView and other widgets derive from Scrollable instead of having their own methods such as get_vadjustment() and instead of having their own set_scroll_adjustments signal.

  6. Gtk::Style and Gtk::Rc were removed, replaced by Gtk::StyleContext, and Gtk::StyleProviders, such as Gtk::CssProvider.

  7. Widget::on_expose_event() was replaced by Widget::on_draw(), which assumes that cairomm is used for drawing, via the provided Cairo::Context and does not require you to call Cairo::Context::clip().

  8. Gdk::RGBA replaces Color, adding an alpha component for opacity. Colormap was removed, along with its awkward use to allocate colors.

  9. Gdk::Pixmap and Gdk::Bitmap were removed in favour of Gdk::Pixbuf.

  10. Gdk::Drawable was removed, with its methods moving into Gdk::Window.

  11. We now use std::vector in several methods instead of the intermediate *Handle types to make the API clearer.

All deprecated API was removed in gtkmm 3.0, though there have been new deprecations in later gtkmm 3.x versions.

As a first step to porting your source code to gtkmm-3.0 you should probably ensure that your application builds with the deprecated gtkmm-2.4 API disabled, by defining macro such as GTKMM_DISABLE_DEPRECATED. There are some autotools macros that can help with this by defining them optionally at build time. See the gtkmm 3 porting wiki page for more details.

5. Changes in gtkmm-4.0 and glibmm-2.60

gtkmm-4.0 is a new version of the gtkmm API that installs in parallel with the older gtkmm-2.4 and gtkmm-3.0 APIs. The last version of the gtkmm-3.0 API is gtkmm 3.24. gtkmm 4 has no major fundamental differences to gtkmm 3 but does make several changes (both small and large ones) that were not possible while maintaining binary compatibility. If you never used the gtkmm-3.0 API then you can safely ignore this chapter.

gtkmm 4's library is called libgtkmm-4.0 rather than libgtkmm-3.0 and installs its headers in a similarly-versioned directory, so your pkg-config check should ask for gtkmm-4.0 rather than gtkmm-3.0.

gtkmm-4.0 is used in combination with glibmm-2.60, which sets the global locale for your program. The older glibmm-2.4 does not do that, and gtkmm-3.0 does it only to some extent. What this means is briefly that if your gtkmm-3.0 program contains a call to std::locale::global(std::locale("")), you can probably remove it. If you don't want glibmm or gtkmm to set the global locale for you, you should add a call to Glib::set_init_to_users_preferred_locale(false) before any call to Glib::init() or Gtk::Application::create().

Reference

There are lots and lots of differences between gtkmm-3.0 and gtkmm-4.0. The following lists are not complete.

Some new classes were added in gtkmm 4 and glibmm 2.60:

  1. Glib::ExtraClassInit and Gtk::Snapshot: These classes are needed only for writing custom widgets. See the Custom Widgets section.

  2. Gtk::EventControllerKey, Gtk::EventControllerMotion, Gtk::EventControllerScroll and Gtk::GestureStylus

  3. Gdk::Paintable, Gdk::Texture, Gtk::Picture and Gtk::WidgetPaintable

  4. Gdk::Window has been renamed to Gdk::Surface. (Gtk::Window keeps its name.)

  5. Gdk::DrawContext and Gdk::CairoContext are new. Gdk::DrawingContext has been removed.

  6. Gtk::Clipboard has been replaced by the new Gdk::Clipboard.

  7. Gdk::DragContext has been split into Gdk::Drag and Gdk::Drop.

There have also been several changes to the API, which you will probably encounter when porting code that used gtkmm-3.0 and glibmm-2.4. Here is a short list:

  1. A C++17 compiler is required.

  2. Gtk::Button, Gtk::ToolButton, Gtk::MenuItem and Gtk::Switch implement the Gtk::Actionable interface instead of the removed Gtk::Activatable interface.

  3. Gtk::FontButton implements the Gtk::FontChooser interface.

  4. Gtk::Widget: The get_preferred_*_vfunc()s have been replaced by measure_vfunc(). This change only affects custom widgets.

  5. sigc::slots use the sigc::slot<R(Args...)> syntax. Example: sigc::slot<void(int, int)> instead of sigc::slot<void, int, int>.

  6. Gtk::DrawingArea uses a draw function instead of the draw signal.

  7. Glib::ArrayHandle, Glib::StringArrayHandle, Glib::ListHandle and Glib::SListHandle have been removed. They were used in glibmm-2.4, but not used in gtkmm-3.0. If you've ever used these classes, replace them with a standard C++ container, such as std::vector.

  8. Gtk::Container::show_all_children() and Gtk::Widget::show_all() have been removed. The default value of Gtk::Widget::property_visible()has been changed from false to true.

  9. All event signals have been removed from Gtk::Widget. In most cases you can use one of the subclasses of Gtk::EventController as a replacement. For instance, use Gtk::GestureMultiPress instead of signal_button_press_event() and signal_button_release_event(), and Gtk::EventControllerKey instead of signal_key_press_event() and signal_key_release_event().

  10. Glib::RefPtr is an alias for std::shared_ptr. If you make your own Glib::ObjectBase-derived classes with create() methods that return a Glib::RefPtr, you must use Glib::make_refptr_for_instance() in your create() methods.

  11. Gtk::Box::pack_start() and Gtk::Box::pack_end() have been removed. Use Gtk::Container::add() or the new Gtk::Box methods insert_child_after() and insert_child_at_start().

  12. Gtk::ButtonBox has been removed.

All deprecated API was removed in gtkmm 4.0 and glibmm 2.60, though there will be new deprecations in future versions.

As a first step to porting your source code to gtkmm-4.0 you should probably ensure that your application builds with the deprecated gtkmm-3.0 and glibmm-2.4 API disabled, by defining the macros GTKMM_DISABLE_DEPRECATED, GDKMM_DISABLE_DEPRECATED, GLIBMM_DISABLE_DEPRECATED and GIOMM_DISABLE_DEPRECATED. There are some autotools macros that can help with this by defining them optionally at build time. See the Porting from gtkmm-2.4 to gtkmm-3.0 wiki page for more details.

See also Migrating from GTK+ 3.x to GTK+ 4.

6. Buttons

gtkmm provides four basic types of buttons:

Push buttons

Gtk::Button. Standard buttons, usually marked with a label or picture. Pushing one triggers an action. See the Button section.

Toggle buttons

Gtk::ToggleButton. Unlike a normal Button, which springs back up, a ToggleButton stays down until you press it again. It might be useful as an on/off switch. See the ToggleButton section.

Check buttons

Gtk::CheckButton. These act like ToggleButtons, but show their state in small squares, with their label at the side. They should be used in most situations which require an on/off setting. See the CheckButton section.

Radio buttons

Gtk::RadioButton. Named after the station selectors on old car radios, these buttons are used in groups for options which are mutually exclusive. Pressing one causes all the others in its group to turn off. They are similar to CheckButtons (a small widget with a label at the side), but usually look different. See the RadioButton section.

Note that, due to GTK+'s theming system, the appearance of these widgets will vary. In the case of check buttons and radio buttons, they may vary considerably.

6.1. Button

There are two ways to create a Button. You can specify a label string in the Gtk::Button constructor, or set it later with set_label().

To define an accelerator key for keyboard navigation, place an underscore before one of the label's characters and specify true for the optional mnemonic parameter. For instance:

Gtk::Button* pButton = new Gtk::Button("_Something", true);

Gtk::Button is also a container so you could put any other widget, such as a Gtk::Image into it.

The Gtk::Button widget has the clicked signal which is emitted when the button is pressed and released.

Reference

6.1.1. Example

This example creates a button with a picture and a label.

Figure 6-1buttons example

Source Code

File: buttons.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_BUTTONS_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_BUTTONS_H

#include <gtkmm/window.h>
#include <gtkmm/button.h>

class Buttons : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  Buttons();
  virtual ~Buttons();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_clicked();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Button m_button;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLE_BUTTONS_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "buttons.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  Buttons buttons;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(buttons, argc, argv);
}

File: buttons.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "buttons.h"
#include <iostream>

Buttons::Buttons()
{
  m_button.add_pixlabel("info.xpm", "cool button");

  set_title("Pixmap'd buttons!");

  m_button.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &Buttons::on_button_clicked) );

  m_button.set_margin(10);
  add(m_button);
}

Buttons::~Buttons()
{
}

void Buttons::on_button_clicked()
{
  std::cout << "The Button was clicked." << std::endl;
}

6.2. ToggleButton

ToggleButtons are like normal Buttons, but when clicked they remain activated, or pressed, until clicked again.

To retrieve the state of the ToggleButton, you can use the get_active() method. This returns true if the button is "down". You can also set the toggle button's state, with set_active(). Note that, if you do this, and the state actually changes, it causes the "clicked" signal to be emitted. This is usually what you want.

You can use the toggled() method to toggle the button, rather than forcing it to be up or down: This switches the button's state, and causes the toggled signal to be emitted.

Gtk::ToggleButton is most useful as a base class for the Gtk::CheckButton and Gtk::RadioButton classes.

Reference

6.3. CheckButton

Gtk::CheckButton inherits from Gtk::ToggleButton. The only real difference between the two is Gtk::CheckButton's appearance. You can check, set, and toggle a check button using the same member methods as for Gtk::ToggleButton.

Reference

6.3.1. Example

Figure 6-2CheckButton

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_BUTTONS_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_BUTTONS_H

#include <gtkmm/window.h>
#include <gtkmm/checkbutton.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_clicked();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::CheckButton m_button;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLE_BUTTONS_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_button("something")
{
  set_title("checkbutton example");

  m_button.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_clicked) );

  m_button.set_margin(10);
  add(m_button);
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_clicked()
{
  std::cout << "The Button was clicked: state="
      << (m_button.get_active() ? "true" : "false")
      << std::endl;
}

6.4. RadioButton

Like check buttons, radio buttons also inherit from Gtk::ToggleButton, but these work in groups, and only one RadioButton in a group can be selected at any one time.

6.4.1. Groups

There are two ways to set up a group of radio buttons. The first way is to create the buttons, and set up their groups afterwards. Only the constructors without a Gtk::RadioButton::Group parameter are used. In the following example, we make a new window class called RadioButtons, and then put three radio buttons in it:

class RadioButtons : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  RadioButtons();

protected:
  Gtk::RadioButton m_rb1, m_rb2, m_rb3;
};

RadioButtons::RadioButtons()
: m_rb1("button1"),
  m_rb2("button2"),
  m_rb3("button3")
{
  m_rb2.join_group(m_rb1);
  m_rb3.join_group(m_rb1);
}

We told gtkmm to put all three RadioButtons in the same group by using join_group() to tell the other RadioButtons to share group with the first RadioButton.

Note that you can't do

m_rb2.set_group(m_rb1.get_group()); //doesn't work
because get_group() returns a RadioButton::Group which is modified by set_group() and therefore is non-const.

The second way to set up radio buttons is to make a group first, and then add radio buttons to it. Here's an example:

class RadioButtons : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  RadioButtons();
};

RadioButtons::RadioButtons()
{
  Gtk::RadioButton::Group group;
  auto m_rb1 = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::RadioButton>(group, "button1");
  auto m_rb2 = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::RadioButton>(group, "button2");
  auto m_rb3 = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::RadioButton>(group, "button3");
}

We made a new group by simply declaring a variable, group, of type Gtk::RadioButton::Group. Then we made three radio buttons, using a constructor to make each of them part of group.

6.4.2. Methods

RadioButtons are "off" when created; this means that when you first make a group of them, they will all be off. Don't forget to turn one of them on using set_active().

Reference

6.4.3. Example

The following example demonstrates the use of RadioButtons:

Figure 6-3RadioButton

Source Code

File: radiobuttons.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_RADIOBUTTONS_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_RADIOBUTTONS_H

#include <gtkmm/box.h>
#include <gtkmm/window.h>
#include <gtkmm/radiobutton.h>
#include <gtkmm/separator.h>

class RadioButtons : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  RadioButtons();
  virtual ~RadioButtons();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_clicked();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_Box_Top, m_Box1, m_Box2;
  Gtk::RadioButton m_RadioButton1, m_RadioButton2, m_RadioButton3;
  Gtk::Separator m_Separator;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Close;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLE_RADIOBUTTONS_H

File: radiobuttons.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "radiobuttons.h"


RadioButtons::RadioButtons() :
  m_Box_Top(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Box1(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL, 10),
  m_Box2(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL, 10),
  m_RadioButton1("button1"),
  m_RadioButton2("button2"),
  m_RadioButton3("button3"),
  m_Button_Close("close")
{
  // Set title and border of the window
  set_title("radio buttons");

  // Put radio buttons 2 and 3 in the same group as 1:
  m_RadioButton2.join_group(m_RadioButton1);
  m_RadioButton3.join_group(m_RadioButton1);

  // Add outer box to the window (because the window
  // can only contain a single widget)
  add(m_Box_Top);

  //Put the inner boxes and the separator in the outer box:
  m_Box_Top.add(m_Box1);
  m_Box_Top.add(m_Separator);
  m_Box_Top.add(m_Box2);
  m_Separator.set_expand();

  // Set the inner boxes' margins
  m_Box1.set_margin(10);
  m_Box2.set_margin(10);

  // Put the radio buttons in Box1:
  m_Box1.add(m_RadioButton1);
  m_Box1.add(m_RadioButton2);
  m_Box1.add(m_RadioButton3);
  m_RadioButton1.set_expand();
  m_RadioButton2.set_expand();
  m_RadioButton3.set_expand();

  // Set the second button active
  m_RadioButton2.set_active();

  // Put Close button in Box2:
  m_Box2.add(m_Button_Close);
  m_Button_Close.set_expand();

  // Make the button the default widget
  m_Button_Close.set_can_default();
  m_Button_Close.grab_default();

  // Connect the clicked signal of the button to
  // RadioButtons::on_button_clicked()
  m_Button_Close.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &RadioButtons::on_button_clicked) );
}

RadioButtons::~RadioButtons()
{
}

void RadioButtons::on_button_clicked()
{
  hide(); //to close the application.
}

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "radiobuttons.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  RadioButtons buttons;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(buttons, argc, argv);
}

7. Range Widgets

Gtk::Scale and Gtk::Scrollbar both inherit from Gtk::Range and share much functionality. They contain a "trough" and a "slider" (sometimes called a "thumbwheel" in other GUI environments). Dragging the slider with the pointer moves it within the trough, while clicking in the trough advances the slider towards the location of the click, either completely, or by a designated amount, depending on which mouse button is used. This should be familiar scrollbar behaviour.

As will be explained in the Adjustments section, all Range widgets are associated with an Adjustment object. To change the lower, upper, and current values used by the widget you need to use the methods of its Adjustment, which you can get with the get_adjustment() method. The Range widgets' default constructors create an Adjustment automatically, or you can specify an existing Adjustment, maybe to share it with another widget. See the Adjustments section for further details.

Reference

7.1. Scrollbar Widgets

These are standard scrollbars. They should be used only to scroll another widget, such as a Gtk::Entry or a Gtk::Viewport, though it's usually easier to use the Gtk::ScrolledWindow widget in most cases.

The orientation of a Gtk::Scrollbar can be either horizontal or vertical.

Reference

7.2. Scale Widgets

Gtk::Scale widgets (or "sliders") allow the user to visually select and manipulate a value within a specific range. You might use one, for instance, to adjust the magnification level on a zoomed preview of a picture, or to control the brightness of a colour, or to specify the number of minutes of inactivity before a screensaver takes over the screen.

As with Scrollbars, the orientation can be either horizontal or vertical. The default constructor creates an Adjustment with all of its values set to 0.0. This isn't useful so you will need to set some Adjustment details to get meaningful behaviour.

7.2.1. Useful methods

Scale widgets can display their current value as a number next to the trough. By default they show the value, but you can change this with the set_draw_value() method.

The value displayed by a scale widget is rounded to one decimal point by default, as is the value field in its Gtk::Adjustment. You can change this with the set_digits() method.

Also, the value can be drawn in different positions relative to the trough, specified by the set_value_pos() method.

Reference

7.3. Example

This example displays a window with three range widgets all connected to the same adjustment, along with a couple of controls for adjusting some of the parameters mentioned above and in the section on adjustments, so you can see how they affect the way these widgets work for the user.

Figure 7-1Range Widgets

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_RANGEWIDGETS_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_RANGEWIDGETS_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_checkbutton_toggled();
  void on_combo_position();
  void on_adjustment1_value_changed();
  void on_adjustment2_value_changed();
  void on_button_quit();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox_Top, m_VBox2, m_VBox_HScale;
  Gtk::Box m_HBox_Scales, m_HBox_Combo, m_HBox_Digits, m_HBox_PageSize;

  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Adjustment> m_adjustment, m_adjustment_digits, m_adjustment_pagesize;

  Gtk::Scale m_VScale;
  Gtk::Scale m_HScale, m_Scale_Digits, m_Scale_PageSize;

  Gtk::Separator m_Separator;

  Gtk::CheckButton m_CheckButton;

  Gtk::Scrollbar m_Scrollbar;

  //Tree model columns:
  class ModelColumns : public Gtk::TreeModel::ColumnRecord
  {
  public:

    ModelColumns()
    { add(m_col_position_type); add(m_col_title); }

    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<Gtk::PositionType> m_col_position_type;
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<Glib::ustring> m_col_title;
  };

  ModelColumns m_Columns;

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::ComboBox m_ComboBox_Position;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::ListStore> m_refTreeModel;

  Gtk::Button m_Button_Quit;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLE_RANGEWIDGETS_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
:
  m_VBox_Top(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL, 0),
  m_VBox2(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL, 20),
  m_VBox_HScale(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL, 10),
  m_HBox_Scales(Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL, 10),
  m_HBox_Combo(Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL, 10),
  m_HBox_Digits(Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL, 10),
  m_HBox_PageSize(Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL, 10),

  // Value, lower, upper, step_increment, page_increment, page_size:
  // Note that the page_size value only makes a difference for
  // scrollbar widgets, and the highest value you'll get is actually
  // (upper - page_size).
  m_adjustment( Gtk::Adjustment::create(0.0, 0.0, 101.0, 0.1, 1.0, 1.0) ),
  m_adjustment_digits( Gtk::Adjustment::create(1.0, 0.0, 5.0, 1.0, 2.0) ),
  m_adjustment_pagesize( Gtk::Adjustment::create(1.0, 1.0, 101.0) ),

  m_VScale(m_adjustment, Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_HScale(m_adjustment, Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL),
  m_Scale_Digits(m_adjustment_digits),
  m_Scale_PageSize(m_adjustment_pagesize),

  // A checkbutton to control whether the value is displayed or not:
  m_CheckButton("Display value on scale widgets", 0),

  // Reuse the same adjustment again.
  // Notice how this causes the scales to always be updated
  // continuously when the scrollbar is moved.
  m_Scrollbar(m_adjustment),

  m_Button_Quit("Quit")
{
  set_title("range controls");
  set_default_size(300, 350);

  //VScale:
  m_VScale.set_digits(1);
  m_VScale.set_value_pos(Gtk::PositionType::TOP);
  m_VScale.set_draw_value();
  m_VScale.set_inverted(); // highest value at top

  //HScale:
  m_HScale.set_digits(1);
  m_HScale.set_value_pos(Gtk::PositionType::TOP);
  m_HScale.set_draw_value();

  add(m_VBox_Top);
  m_VBox_Top.add(m_VBox2);
  m_VBox2.set_expand(true);
  m_VBox2.set_margin(10);
  m_VBox2.add(m_HBox_Scales);
  m_HBox_Scales.set_expand(true);

  //Put VScale and HScale (above scrollbar) side-by-side.
  m_HBox_Scales.add(m_VScale);
  m_VScale.set_expand(true);
  m_HBox_Scales.add(m_VBox_HScale);
  m_VBox_HScale.set_expand(true);

  m_VBox_HScale.add(m_HScale);
  m_HScale.set_expand(true);

  //Scrollbar:
  m_VBox_HScale.add(m_Scrollbar);
  m_Scrollbar.set_expand(true);

  //CheckButton:
  m_CheckButton.set_active();
  m_CheckButton.signal_toggled().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleWindow::on_checkbutton_toggled) );
  m_VBox2.add(m_CheckButton);

  //Position ComboBox:
  //Create the Tree model:
  m_refTreeModel = Gtk::ListStore::create(m_Columns);
  m_ComboBox_Position.set_model(m_refTreeModel);
  m_ComboBox_Position.pack_start(m_Columns.m_col_title);

  //Fill the ComboBox's Tree Model:
  auto row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_position_type] = Gtk::PositionType::TOP;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_title] = "Top";
  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_position_type] = Gtk::PositionType::BOTTOM;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_title] = "Bottom";
  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_position_type] = Gtk::PositionType::LEFT;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_title] = "Left";
  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_position_type] = Gtk::PositionType::RIGHT;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_title] = "Right";

  m_VBox2.add(m_HBox_Combo);
  m_HBox_Combo.add(*Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::Label>("Scale Value Position:", 0));
  m_HBox_Combo.add(m_ComboBox_Position);
  m_ComboBox_Position.signal_changed().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_combo_position) );
  m_ComboBox_Position.set_active(0); // Top
  m_ComboBox_Position.set_expand(true);

  //Digits:
  m_HBox_Digits.add(*Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::Label>("Scale Digits:", 0));
  m_Scale_Digits.set_digits(0);
  m_Scale_Digits.set_expand(true);
  m_adjustment_digits->signal_value_changed().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleWindow::on_adjustment1_value_changed));
  m_HBox_Digits.add(m_Scale_Digits);

  //Page Size:
  m_HBox_PageSize.add(*Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::Label>("Scrollbar Page Size:", 0));
  m_Scale_PageSize.set_digits(0);
  m_Scale_PageSize.set_expand(true);
  m_adjustment_pagesize->signal_value_changed().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleWindow::on_adjustment2_value_changed));
  m_HBox_PageSize.add(m_Scale_PageSize);

  m_VBox2.add(m_HBox_Digits);
  m_VBox2.add(m_HBox_PageSize);
  m_VBox_Top.add(m_Separator);
  m_VBox_Top.add(m_Button_Quit);

  m_Button_Quit.set_can_default();
  m_Button_Quit.grab_default();
  m_Button_Quit.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleWindow::on_button_quit));
  m_Button_Quit.set_margin(10);
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_checkbutton_toggled()
{
  m_VScale.set_draw_value(m_CheckButton.get_active());
  m_HScale.set_draw_value(m_CheckButton.get_active());
}

void ExampleWindow::on_combo_position()
{
  const auto iter = m_ComboBox_Position.get_active();
  if(!iter)
    return;

  const auto row = *iter;
  if(!row)
    return;

  const auto postype = row[m_Columns.m_col_position_type];

  m_VScale.set_value_pos(postype);
  m_HScale.set_value_pos(postype);
}

void ExampleWindow::on_adjustment1_value_changed()
{
  const double val = m_adjustment_digits->get_value();
  m_VScale.set_digits((int)val);
  m_HScale.set_digits((int)val);
}

void ExampleWindow::on_adjustment2_value_changed()
{
  const double val = m_adjustment_pagesize->get_value();
  m_adjustment->set_page_size(val);
  m_adjustment->set_page_increment(val);

  // Note that we don't have to emit the "changed" signal
  // because gtkmm does this for us.
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_quit()
{
  hide();
}

8. Miscellaneous Widgets

8.1. Label

Labels are the main method of placing non-editable text in windows, for instance to place a title next to an Entry widget. You can specify the text in the constructor, or later with the set_text() or set_markup() methods.

The width of the label will be adjusted automatically. You can produce multi-line labels by putting line breaks ("\n") in the label string.

The label text can be justified using the set_justify() method. The widget is also capable of word-wrapping, which can be activated with set_line_wrap().

Gtk::Label supports some simple formatting, for instance allowing you to make some text bold, colored, or larger. You can do this by providing a string to set_markup(), using the Pango Markup syntax. For instance, <b>bold text</b> and <s>strikethrough text</s> .

Reference

8.1.1. Example

Below is a short example to illustrate these functions. This example makes use of the Frame widget to better demonstrate the label styles. (The Frame widget is explained in the Frame section.) It is possible that the first character in m_Label_Normal is shown underlined only when you press the Alt key.

Figure 8-1Label

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_HBox;
  Gtk::Box m_VBox, m_VBox2;
  Gtk::Frame m_Frame_Normal, m_Frame_Multi, m_Frame_Left, m_Frame_Right,
    m_Frame_LineWrapped, m_Frame_FilledWrapped, m_Frame_Underlined;
  Gtk::Label m_Label_Normal, m_Label_Multi, m_Label_Left, m_Label_Right,
    m_Label_LineWrapped, m_Label_FilledWrapped, m_Label_Underlined;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
:
  m_HBox(Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL, 5),
  m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL, 5),
  m_VBox2(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL, 5),
  m_Frame_Normal("Normal Label"),
  m_Frame_Multi("Multi-line Label"),
  m_Frame_Left("Left Justified Label"),
  m_Frame_Right("Right Justified Label"),
  m_Frame_LineWrapped("Line wrapped label"),
  m_Frame_FilledWrapped("Filled, wrapped label"),
  m_Frame_Underlined("Underlined label"),
  m_Label_Normal("_This is a Normal label", true),
  m_Label_Multi("This is a Multi-line label.\nSecond line\nThird line"),
  m_Label_Left("This is a Left-Justified\nMulti-line label.\nThird line"),
  m_Label_Right("This is a Right-Justified\nMulti-line label.\nThird line"),
  m_Label_Underlined("This label is underlined!\n"
          "This one is underlined in quite a funky fashion")
{
  set_title("Label");

  m_HBox.set_margin(5);
  add(m_HBox);

  m_HBox.add(m_VBox);

  m_Frame_Normal.add(m_Label_Normal);
  m_VBox.add(m_Frame_Normal);

  m_Frame_Multi.add(m_Label_Multi);
  m_VBox.add(m_Frame_Multi);

  m_Label_Left.set_justify(Gtk::Justification::LEFT);
  m_Frame_Left.add(m_Label_Left);
  m_VBox.add(m_Frame_Left);

  m_Label_Right.set_justify(Gtk::Justification::RIGHT);
  m_Frame_Right.add(m_Label_Right);
  m_VBox.add(m_Frame_Right);

  m_HBox.add(m_VBox2);

  m_Label_LineWrapped.set_text(
          "This is an example of a line-wrapped label.  It "
          /* add a big space to the next line to test spacing */
          "should not be taking up the entire             "
          "width allocated to it, but automatically "
          "wraps the words to fit.  "
          "The time has come, for all good men, to come to "
          "the aid of their party.  "
          "The sixth sheik's six sheep's sick.\n"
          "     It supports multiple paragraphs correctly, "
          "and  correctly   adds "
          "many          extra  spaces. ");
  m_Label_LineWrapped.set_line_wrap();
  m_Frame_LineWrapped.add(m_Label_LineWrapped);
  m_VBox2.add(m_Frame_LineWrapped);

  m_Label_FilledWrapped.set_text(
          "This is an example of a line-wrapped, filled label.  "
          "It should be taking "
          "up the entire              width allocated to it.  "
          "Here is a sentence to prove "
          "my point.  Here is another sentence. "
          "Here comes the sun, do de do de do.\n"
          "    This is a new paragraph.\n"
          "    This is another newer, longer, better "
          "paragraph.  It is coming to an end, "
          "unfortunately.");
  m_Label_FilledWrapped.set_justify(Gtk::Justification::FILL);
  m_Label_FilledWrapped.set_line_wrap();
  m_Frame_FilledWrapped.add(m_Label_FilledWrapped);
  m_VBox2.add(m_Frame_FilledWrapped);

  m_Label_Underlined.set_justify(Gtk::Justification::LEFT);
  m_Label_Underlined.set_pattern (
          "_________________________ _ _________ _ ______"
          "     __ _______ ___");
  m_Frame_Underlined.add(m_Label_Underlined);
  m_VBox2.add(m_Frame_Underlined);
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

8.2. Entry

8.2.1. Simple Use

Entry widgets allow the user to enter text. You can change the contents with the set_text() method, and read the current contents with the get_text() method.

Occasionally you might want to make an Entry widget read-only. This can be done by passing false to the set_editable() method.

For the input of passwords, passphrases and other information you don't want echoed on the screen, calling set_visibility() with false will cause the text to be hidden.

You might want to be notified whenever the user types in a text entry widget. Gtk::Entry provides two signals, activate and changed, for this purpose. activate is emitted when the user presses the Enter key in a text-entry widget; changed is emitted when the text in the widget changes. You can use these, for instance, to validate or filter the text the user types. Moving the keyboard focus to another widget may also signal that the user has finished entering text. The focus_out_event signal that Gtk::Entry inherits from Gtk::Widget can notify you when that happens. The ComboBox with an Entry section contains example programs that use these signals.

If you pass true to the set_activates_default() method, pressing Enter in the Gtk::Entry will activate the default widget for the window containing the Gtk::Entry. This is especially useful in dialog boxes. The default widget is usually one of the dialog buttons, which e.g. will close the dialog box. To set a widget as the default widget, use Gtk::Widget::set_can_default() and Gtk::Widget::grab_default().

Reference

8.2.1.1. Simple Entry Example

This example uses Gtk::Entry. It also has two CheckButtons, with which you can toggle the editable and visible flags.

Figure 8-2Entry

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_checkbox_editable_toggled();
  void on_checkbox_visibility_toggled();
  void on_button_close();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_HBox;
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;
  Gtk::Entry m_Entry;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Close;
  Gtk::CheckButton m_CheckButton_Editable, m_CheckButton_Visible;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Button_Close("Close"),
  m_CheckButton_Editable("Editable"),
  m_CheckButton_Visible("Visible")
{
  set_size_request(200, 100);
  set_title("Gtk::Entry");

  add(m_VBox);

  m_Entry.set_max_length(50);
  m_Entry.set_text("hello");
  m_Entry.set_text(m_Entry.get_text() + " world");
  m_Entry.select_region(0, m_Entry.get_text_length());
  m_Entry.set_expand(true);
  m_VBox.add(m_Entry);

  m_VBox.add(m_HBox);

  m_HBox.add(m_CheckButton_Editable);
  m_CheckButton_Editable.set_expand(true);
  m_CheckButton_Editable.signal_toggled().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_checkbox_editable_toggled) );
  m_CheckButton_Editable.set_active(true);

  m_HBox.add(m_CheckButton_Visible);
  m_CheckButton_Visible.set_expand(true);
  m_CheckButton_Visible.signal_toggled().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_checkbox_visibility_toggled) );
  m_CheckButton_Visible.set_active(true);

  m_Button_Close.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_close) );
  m_VBox.add(m_Button_Close);
  m_Button_Close.set_expand();
  m_Button_Close.set_can_default();
  m_Button_Close.grab_default();
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_checkbox_editable_toggled()
{
  m_Entry.set_editable(m_CheckButton_Editable.get_active());
}

void ExampleWindow::on_checkbox_visibility_toggled()
{
  m_Entry.set_visibility(m_CheckButton_Visible.get_active());
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_close()
{
  hide();
}

8.2.2. Entry Completion

An Entry widget can offer a drop-down list of pre-existing choices based on the first few characters typed by the user. For instance, a search dialog could suggest text from previous searches.

To enable this functionality, you must create an EntryCompletion object, and provide it to the Entry widget via the set_completion() method.

The EntryCompletion may use a TreeModel containing possible entries, specified with set_model(). You should then call set_text_column() to specify which of your model columns should be used to match possible text entries.

Alternatively, if a complete list of possible entries would be too large or too inconvenient to generate, a callback slot may instead be specified with set_match_func(). This is also useful if you wish to match on a part of the string other than the start.

Reference

8.2.2.1. Entry Completion Example

This example creates a Gtk::EntryCompletion and associates it with a Gtk::Entry widget. The completion uses a Gtk::TreeModel of possible entries, and some additional actions.

Figure 8-3Entry Completion

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_close();

  void on_completion_action_activated(int index);

  //See the comment in the implementation:
  //bool on_completion_match(const Glib::ustring& key, const Gtk::TreeModel::const_iterator& iter);


  //Tree model columns, for the EntryCompletion's filter model:
  class ModelColumns : public Gtk::TreeModel::ColumnRecord
  {
  public:

    ModelColumns()
    { add(m_col_id); add(m_col_name); }

    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<unsigned int> m_col_id;
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<Glib::ustring> m_col_name;
  };

  ModelColumns m_Columns;

  typedef std::map<int, Glib::ustring> type_actions_map;
  type_actions_map m_CompletionActions;

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_HBox;
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;
  Gtk::Entry m_Entry;
  Gtk::Label m_Label;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Close;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Label("Press a or b to see a list of possible completions and actions."),
  m_Button_Close("Close")
{
  //set_size_request(200, 100);
  set_title("Gtk::EntryCompletion");

  add(m_VBox);
  m_VBox.add(m_Entry);

  m_VBox.add(m_Label);
  m_Label.set_expand(true);

  m_Button_Close.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_close) );
  m_VBox.add(m_Button_Close);
  m_Button_Close.set_can_default();
  m_Button_Close.grab_default();

  //Add an EntryCompletion:
  auto completion =
      Gtk::EntryCompletion::create();
  m_Entry.set_completion(completion);

  //Create and fill the completion's filter model
  auto refCompletionModel =
      Gtk::ListStore::create(m_Columns);
  completion->set_model(refCompletionModel);

  // For more complex comparisons, use a filter match callback, like this.
  // See the comment below for more details:
  //completion->set_match_func( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              //&ExampleWindow::on_completion_match) );

  //Fill the TreeView's model
  auto row = *(refCompletionModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 1;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Alan Zebedee";

  row = *(refCompletionModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 2;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Adrian Boo";

  row = *(refCompletionModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 3;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Bob McRoberts";

  row = *(refCompletionModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 4;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Bob McBob";

  //Tell the completion what model column to use to
  //- look for a match (when we use the default matching, instead of
  //  set_match_func().
  //- display text in the entry when a match is found.
  completion->set_text_column(m_Columns.m_col_name);

  //Add actions to the completion:
  //These are just extra items shown at the bottom of the list of possible
  //completions.

  //Remember them for later.
  m_CompletionActions[0] = "Use Wizard";
  m_CompletionActions[1] = "Browse for Filename";

  for(const auto& the_pair : m_CompletionActions)
  {
    auto position = the_pair.first;
    auto title = the_pair.second;
    completion->insert_action_text(title, position);
  }

  completion->signal_action_activated().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_completion_action_activated) );
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_close()
{
  hide();
}

/* You can do more complex matching with a handler like this.
 * For instance, you could check for substrings inside the string instead of the start,
 * or you could look for the key in extra model columns as well as the model column that will be displayed.
 * The code here is not actually more complex - it's a reimplementation of the default behaviour.
 *
bool ExampleWindow::on_completion_match(const Glib::ustring& key, const
        Gtk::TreeModel::const_iterator& iter)
{
  if(iter)
  {
    const auto row = *iter;

    const auto key_length = key.size();
    auto filter_string = row[m_Columns.m_col_name];

    auto filter_string_start = filter_string.substr(0, key_length);
    //The key is lower-case, even if the user input is not.
    filter_string_start = filter_string_start.lowercase();

    if(key == filter_string_start)
      return true; //A match was found.
  }

  return false; //No match.
}
*/

void ExampleWindow::on_completion_action_activated(int index)
{
  auto iter = m_CompletionActions.find(index);
  if(iter != m_CompletionActions.end()) //If it's in the map
  {
    auto title = iter->second;
    std::cout << "Action selected: " << title << std::endl;
  }
}

8.2.3. Entry Icons

An Entry widget can show an icon at the start or end of the text area. The icon can be specifed by methods such as set_icon_from_pixbuf() or set_icon_from_icon_name(). An application can respond to the user pressing the icon by handling the signal_icon_press signal.

8.2.3.1. Entry Icon Example

This example shows a Gtk::Entry widget with a named search icon, and prints text to the terminal when the icon is pressed.

Figure 8-4Entry with Icon

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_icon_pressed(Gtk::Entry::IconPosition icon_pos);
  void on_button_close();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;
  Gtk::Entry m_Entry;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Close;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Button_Close("Close")
{
  set_title("Gtk::Entry");

  add(m_VBox);

  m_Entry.set_max_length(50);
  m_Entry.set_text("Hello world");
  m_VBox.add(m_Entry);

  m_Entry.set_icon_from_icon_name("edit-find");
  m_Entry.signal_icon_press().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_icon_pressed) );


  m_Button_Close.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_close) );
  m_VBox.add(m_Button_Close);
  m_Button_Close.set_can_default();
  m_Button_Close.grab_default();
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_icon_pressed(Gtk::Entry::IconPosition /* icon_pos */)
{
  std::cout << "Icon pressed." << std::endl;
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_close()
{
  hide();
}

8.2.4. Entry Progress

An Entry widget can show a progress bar inside the text area, under the entered text. The progress bar will be shown if the set_progress_fraction() or set_progress_pulse_step() methods are called.

8.2.4.1. Entry Progress Example

This example shows a Gtk::Entry widget with a progress bar.

Figure 8-5Entry with Progress Bar

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  bool on_timeout();
  void on_button_close();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;
  Gtk::Entry m_Entry;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Close;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Button_Close("Close")
{
  set_title("Gtk::Entry");

  add(m_VBox);

  m_Entry.set_max_length(50);
  m_Entry.set_text("Hello world");
  m_VBox.add(m_Entry);

  //Change the progress fraction every 0.1 second:
  Glib::signal_timeout().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_timeout),
    100
  );

  m_Button_Close.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_close) );
  m_VBox.add(m_Button_Close);
  m_Button_Close.set_can_default();
  m_Button_Close.grab_default();
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

bool ExampleWindow::on_timeout()
{
  static double fraction = 0;
  m_Entry.set_progress_fraction(fraction);

  fraction += 0.01;
  if(fraction > 1)
    fraction = 0;

  return true;
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_close()
{
  hide();
}

8.3. SpinButton

A SpinButton allows the user to select a value from a range of numeric values. It has an Entry widget with increment and decrement buttons at the side. Clicking the buttons causes the value to 'spin' up and down across the range of possible values. The Entry widget may also be used to enter a value directly.

The value can have an adjustable number of decimal places, and the step size is configurable. SpinButtons have an 'auto-repeat' feature as well: holding down the increment or decrement button can optionally cause the value to change more quickly the longer the button is held down.

SpinButtons use an Adjustment object to hold information about the range of values. These Adjustment attributes are used by the Spin Button like so:

  • value: value for the Spin Button
  • lower: lower range value
  • upper: upper range value
  • step_increment: value to increment/decrement when pressing mouse button 1
  • page_increment: value to increment/decrement when pressing mouse button 2
  • page_size: unused

Additionally, mouse button 3 can be used to jump directly to the upper or lower values.

The SpinButton can create a default Adjustment, which you can access via the get_adjustment() method, or you can specify an existing Adjustment in the constructor.

8.3.1. Methods

The number of decimal places can be altered using the set_digits() method.

You can set the spinbutton's value using the set_value() method, and retrieve it with get_value().

The spin() method 'spins' the SpinButton, as if its increment or decrement button had been clicked. You need to specify a Gtk::SpinType to specify the direction or new position.

To prevent the user from typing non-numeric characters into the entry box, pass true to the set_numeric() method.

To make the SpinButton 'wrap' between its upper and lower bounds, use the set_wrap() method.

To force it to snap to the nearest step_increment, use set_snap_to_ticks().

Reference

8.3.2. Example

Here's an example of a SpinButton in action:

Figure 8-6SpinButton

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_checkbutton_snap();
  void on_checkbutton_numeric();
  void on_spinbutton_digits_changed();
  void on_button_close();

  enum enumValueFormats
  {
    VALUE_FORMAT_INT,
    VALUE_FORMAT_FLOAT
  };
  void on_button_getvalue(enumValueFormats display);

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Frame m_Frame_NotAccelerated, m_Frame_Accelerated;
  Gtk::Box m_HBox_NotAccelerated, m_HBox_Accelerated,
    m_HBox_Buttons;
  Gtk::Box m_VBox_Main, m_VBox, m_VBox_Day, m_VBox_Month, m_VBox_Year,
    m_VBox_Accelerated, m_VBox_Value, m_VBox_Digits;
  Gtk::Label m_Label_Day, m_Label_Month, m_Label_Year,
    m_Label_Value, m_Label_Digits,
    m_Label_ShowValue;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Adjustment> m_adjustment_day, m_adjustment_month, m_adjustment_year,
    m_adjustment_value, m_adjustment_digits;
  Gtk::SpinButton m_SpinButton_Day, m_SpinButton_Month, m_SpinButton_Year,
    m_SpinButton_Value, m_SpinButton_Digits;
  Gtk::CheckButton m_CheckButton_Snap, m_CheckButton_Numeric;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Int, m_Button_Float, m_Button_Close;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>
#include <cstdio>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
:
  m_Frame_NotAccelerated("Not accelerated"),
  m_Frame_Accelerated("Accelerated"),
  m_VBox_Main(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL, 5),
  m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_VBox_Day(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_VBox_Month(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_VBox_Year(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_VBox_Accelerated(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_VBox_Value(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_VBox_Digits(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Label_Day("Day: ", Gtk::Align::START),
  m_Label_Month("Month: ", Gtk::Align::START),
  m_Label_Year("Year: ", Gtk::Align::START),
  m_Label_Value("Value: ", Gtk::Align::START),
  m_Label_Digits("Digits: ", Gtk::Align::START),
  m_adjustment_day( Gtk::Adjustment::create(1.0, 1.0, 31.0, 1.0, 5.0, 0.0) ),
  m_adjustment_month( Gtk::Adjustment::create(1.0, 1.0, 12.0, 1.0, 5.0, 0.0) ),
  m_adjustment_year( Gtk::Adjustment::create(2012.0, 1.0, 2200.0, 1.0, 100.0, 0.0) ),
  m_adjustment_value( Gtk::Adjustment::create(0.0, -10000.0, 10000.0, 0.5, 100.0, 0.0) ),
  m_adjustment_digits( Gtk::Adjustment::create(2.0, 1.0, 5.0, 1.0, 1.0, 0.0) ),
  m_SpinButton_Day(m_adjustment_day),
  m_SpinButton_Month(m_adjustment_month),
  m_SpinButton_Year(m_adjustment_year),
  m_SpinButton_Value(m_adjustment_value, 1.0, 2),
  m_SpinButton_Digits(m_adjustment_digits),
  m_CheckButton_Snap("Snap to 0.5-ticks"),
  m_CheckButton_Numeric("Numeric only input mode"),
  m_Button_Int("Value as Int"),
  m_Button_Float("Value as Float"),
  m_Button_Close("Close")
{
  set_title("SpinButton");

  m_VBox_Main.set_margin(10);
  add(m_VBox_Main);

  m_VBox_Main.add(m_Frame_NotAccelerated);

  m_VBox.set_margin(5);
  m_Frame_NotAccelerated.add(m_VBox);

  /* Day, month, year spinners */

  m_VBox.set_spacing(5);
  m_VBox.add(m_HBox_NotAccelerated);

  m_Label_Day.set_expand();
  m_VBox_Day.add(m_Label_Day);

  m_SpinButton_Day.set_wrap();
  m_SpinButton_Day.set_expand();
  m_VBox_Day.add(m_SpinButton_Day);

  m_HBox_NotAccelerated.set_spacing(5);
  m_HBox_NotAccelerated.add(m_VBox_Day);

  m_Label_Month.set_expand();
  m_VBox_Month.add(m_Label_Month);

  m_SpinButton_Month.set_wrap();
  m_SpinButton_Month.set_expand();
  m_VBox_Month.add(m_SpinButton_Month);

  m_HBox_NotAccelerated.add(m_VBox_Month);

  m_Label_Year.set_expand();
  m_VBox_Year.add(m_Label_Year);

  m_SpinButton_Year.set_wrap();
  m_SpinButton_Year.set_expand();
  m_SpinButton_Year.set_size_request(55, -1);
  m_VBox_Year.add(m_SpinButton_Year);

  m_HBox_NotAccelerated.add(m_VBox_Year);

  //Accelerated:
  m_VBox_Main.add(m_Frame_Accelerated);

  m_VBox_Accelerated.set_margin(5);
  m_Frame_Accelerated.add(m_VBox_Accelerated);

  m_VBox_Accelerated.set_spacing(5);
  m_VBox_Accelerated.add(m_HBox_Accelerated);

  m_HBox_Accelerated.add(m_VBox_Value);

  m_Label_Value.set_expand();
  m_VBox_Value.add(m_Label_Value);

  m_SpinButton_Value.set_wrap();
  m_SpinButton_Value.set_expand();
  m_SpinButton_Value.set_size_request(100, -1);
  m_VBox_Value.add(m_SpinButton_Value);

  m_HBox_Accelerated.add(m_VBox_Digits);

  m_VBox_Digits.add(m_Label_Digits);
  m_Label_Digits.set_expand();

  m_SpinButton_Digits.set_wrap();
  m_adjustment_digits->signal_value_changed().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_spinbutton_digits_changed) );

  m_VBox_Digits.add(m_SpinButton_Digits);
  m_SpinButton_Digits.set_expand();

  //CheckButtons:
  m_VBox_Accelerated.add(m_CheckButton_Snap);
  m_CheckButton_Snap.set_expand();
  m_CheckButton_Snap.set_active();
  m_CheckButton_Snap.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_checkbutton_snap) );

  m_VBox_Accelerated.add(m_CheckButton_Numeric);
  m_CheckButton_Numeric.set_expand();
  m_CheckButton_Numeric.set_active();
  m_CheckButton_Numeric.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_checkbutton_numeric) );


  //Buttons:
  m_VBox_Accelerated.add(m_HBox_Buttons);

  m_Button_Int.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::bind( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
                  &ExampleWindow::on_button_getvalue), VALUE_FORMAT_INT) );
  m_HBox_Buttons.set_spacing(5);
  m_HBox_Buttons.add(m_Button_Int);
  m_Button_Int.set_expand();

  m_Button_Float.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::bind( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
                  &ExampleWindow::on_button_getvalue), VALUE_FORMAT_FLOAT) );
  m_HBox_Buttons.add(m_Button_Float);
  m_Button_Float.set_expand();

  m_VBox_Accelerated.add(m_Label_ShowValue);
  m_Label_ShowValue.set_expand();
  m_Label_ShowValue.set_text("0");

  //Close button:
  m_Button_Close.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_close) );
  m_VBox_Main.add(m_Button_Close);
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}


void ExampleWindow::on_button_close()
{
  hide();
}

void ExampleWindow::on_checkbutton_snap()
{
  m_SpinButton_Value.set_snap_to_ticks( m_CheckButton_Snap.get_active() );
}

void ExampleWindow::on_checkbutton_numeric()
{
  m_SpinButton_Value.set_numeric( m_CheckButton_Numeric.get_active() );
}

void ExampleWindow::on_spinbutton_digits_changed()
{
  m_SpinButton_Value.set_digits( m_SpinButton_Digits.get_value_as_int() );
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_getvalue(enumValueFormats display)
{
  gchar buf[32];

  if (display == VALUE_FORMAT_INT)
    sprintf (buf, "%d", m_SpinButton_Value.get_value_as_int());
  else
    sprintf (buf, "%0.*f", m_SpinButton_Value.get_digits(),
            m_SpinButton_Value.get_value());

  m_Label_ShowValue.set_text(buf);
}

8.4. ProgressBar

Progress bars are used to show the status of an ongoing operation. For instance, a ProgressBar can show how much of a task has been completed.

To change the value shown, use the set_fraction() method, passing a double between 0.0 and 1.0 to provide the new fraction.

A ProgressBar is horizontal and left-to-right by default, but you can change it to a vertical progress bar by using the set_orientation() method.

Reference

8.4.1. Activity Mode

Besides indicating the amount of progress that has occured, the progress bar can also be used to indicate that there is some activity; this is done by placing the progress bar in activity mode. In this mode, the progress bar displays a small rectangle which moves back and forth. Activity mode is useful in situations where the progress of an operation cannot be calculated as a value range (e.g., receiving a file of unknown length).

To do this, you need to call the pulse() method at regular intervals. You can also choose the step size, with the set_pulse_step() method.

The progress bar can also display a configurable text string next to the bar, using the set_text() method.

8.4.2. Example

Figure 8-7ProgressBar

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_checkbutton_text();
  void on_checkbutton_activity();
  void on_checkbutton_inverted();

  bool on_timeout();
  void on_button_close();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;
  Gtk::Grid m_Grid;
  Gtk::ProgressBar m_ProgressBar;
  Gtk::Separator m_Separator;
  Gtk::CheckButton m_CheckButton_Text, m_CheckButton_Activity, m_CheckButton_Inverted;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Close;

  sigc::connection m_connection_timeout;
  bool m_bActivityMode;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL, 5),
  m_CheckButton_Text("Show text"),
  m_CheckButton_Activity("Activity mode"),
  m_CheckButton_Inverted("Right to Left"),
  m_Button_Close("Close"),
  m_bActivityMode(false)
{
  set_resizable();
  set_title("Gtk::ProgressBar");

  m_VBox.set_margin(10);
  add(m_VBox);

  m_VBox.add(m_ProgressBar);
  m_ProgressBar.set_margin_end(5);
  m_ProgressBar.set_halign(Gtk::Align::CENTER);
  m_ProgressBar.set_valign(Gtk::Align::CENTER);
  m_ProgressBar.set_size_request(100, -1);
  m_ProgressBar.set_text("some text");
  m_ProgressBar.set_show_text(false);

  //Add a timer callback to update the value of the progress bar:
  m_connection_timeout = Glib::signal_timeout().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_timeout), 50 );

  m_VBox.add(m_Separator);
  m_VBox.add(m_Grid);
  m_Grid.set_expand(true);
  m_Grid.set_row_homogeneous(true);

  //Add a check button to select displaying of the trough text:
  m_Grid.attach(m_CheckButton_Text, 0, 0);
  m_CheckButton_Text.set_margin(5);
  m_CheckButton_Text.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_checkbutton_text) );

  //Add a check button to toggle activity mode:
  m_Grid.attach(m_CheckButton_Activity, 0, 1);
  m_CheckButton_Activity.set_margin(5);
  m_CheckButton_Activity.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_checkbutton_activity) );

  //Add a check button to select growth from left to right or from right to left:
  m_Grid.attach(m_CheckButton_Inverted, 0, 2);
  m_CheckButton_Inverted.set_margin(5);
  m_CheckButton_Inverted.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_checkbutton_inverted) );

  //Add a button to exit the program.
  m_VBox.add(m_Button_Close);
  m_Button_Close.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_close) );
  m_Button_Close.set_can_default();
  m_Button_Close.grab_default();
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_checkbutton_text()
{
  const bool show_text = m_CheckButton_Text.get_active();
  m_ProgressBar.set_show_text(show_text);
}

void ExampleWindow::on_checkbutton_activity()
{
  m_bActivityMode = m_CheckButton_Activity.get_active();

  if(m_bActivityMode)
    m_ProgressBar.pulse();
  else
    m_ProgressBar.set_fraction(0.0);
}

void ExampleWindow::on_checkbutton_inverted()
{
  const bool inverted = m_CheckButton_Inverted.get_active();
  m_ProgressBar.set_inverted(inverted);
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_close()
{
  hide();
}

/* Update the value of the progress bar so that we get
 * some movement */
bool ExampleWindow::on_timeout()
{
  if(m_bActivityMode)
    m_ProgressBar.pulse();
  else
  {
    double new_val = m_ProgressBar.get_fraction() + 0.01;

    if(new_val > 1.0)
      new_val = 0.0;

    //Set the new value:
    m_ProgressBar.set_fraction(new_val);
  }

  //As this is a timeout function, return true so that it
  //continues to get called
  return true;
}

8.5. InfoBar

An InfoBar may show small items of information or ask brief questions. Unlike a Dialog, it appears at the top of the current window instead of opening a new window. Its API is very similar to the Gtk::Dialog API.

Reference

8.5.1. Example

Figure 8-8InfoBar

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_infobar_response(int response);
  void on_button_quit();
  void on_button_clear();
  void on_textbuffer_changed();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;

  Gtk::ScrolledWindow m_ScrolledWindow;
  Gtk::TextView m_TextView;

  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::TextBuffer> m_refTextBuffer;

  Gtk::InfoBar m_InfoBar;
  Gtk::Label m_Message_Label;

  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Quit, m_Button_Clear;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;
  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL, 6),
  m_Button_Quit("_Quit", true),
  m_Button_Clear("_Clear", true)
{
  set_title("Gtk::InfoBar example");
  set_default_size(400, 200);

  m_VBox.set_margin(6);
  add(m_VBox);

  // Add the message label to the InfoBar:
  auto infoBarContainer =
    dynamic_cast<Gtk::Container*>(m_InfoBar.get_content_area());
  if (infoBarContainer)
    infoBarContainer->add(m_Message_Label);

  // Add an ok button to the InfoBar:
  m_InfoBar.add_button("_OK", 0);

  // Add the InfoBar to the vbox:
  m_VBox.add(m_InfoBar);

  // Create the buffer and set it for the TextView:
  m_refTextBuffer = Gtk::TextBuffer::create();
  m_TextView.set_buffer(m_refTextBuffer);

  // Add the TreeView, inside a ScrolledWindow:
  m_ScrolledWindow.add(m_TextView);

  // Show the scrollbars only when they are necessary:
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_policy(Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC, Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC);
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_expand();

  m_VBox.add(m_ScrolledWindow);

  // Add button box:
  m_VBox.add(m_ButtonBox);

  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Clear);
  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Quit);
  m_ButtonBox.set_spacing(6);
  m_Button_Clear.set_hexpand(true);
  m_Button_Clear.set_halign(Gtk::Align::END);

  // Connect signals:
  m_InfoBar.signal_response().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_infobar_response) );
  m_Button_Quit.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_quit) );
  m_Button_Clear.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_clear) );
  m_refTextBuffer->signal_changed().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_textbuffer_changed) );

  // Keep the InfoBar hidden until a message needs to be shown:
  m_InfoBar.hide();

  // Make the clear button insensitive until text is typed in the buffer.  When
  // the button is sensitive and it is pressed, the InfoBar is displayed with a
  // message.
  m_Button_Clear.set_sensitive(false);
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_infobar_response(int)
{
  // Clear the message and hide the info bar:
  m_Message_Label.set_text("");
  m_InfoBar.hide();
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_quit()
{
  hide();
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_clear()
{
  m_refTextBuffer->set_text("");
  m_Message_Label.set_text("Cleared the text.");
  m_InfoBar.set_message_type(Gtk::MessageType::INFO);
  m_InfoBar.show();
}

void ExampleWindow::on_textbuffer_changed()
{
  m_Button_Clear.set_sensitive(m_refTextBuffer->size() > 0);
}

8.6. Tooltips

Tooltips are the little information windows that pop up when you leave your pointer over a widget for a few seconds. Use set_tooltip_text() to set a text string as a tooltip on any Widget. Gtk::Tooltip is used for more advanced tooltip usage, such as showing an image as well as text.

Widget Reference

Tooltip Reference

8.6.1. Example

Figure 8-9Tooltip

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:

  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:

  //Methods:
  void prepare_textview();
  void connect_signals();

  //Signal handlers:
  void on_markup_checkbutton_click();
  bool on_textview_query_tooltip(int x, int y, bool keyboard_tooltip, const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Tooltip>& tooltip);
  bool on_button_query_tooltip(int x, int y, bool keyboard_tooltip, const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Tooltip>& tooltip);

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_vbox;

  Gtk::CheckButton m_checkbutton;
  Gtk::Label m_label;

  Gtk::ScrolledWindow m_scrolled_window;
  Gtk::TextView m_text_view;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::TextBuffer> m_ref_text_buffer;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::TextTag> m_ref_bold_tag;

  Gtk::Button m_button;
  Gtk::Window m_button_tooltip_window;

};

#endif // GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"

#include <vector>

const Glib::ustring app_title = "gtkmm tooltips example";
const Glib::ustring non_markedup_tip = "A tooltip without markup.";
const Glib::ustring markedup_tip = "<i>Markup</i> in a tooltip.";

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
  :
  m_vbox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL, 3),
  m_checkbutton("Click to alternate markup in tooltip"),
  m_label("A label"),
  m_button("Custom widget in tooltip window"),
  m_button_tooltip_window(Gtk::WindowType::POPUP)
{
  //Set up window and the top-level container:
  set_title(app_title);

  m_vbox.set_margin(10);
  add(m_vbox);

  //Check button with markup in tooltip:
  m_checkbutton.set_tooltip_text(non_markedup_tip);
  m_vbox.add(m_checkbutton);

  //Label:
  m_label.set_tooltip_text("Another tooltip");
  m_vbox.add(m_label);

  //Textview:
  prepare_textview();

  //Button:
  // set_tooltip_window(), like set_tooltip_text(),
  // will call set_has_tooltip() for us.
  m_button.set_tooltip_window(m_button_tooltip_window);
  m_vbox.add(m_button);

  //Button's custom tooltip window:
  m_button_tooltip_window.set_default_size(250, 30);
  auto label = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::Label>("A label in a custom tooltip window");
  label->show();
  m_button_tooltip_window.add(*label);

  connect_signals();
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::prepare_textview()
{
  Gtk::TextIter iter;
  std::vector< Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::TextTag> > tags;

  //Set up a scrolled window:
  m_scrolled_window.add(m_text_view);
  m_scrolled_window.set_policy(Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC, Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC);
  m_scrolled_window.set_expand();
  m_vbox.add(m_scrolled_window);

  //Create a text buffer with some text:
  m_ref_text_buffer = Gtk::TextBuffer::create();

  iter = m_ref_text_buffer->end();
  m_ref_text_buffer->insert(iter, "Hover over the text ");

  //Insert some text with a tag.
  //In the tooltip signal handler below, we will show a tooltip
  //when mouse pointer is above this tagged text.
  m_ref_bold_tag = m_ref_text_buffer->create_tag("bold");
  m_ref_bold_tag->set_property("weight", Pango::Weight::BOLD);

  tags.push_back(m_ref_bold_tag);

  iter = m_ref_text_buffer->end();
  m_ref_text_buffer->insert_with_tags(iter, "in bold", tags);

  iter = m_ref_text_buffer->end();
  m_ref_text_buffer->insert(iter, " to see its tooltip");

  m_text_view.set_buffer(m_ref_text_buffer);

  m_text_view.set_size_request(320, 50);

  //When only connecting to the query-tooltip signal, and not using any
  //of set_tooltip_text(), set_tooltip_markup() or set_tooltip_window(),
  //we need to explicitly tell GTK+ that the widget has a tooltip which
  //we'll show.
  m_text_view.set_has_tooltip();
}

void ExampleWindow::connect_signals()
{
  m_checkbutton.signal_clicked().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_markup_checkbutton_click));

  m_text_view.signal_query_tooltip().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_textview_query_tooltip), true);

  m_button.signal_query_tooltip().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_button_query_tooltip), true);
}

void ExampleWindow::on_markup_checkbutton_click()
{
  if (m_checkbutton.get_active() == true)
  {
    m_checkbutton.set_tooltip_markup(markedup_tip);
  }
  else
  {
    m_checkbutton.set_tooltip_markup(non_markedup_tip);
  }
}

bool ExampleWindow::on_textview_query_tooltip(int x, int y, bool keyboard_tooltip, const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Tooltip>& tooltip)
{
  Gtk::TextIter iter;

  if (keyboard_tooltip)
  {
    int offset = m_ref_text_buffer->property_cursor_position().get_value();
    iter = m_ref_text_buffer->get_iter_at_offset(offset);
  }
  else
  {
    int mouse_x, mouse_y, trailing;
    m_text_view.window_to_buffer_coords(Gtk::TextWindowType::TEXT,
                                        x, y, mouse_x, mouse_y);
    m_text_view.get_iter_at_position(iter, trailing, mouse_x, mouse_y);
  }

  //Show a tooltip if the cursor or mouse pointer is over the text
  //with the specific tag:
  if (iter.has_tag(m_ref_bold_tag))
  {
    tooltip->set_markup("<b>Information</b> attached to a text tag");
    tooltip->set_icon_from_icon_name("dialog-information");
  }
  else
  {
    return false;
  }

  return true;
}

bool ExampleWindow::on_button_query_tooltip(int, int, bool, const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Tooltip>&)
{
  //We already have a custom window ready, just return true to show it:
  return true;
}

9. Container Widgets

All container widgets derive from Gtk::Container, not always directly. Some container widgets, such as Gtk::Grid can hold many child widgets, so these typically have more complex interfaces. Others, such as Gtk::Frame contain only one child widget.

9.1. Single-item Containers

The single-item container widgets derive from Gtk::Bin, which provides the add() and remove() methods for the child widget. Note that Gtk::Button and Gtk::Window are technically single-item containers, but we have discussed them already elsewhere.

We also discuss the Gtk::Paned widget, which allows you to divide a window into two separate "panes". This widget actually contains two child widgets, but the number is fixed so it seems appropriate.

9.1.1. Frame

Frames can enclose one or a group of widgets within a box, optionally with a title. For instance, you might place a group of RadioButtons or CheckButtons in a Frame.

Reference

9.1.1.1. Example
Figure 9-1Frame

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Frame m_Frame;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
{
 /* Set some window properties */
  set_title("Frame Example");
  set_size_request(300, 300);

  /* Sets the margin around the frame. */
  m_Frame.set_margin(10);

  add(m_Frame);

  /* Set the frames label */
  m_Frame.set_label("Gtk::Frame Widget");

  /* Align the label at the right of the frame */
  //m_Frame.set_label_align(Gtk::Align::END, Gtk::Align::START);

  /* Set the style of the frame */
  m_Frame.set_shadow_type(Gtk::ShadowType::ETCHED_OUT);
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

9.1.2. Paned

Panes divide a widget into two halves, separated by a moveable divider. The two halves (panes) can be oriented either horizontally (side by side) or vertically (one above the other).

Unlike the other widgets in this section, pane widgets contain not one but two child widgets, one in each pane. Therefore, you should use add1() and add2() instead of the add() method.

You can adjust the position of the divider using the set_position() method, and you will probably need to do so.

Reference

9.1.2.1. Example
Figure 9-2Paned

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include "messageslist.h"
#include "messagetext.h"
#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Paned m_VPaned;
  MessagesList m_MessagesList;
  MessageText m_MessageText;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: messageslist.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MESSAGESLIST_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MESSAGESLIST_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class MessagesList: public Gtk::ScrolledWindow
{
public:
  MessagesList();
  virtual ~MessagesList();

  class ModelColumns : public Gtk::TreeModel::ColumnRecord
  {
  public:

    ModelColumns()
    { add(m_col_text); }

    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<Glib::ustring> m_col_text;
  };

  ModelColumns m_Columns;

protected:
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::ListStore> m_refListStore; //The Tree Model.
  Gtk::TreeView m_TreeView; //The Tree View.
};
#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MESSAGESLIST_H

File: messagetext.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MESSAGETEXT_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MESSAGETEXT_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class MessageText : public Gtk::ScrolledWindow
{
public:
  MessageText();
  virtual ~MessageText();

  void insert_text();

protected:
  Gtk::TextView m_TextView;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MESSAGETEXT_H

File: messageslist.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "messageslist.h"
#include <sstream>

MessagesList::MessagesList()
{
  /* Create a new scrolled window, with scrollbars only if needed */
  set_policy(Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC, Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC);

  add(m_TreeView);

  /* create list store */
  m_refListStore = Gtk::ListStore::create(m_Columns);

  m_TreeView.set_model(m_refListStore);

  /* Add some messages to the window */
  for(int i = 0; i < 10; ++i)
  {
    std::ostringstream text;
    text << "message #" << i;

    auto row = *(m_refListStore->append());
    row[m_Columns.m_col_text] = text.str();
  }

  //Add the Model's column to the View's columns:
  m_TreeView.append_column("Messages", m_Columns.m_col_text);
}

MessagesList::~MessagesList()
{
}

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VPaned(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL)
{
  set_title ("Paned Windows");
  set_default_size(450, 400);
  m_VPaned.set_margin(10);

  /* Add a vpaned widget to our toplevel window */
  add(m_VPaned);

  /* Now add the contents of the two halves of the window */
  m_VPaned.add1(m_MessagesList);
  m_VPaned.add2(m_MessageText);
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

File: messagetext.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "messagetext.h"

MessageText::MessageText()
{
  set_policy(Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC, Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC);

  add(m_TextView);
  insert_text();
}

MessageText::~MessageText()
{
}

void MessageText::insert_text()
{
  auto refTextBuffer = m_TextView.get_buffer();

  auto iter = refTextBuffer->get_iter_at_offset(0);
  refTextBuffer->insert(iter,
    "From: pathfinder@nasa.gov\n"
    "To: mom@nasa.gov\n"
    "Subject: Made it!\n"
    "\n"
    "We just got in this morning. The weather has been\n"
    "great - clear but cold, and there are lots of fun sights.\n"
    "Sojourner says hi. See you soon.\n"
    " -Path\n");
}

9.1.3. ScrolledWindow

ScrolledWindow widgets create a scrollable area. You can insert any type of widget into a ScrolledWindow window, and it will be accessible regardless of its size by using the scrollbars. Note that ScrolledWindow is not a Gtk::Window despite the slightly misleading name.

Scrolled windows have scrollbar policies which determine whether the Scrollbars will be displayed. The policies can be set with the set_policy() method. The policy may be one of Gtk::POLICY_AUTOMATIC or Gtk::POLICY_ALWAYS. Gtk::POLICY_AUTOMATIC will cause the scrolled window to display the scrollbar only if the contained widget is larger than the visible area. Gtk::POLICY_ALWAYS will cause the scrollbar to be displayed always.

Reference

9.1.3.1. Example

Here is a simple example that packs 100 toggle buttons into a ScrolledWindow. Try resizing the window to see the scrollbars react.

Figure 9-3ScrolledWindow

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Dialog
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_dialog_response(int response_id);

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::ScrolledWindow m_ScrolledWindow;
  Gtk::Grid m_Grid;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
{
  set_title("Gtk::ScrolledWindow example");
  set_size_request(300, 300);

  m_ScrolledWindow.set_margin(10);

  /* the policy is one of Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC, or Gtk::PolicyType::ALWAYS.
   * Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC will automatically decide whether you need
   * scrollbars, whereas Gtk::PolicyType::ALWAYS will always leave the scrollbars
   * there.  The first one is the horizontal scrollbar, the second,
   * the vertical. */
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_policy(Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC, Gtk::PolicyType::ALWAYS);
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_expand();

  get_content_area()->add(m_ScrolledWindow);

  /* set the spacing to 10 on x and 10 on y */
  m_Grid.set_row_spacing(10);
  m_Grid.set_column_spacing(10);

  /* pack the grid into the scrolled window */
  m_ScrolledWindow.add(m_Grid);

  /* this simply creates a grid of toggle buttons
   * to demonstrate the scrolled window. */
  for(int i = 0; i < 10; i++)
  {
     for(int j = 0; j < 10; j++)
     {
        char buffer[32];
        sprintf(buffer, "button (%d,%d)\n", i, j);
        auto pButton = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::ToggleButton>(buffer);
        m_Grid.attach(*pButton, i, j, 1, 1);
     }
  }

  /* Add a "close" button to the bottom of the dialog */
  add_button("_Close", Gtk::ResponseType::CLOSE);
  signal_response().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_dialog_response));

  /* This makes it so the button is the default.
   * Simply hitting the "Enter" key will cause this button to activate. */
  set_default_response(Gtk::ResponseType::CLOSE);
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_dialog_response(int response_id)
{
  switch (response_id)
  {
  case Gtk::ResponseType::CLOSE:
  case Gtk::ResponseType::DELETE_EVENT:
    hide();
    break;
  default:
    std::cout << "Unexpected response_id=" << response_id << std::endl;
    break;
  }
}

9.1.4. AspectFrame

The AspectFrame widget looks like a Frame widget, but it also enforces the aspect ratio (the ratio of the width to the height) of the child widget, adding extra space if necessary. For instance, this would allow you to display a photograph without allowing the user to distort it horizontally or vertically while resizing.

Reference

9.1.4.1. Example

The following program uses a Gtk::AspectFrame to present a drawing area whose aspect ratio will always be 2:1, no matter how the user resizes the top-level window.

Figure 9-4AspectFrame

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::AspectFrame m_AspectFrame;
  Gtk::DrawingArea m_DrawingArea;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_AspectFrame("2x1", /* label */
    Gtk::Align::CENTER, /* center x */
    Gtk::Align::CENTER, /* center y */
    2.0, /* xsize/ysize = 2 */
    false /* ignore child's aspect */)
{
  set_title("Aspect Frame");

  // Add a child widget to the aspect frame */
  // Ask for a 200x200 window, but the AspectFrame will give us a 200x100
  // window since we are forcing a 2x1 aspect ratio */
  m_DrawingArea.set_content_width(200);
  m_DrawingArea.set_content_height(200);
  m_AspectFrame.add(m_DrawingArea);
  m_AspectFrame.set_margin(10);

  // Add the aspect frame to our toplevel window:
  add(m_AspectFrame);
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

9.1.5. Other Single-item Containers

There are other single-item containers. See the reference documentation for a complete list. Here are links to some example programs that show containers, which are not mentioned elsewhere in this tutorial.

Source Code, ActionBar

Source Code, Expander

Source Code, Popover

9.2. Multiple-item Containers

Multiple-item widgets inherit from Gtk::Container; just as with Gtk::Bin, you use the add() and remove() methods to add and remove contained widgets. Unlike Gtk::Bin::remove(), however, the remove() method for Gtk::Container takes an argument, specifying which widget to remove.

9.2.1. Packing

You've probably noticed that gtkmm windows seem "elastic" - they can usually be stretched in many different ways. This is due to the widget packing system.

Many GUI toolkits require you to precisely place widgets in a window, using absolute positioning, often using a visual editor. This leads to several problems:

  • The widgets don't rearrange themselves when the window is resized. Some widgets are hidden when the window is made smaller, and lots of useless space appears when the window is made larger.
  • It's impossible to predict the amount of space necessary for text after it has been translated to other languages, or displayed in a different font. On Unix it is also impossible to anticipate the effects of every theme and window manager.
  • Changing the layout of a window "on the fly", to make some extra widgets appear, for instance, is complex. It requires tedious recalculation of every widget's position.

gtkmm uses the packing system to solve these problems. Rather than specifying the position and size of each widget in the window, you can arrange your widgets in rows, columns, and/or grids. gtkmm can size your window automatically, based on the sizes of the widgets it contains. And the sizes of the widgets are, in turn, determined by the amount of text they contain, or the minimum and maximum sizes that you specify, and/or how you have requested that the available space should be shared between sets of widgets. You can perfect your layout by specifying margins and centering values for each of your widgets. gtkmm then uses all this information to resize and reposition everything sensibly and smoothly when the user manipulates the window.

gtkmm arranges widgets hierarchically, using containers. A Container widget contains other widgets. Most gtkmm widgets are containers. Windows, Notebook tabs, and Buttons are all container widgets. There are two flavours of containers: single-child containers, which are all descendants of Gtk::Bin, and multiple-child containers, which are descendants of Gtk::Container. Most widgets in gtkmm are descendants of Gtk::Bin, including Gtk::Window.

Yes, that's correct: a Window can contain at most one widget. How, then, can we use a window for anything useful? By placing a multiple-child container in the window. The most useful container widgets are Gtk::Grid and Gtk::Box.

  • Gtk::Grid arranges its child widgets in rows and columns. Use attach(), attach_next_to() and add() to insert child widgets.
  • Gtk::Box arranges its child widgets vertically or horizontally. Use add() to insert child widgets.

There are several other containers, which we will also discuss.

If you've never used a packing toolkit before, it can take some getting used to. You'll probably find, however, that you don't need to rely on visual form editors quite as much as you might with other toolkits.

9.2.2. An improved Hello World

Let's take a look at a slightly improved helloworld, showing what we've learnt.

Figure 9-5Hello World 2

Source Code

File: helloworld.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_HELLOWORLD_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_HELLOWORLD_H

#include <gtkmm/box.h>
#include <gtkmm/button.h>
#include <gtkmm/window.h>

class HelloWorld : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  HelloWorld();
  ~HelloWorld() override;

protected:

  // Signal handlers:
  // Our new improved on_button_clicked().
  void on_button_clicked(const Glib::ustring& data);

  // Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_box1;
  Gtk::Button m_button1, m_button2;
};

#endif // GTKMM_EXAMPLE_HELLOWORLD_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "helloworld.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  HelloWorld helloworld;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(helloworld, argc, argv);
}

File: helloworld.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "helloworld.h"
#include <iostream>

HelloWorld::HelloWorld()
: m_button1("Button 1"),
  m_button2("Button 2")
{
  // This just sets the title of our new window.
  set_title("Hello Buttons!");

  // Sets the margin around the box.
  m_box1.set_margin(10);

  // put the box into the main window.
  add(m_box1);

  // Now when the button is clicked, we call the on_button_clicked() function
  // with a pointer to "button 1" as its argument.
  m_button1.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::bind(
              sigc::mem_fun(*this, &HelloWorld::on_button_clicked), "button 1"));

  // We use Gtk::Container::add() to pack this button into the  box,
  // which has been packed into the window.
  // A widget's default behaviour is not to expand if extra space is available.
  // A container widget by default expands if any of the contained widgets
  // wants to expand.
  m_box1.add(m_button1);
  m_button1.set_expand();

  // call the same signal handler with a different argument,
  // passing a pointer to "button 2" instead.
  m_button2.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::bind(
              sigc::mem_fun(*this, &HelloWorld::on_button_clicked), "button 2"));

  m_box1.add(m_button2);
  m_button2.set_expand();

  // Gtk::Widget::show() is seldom needed. All widgets are visible by default.
}

HelloWorld::~HelloWorld()
{
}

// Our new improved signal handler.  The data passed to this method is
// printed to stdout.
void HelloWorld::on_button_clicked(const Glib::ustring& data)
{
  std::cout << "Hello World - " << data << " was pressed" << std::endl;
}

After building and running this program, try resizing the window to see the behaviour. Also, try playing with set_expand(), set_hexpand(), set_vexpand(), set_halign() and set_valign() while reading the Boxes section.

9.2.3. Boxes

Most packing uses boxes as in the above example. These are invisible containers into which we can pack our widgets. When packing widgets into a horizontal box, the objects are inserted horizontally from left to right. In a vertical box, widgets are packed from top to bottom. You may use any combination of boxes inside or beside other boxes to create the desired effect.

9.2.3.1. Adding widgets
9.2.3.1.1. Per-child packing options

The add() method places widgets inside these containers. It will start at the top and work its way down in a Box with vertical orientation, or pack left to right in a Box with horizontal orientation. If it's inconvenient to add widgets in this order, use insert_child_after() or insert_child_at_start(). We will use add() in our examples.

There are several options governing how widgets are to be packed, and this can be confusing at first. You can modify the packing by using set_expand(), set_hexpand(), set_vexpand(), set_halign(), set_valign() and/or set_margin() on the child widgets. If you have difficulties, then it is sometimes a good idea to play with the glade GUI designer to see what is possible. You might even decide to use the Gtk::Builder API to load your GUI at runtime.

There are basically five different styles, as shown in this picture:

Figure 9-6Box Packing 1

Each line contains one horizontal Box with several buttons. Each of the buttons on a line is packed into the Box with the same arguments to the set_hexpand(), set_halign(), set_margin_start() and set_margin_end() methods.

Reference

9.2.3.1.2. Per-container packing options

Here's the constructor for the Box widget, and methods that set per-container packing options:

Gtk::Box(Gtk::Orientation orientation = Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL, int spacing = 0);
void set_orientation(Gtk::Orientation orientation);
void set_spacing(int spacing);
void set_homogeneous(bool homogeneous = true);
Passing true to set_homogeneous() will cause all of the contained widgets to be the same size. spacing is a (minimum) number of pixels to leave between each widget.

What's the difference between spacing (set when the box is created) and margins (set separately for each child widget)? Spacing is added between objects, and margins are added on one or more sides of a widget. The following figure should make it clearer. The shown margins are the left and right margins of each button in the row.

Figure 9-7Box Packing 2
9.2.3.2. Gtk::Application and command-line options

The following example program requires a command-line option. The source code shows two ways of handling command-line options in combination with Gtk::Application.

  • Handle the options in main() and hide them from Gtk::Application by setting argc = 1 in the call to Gtk::Application::run().

  • Give all command-line options to Gtk::Application::run() and add the flag Gio::Application::Flags::HANDLES_COMMAND_LINE to Gtk::Application::create(). Connect a signal handler to the command_line signal, and handle the command-line options in the signal handler.

    You must set the optional parameter after = false in the call to signal_command_line().connect(), because your signal handler must be called before the default signal handler. You must also call Gio::Application::activate() in the signal handler, unless you want your application to exit without showing its main window. (Gio::Application is a base class of Gtk::Application.)

9.2.3.3. Example

Here is the source code for the example that produced the screenshots above. When you run this example, provide a number between 1 and 3 as a command-line option, to see different packing options in use.

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow(int which);
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_quit_clicked();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Button m_button;
  Gtk::Box m_box1;
  Gtk::Box m_boxQuit;
  Gtk::Button m_buttonQuit;

  Gtk::Label m_Label1, m_Label2;

  Gtk::Separator m_separator1, m_separator2;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: packbox.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_PACKBOX_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_PACKBOX_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class PackBox : public Gtk::Box
{
public:
  PackBox(bool homogeneous = false, int spacing = 0, bool expand = false,
    Gtk::Align align = Gtk::Align::FILL, int margin = 0);

protected:
  Gtk::Button m_buttons[4];
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLE_PACKBOX_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>
#include <iostream>
#include <cstdlib>

#define GTK_APPLICATION_RECEIVES_COMMAND_LINE_ARGUMENTS 0

#if GTK_APPLICATION_RECEIVES_COMMAND_LINE_ARGUMENTS
namespace
{
int on_command_line(const Glib::RefPtr<Gio::ApplicationCommandLine>& command_line,
                    Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Application>& app)
{
  int argc = 0;
  char** argv = command_line->get_arguments(argc);

  for (int i = 0; i < argc; ++i)
    std::cout << "argv[" << i << "] = " << argv[i] << std::endl;

  app->activate(); // Without activate() the window won't be shown.
  return EXIT_SUCCESS;
}
} // anonymous namespace
#endif


int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  if (argc != 2)
  {
    std::cerr << "Usage: example <num>, where <num> is 1, 2, or 3." << std::endl;
    return EXIT_FAILURE;
  }

  int argc1 = argc;

#if GTK_APPLICATION_RECEIVES_COMMAND_LINE_ARGUMENTS
  // The Gio::Application::Flags::HANDLES_COMMAND_LINE flag and the
  // on_command_line() signal handler are not necessary. This program is simpler
  // without them, and with argc = 1 in the call to Gtk::Application::run().
  // They are included to show a program with Gio::Application::Flags::HANDLES_COMMAND_LINE.
  // Gio::Application::Flags::NON_UNIQUE makes it possible to run several instances of
  // this application simultaneously.
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create(
    "org.gtkmm.example", Gio::Application::Flags::HANDLES_COMMAND_LINE | Gio::Application::Flags::NON_UNIQUE);

  // Note after = false.
  // Only one signal handler is invoked. This signal handler must run before
  // the default signal handler, or else it won't run at all.
  app->signal_command_line().connect(sigc::bind(sigc::ptr_fun(&on_command_line), app), false);
#else
  // Gio::Application::Flags::NON_UNIQUE makes it possible to run several instances of
  // this application simultaneously.
  argc1 = 1; // Don't give the command line arguments to Gtk::Application.
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example", Gio::Application::Flags::NON_UNIQUE);
#endif

  ExampleWindow window(std::atoi(argv[1]));
  return app->run(window, argc1, argv); // Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include <iostream>
#include "examplewindow.h"
#include "packbox.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow(int which)
: m_box1(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_buttonQuit("Quit")
{
  set_title("Gtk::Box example");

  m_separator1.set_margin_top(5);
  m_separator1.set_margin_bottom(5);
  m_separator2.set_margin_top(5);
  m_separator2.set_margin_bottom(5);

  switch(which)
  {
    case 1:
    {
      m_Label1.set_text("Gtk::Box(Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL, 0); set_homogeneous(false);");

      // Align the label to the left side.
      m_Label1.set_halign(Gtk::Align::START);
      m_Label1.set_valign(Gtk::Align::START);

      // Pack the label into the vertical box (vbox box1).  Remember that
      // widgets added to a vbox will be packed one on top of the other in
      // order.
      m_box1.add(m_Label1);

      // Create a PackBox - homogeneous = false, spacing = 0,
      // expand = false, Gtk::Align::FILL, margin = 0
      // These are the default values.
      auto pPackBox = Gtk::make_managed<PackBox>();
      m_box1.add(*pPackBox);

      // Create a PackBox - homogeneous = false, spacing = 0,
      // expand = true, Gtk::Align::CENTER, margin = 0
      pPackBox = Gtk::make_managed<PackBox>(false, 0, true, Gtk::Align::CENTER);
      m_box1.add(*pPackBox);

      // Create a PackBox - homogeneous = false, spacing = 0,
      // expand = true, Gtk::Align::FILL, margin = 0
      pPackBox = Gtk::make_managed<PackBox>(false, 0, true);
      m_box1.add(*pPackBox);

      // pack the separator into the vbox.  Remember each of these
      // widgets are being packed into a vbox, so they'll be stacked
      // vertically.
      m_box1.add(m_separator1);

      // create another new label, and show it.
      m_Label2.set_text("Gtk::Box(Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL, 0); set_homogeneous(true);");
      m_Label2.set_halign(Gtk::Align::START);
      m_Label2.set_valign(Gtk::Align::START);
      m_box1.add(m_Label2);

      // Args are: homogeneous, spacing, expand, align, margin
      pPackBox = Gtk::make_managed<PackBox>(true, 0, true, Gtk::Align::CENTER);
      m_box1.add(*pPackBox);

      // Args are: homogeneous, spacing, expand, align, margin
      pPackBox = Gtk::make_managed<PackBox>(true, 0, true);
      m_box1.add(*pPackBox);

      m_box1.add(m_separator2);

      break;
    }

    case 2:
    {
      m_Label1.set_text("Gtk::Box(Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL, 10); set_homogeneous(false);");
      m_Label1.set_halign(Gtk::Align::START);
      m_Label1.set_valign(Gtk::Align::START);
      m_box1.add(m_Label1);

      auto pPackBox = Gtk::make_managed<PackBox>(false, 10, true, Gtk::Align::CENTER);
      m_box1.add(*pPackBox);

      pPackBox = Gtk::make_managed<PackBox>(false, 10, true);
      m_box1.add(*pPackBox);

      m_box1.add(m_separator1);

      m_Label2.set_text("Gtk::Box(Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL, 0); set_homogeneous(false);");
      m_Label2.set_halign(Gtk::Align::START);
      m_Label2.set_valign(Gtk::Align::START);
      m_box1.add(m_Label2);

      pPackBox = Gtk::make_managed<PackBox>(false, 0, false, Gtk::Align::FILL, 10);
      m_box1.add(*pPackBox);

      pPackBox = Gtk::make_managed<PackBox>(false, 0, true, Gtk::Align::FILL, 10);
      m_box1.add(*pPackBox);

      m_box1.add(m_separator2);

      break;
    }

    case 3:
    {
      // This demonstrates the ability to use Gtk::Align::END to
      // right justify widgets.  First, we create a new box as before.
      auto pPackBox = Gtk::make_managed<PackBox>();

      // create the label that will be put at the end.
      m_Label1.set_text("end");

      // pack it using Gtk::Align::END, so it is put on the right side
      // of the PackBox.
      m_Label1.set_halign(Gtk::Align::END);
      m_Label1.set_hexpand(true);
      pPackBox->add(m_Label1);

      m_box1.add(*pPackBox);

      // This explicitly sets the separator to 700 pixels wide by 5 pixels
      // high.  This is so the hbox we created will also be 700 pixels wide,
      // and the "end" label will be separated from the other labels in the
      // hbox.  Otherwise, all the widgets in the hbox would be packed as
      // close together as possible.
      m_separator1.set_size_request(700, 5);

      // pack the separator into the vbox.
      m_box1.add(m_separator1);

      break;
    }

    default:
    {
      std::cerr << "Unexpected command-line option." << std::endl;
      break;
    }
  }

  // Connect the signal to hide the window:
  m_buttonQuit.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_quit_clicked) );

  // pack the button into the quitbox.
  m_boxQuit.add(m_buttonQuit);
  m_buttonQuit.set_hexpand(true);
  m_buttonQuit.set_halign(Gtk::Align::CENTER);
  m_box1.add(m_boxQuit);

  // pack the vbox (box1) which now contains all our widgets, into the
  // main window.
  add(m_box1);
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_quit_clicked()
{
  hide();
}

File: packbox.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "packbox.h"
#include <map>

namespace
{
  const std::map<Gtk::Align, Glib::ustring> align_string = {
    {Gtk::Align::FILL, "Gtk::Align::FILL"},
    {Gtk::Align::START, "Gtk::Align::START"},
    {Gtk::Align::END, "Gtk::Align::END"},
    {Gtk::Align::CENTER, "Gtk::Align::CENTER"},
    {Gtk::Align::BASELINE, "Gtk::Align::BASELINE"},
  };
}

PackBox::PackBox(bool homogeneous, int spacing, bool expand, Gtk::Align align, int margin)
: Gtk::Box(Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL, spacing)
{
  set_homogeneous(homogeneous);

  m_buttons[0].set_label("box.add(button);");
  m_buttons[1].set_label("expand=" + Glib::ustring(expand ? "true" : "false"));
  m_buttons[2].set_label(align_string.at(align));
  m_buttons[3].set_label("margin=" + Glib::ustring::format(margin));

  for (auto& button : m_buttons)
  {
    add(button);
    button.set_hexpand(expand);
    button.set_halign(align);
    button.set_margin_start(margin);
    button.set_margin_end(margin);
  }
}

9.2.4. Grid

A Grid dynamically lays out child widgets in rows and columns. The dimensions of the grid do not need to be specified in the constructor.

Child widgets can span multiple rows or columns, using attach(), or added next to an existing widget inside the grid with attach_next_to(). Individual rows and columns of the grid can be set to have uniform height or width with set_row_homogeneous() and set_column_homogeneous().

You can set the margin and expand properties of the child Widgets to control their spacing and their behaviour when the Grid is resized.

Reference

9.2.4.1. Example

This example creates a window with three buttons in a grid. The first two buttons are in the upper row, from left to right. A third button is attached underneath the first button, in a new lower row, spanning two columns.

Figure 9-8Grid

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

private:
  // Signal handlers:
  void on_button_quit();
  void on_button_numbered(const Glib::ustring& data);

  // Child widgets:
  Gtk::Grid m_grid;
  Gtk::Button m_button_1, m_button_2, m_button_quit;
};

#endif /* GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H */

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  // Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include <iostream>
#include "examplewindow.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_button_1("button 1"),
  m_button_2("button 2"),
  m_button_quit("Quit")
{
  set_title("Gtk::Grid");

  m_grid.set_margin(12);
  add(m_grid);

  m_grid.add(m_button_1);
  m_grid.add(m_button_2);
  m_grid.attach_next_to(m_button_quit, m_button_1, Gtk::PositionType::BOTTOM, 2, 1);

  m_button_1.signal_clicked().connect(
    sigc::bind( sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_button_numbered), "button 1") );
  m_button_2.signal_clicked().connect(
    sigc::bind( sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_button_numbered), "button 2") );

  m_button_quit.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleWindow::on_button_quit) );
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_quit()
{
  hide();
}

void
ExampleWindow::on_button_numbered(const Glib::ustring& data)
{
  std::cout << data << " was pressed" << std::endl;
}

9.2.5. Notebook

A Notebook has a set of stacked pages, each of which contains widgets. Labelled tabs allow the user to select the pages. Notebooks allow several sets of widgets to be placed in a small space, by only showing one page at a time. For instance, they are often used in preferences dialogs.

Use the append_page(), prepend_page() and insert_page() methods to add tabbed pages to the Notebook, supplying the child widget and the name for the tab.

To discover the currently visible page, use the get_current_page() method. This returns the page number, and then calling get_nth_page() with that number will give you a pointer to the actual child widget.

To programmatically change the selected page, use the set_current_page() method.

Reference

9.2.5.1. Example
Figure 9-9Notebook

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_quit();
  void on_notebook_switch_page(Gtk::Widget* page, guint page_num);

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;
  Gtk::Notebook m_Notebook;
  Gtk::Label m_Label1, m_Label2;

  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Quit;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include <iostream>
#include "examplewindow.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Label1("Contents of tab 1"),
  m_Label2("Contents of tab 2"),
  m_Button_Quit("Quit")
{
  set_title("Gtk::Notebook example");
  set_default_size(400, 200);

  m_VBox.set_margin(10);
  add(m_VBox);

  //Add the Notebook, with the button underneath:
  m_Notebook.set_margin(10);
  m_Notebook.set_expand();
  m_VBox.add(m_Notebook);
  m_VBox.add(m_ButtonBox);

  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Quit);
  m_Button_Quit.set_hexpand(true);
  m_Button_Quit.set_halign(Gtk::Align::CENTER);
  m_Button_Quit.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_quit) );

  //Add the Notebook pages:
  m_Notebook.append_page(m_Label1, "First");
  m_Notebook.append_page(m_Label2, "Second");

  m_Notebook.signal_switch_page().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_notebook_switch_page) );
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_quit()
{
  hide();
}

void ExampleWindow::on_notebook_switch_page(Gtk::Widget* /* page */, guint page_num)
{
  std::cout << "Switched to tab with index " << page_num << std::endl;

  //You can also use m_Notebook.get_current_page() to get this index.
}

9.2.6. Assistant

An Assistant splits a complex operation into steps. Each step is a page, containing a header, a child widget and an action area. The Assistant's action area has navigation buttons which update automatically depending on the type of the page, set with set_page_type().

Use the append_page(), prepend_page and insert_page() methods to add pages to the Assistant, supplying the child widget for each page.

To determine the currently-visible page, use the get_current_page() method, and pass the result to get_nth_page(), which returns a pointer to the actual widget. To programmatically change the current page, use the set_current_page() method.

To set the title of a page, use the set_page_title() method.

To add widgets to the action area, use the add_action_widget() method. They will be packed alongside the default buttons. Use the remove_action_widget() method to remove widgets.

Reference

9.2.6.1. Example
Figure 9-10Assistant

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include "exampleassistant.h"
#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

private:
  // Signal handlers:
  void on_button_clicked();
  void on_assistant_apply();

  // Child widgets:
  Gtk::Grid m_grid;
  Gtk::Button m_button;
  Gtk::Label m_label1, m_label2;
  Gtk::CheckButton m_check;
  Gtk::Entry m_entry;
  ExampleAssistant m_assistant;
};

#endif /* GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H */

File: exampleassistant.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEASSISTANT_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEASSISTANT_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleAssistant : public Gtk::Assistant
{
public:
  ExampleAssistant();
  virtual ~ExampleAssistant();

  void get_result(bool& check_state, Glib::ustring& entry_text);

private:
  // Signal handlers:
  void on_assistant_apply();
  void on_assistant_cancel();
  void on_assistant_close();
  void on_assistant_prepare(Gtk::Widget* widget);
  void on_entry_changed();

  // Member functions:
  void print_status();

  // Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_box;
  Gtk::Label m_label1, m_label2;
  Gtk::CheckButton m_check;
  Gtk::Entry m_entry;
};

#endif /* GTKMM_EXAMPLEASSISTANT_H */

File: exampleassistant.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include <iostream>
#include "exampleassistant.h"

ExampleAssistant::ExampleAssistant()
: m_box(Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL, 12),
  m_label1("Type text to allow the assistant to continue:"),
  m_label2("Confirmation page"),
  m_check("Optional extra information")
{
  set_title("Gtk::Assistant example");
  set_default_size(400, 300);

  m_box.add(m_label1);
  m_box.add(m_entry);
  m_label1.set_expand();
  m_entry.set_expand();

  append_page(m_box);
  append_page(m_check);
  append_page(m_label2);

  set_page_title(*get_nth_page(0), "Page 1");
  set_page_title(*get_nth_page(1), "Page 2");
  set_page_title(*get_nth_page(2), "Confirmation");

  set_page_complete(m_check, true);
  set_page_complete(m_label2, true);

  set_page_type(m_box, Gtk::AssistantPage::Type::INTRO);
  set_page_type(m_label2, Gtk::AssistantPage::Type::CONFIRM);

  signal_apply().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleAssistant::on_assistant_apply));
  signal_cancel().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleAssistant::on_assistant_cancel));
  signal_close().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleAssistant::on_assistant_close));
  signal_prepare().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleAssistant::on_assistant_prepare));

  m_entry.signal_changed().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleAssistant::on_entry_changed));
}

ExampleAssistant::~ExampleAssistant()
{
}

void ExampleAssistant::get_result(bool& check_state, Glib::ustring& entry_text)
{
  check_state = m_check.get_active();
  entry_text = m_entry.get_text();
}

void ExampleAssistant::on_assistant_apply()
{
  std::cout << "Apply was clicked";
  print_status();
}

void ExampleAssistant::on_assistant_cancel()
{
  std::cout << "Cancel was clicked";
  print_status();
  hide();
}

void ExampleAssistant::on_assistant_close()
{
  std::cout << "Assistant was closed";
  print_status();
  hide();
}

void ExampleAssistant::on_assistant_prepare(Gtk::Widget* /* widget */)
{
  set_title(Glib::ustring::compose("Gtk::Assistant example (Page %1 of %2)",
    get_current_page() + 1, get_n_pages()));
}

void ExampleAssistant::on_entry_changed()
{
  // The page is only complete if the entry contains text.
  if(m_entry.get_text_length())
    set_page_complete(m_box, true);
  else
    set_page_complete(m_box, false);
}

void ExampleAssistant::print_status()
{
  std::cout << ", entry contents: \"" << m_entry.get_text()
    << "\", checkbutton status: " << m_check.get_active() << std::endl;
}

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  // Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include "exampleassistant.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_button("Show the assistant"),
  m_label1("State of assistant checkbutton:", Gtk::Align::START, Gtk::Align::CENTER),
  m_label2("Contents of assistant entry:", Gtk::Align::START, Gtk::Align::CENTER)
{
  set_title("Gtk::Assistant example");

  m_grid.set_row_homogeneous(true);
  m_grid.set_column_spacing(5);
  m_grid.set_margin(12);

  m_grid.attach(m_button, 0, 0, 2, 1);
  m_button.set_hexpand(true);
  m_button.set_valign(Gtk::Align::CENTER);

  m_grid.attach(m_label1, 0, 1, 1, 1);

  m_grid.attach(m_label2, 0, 2, 1, 1);

  m_grid.attach(m_check, 1, 1, 1, 1);
  m_check.set_halign(Gtk::Align::START);

  m_grid.attach(m_entry, 1, 2, 1, 1);
  m_entry.set_hexpand(true);

  add(m_grid);

  m_button.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleWindow::on_button_clicked));
  m_assistant.signal_apply().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleWindow::on_assistant_apply));

  m_check.set_sensitive(false);
  m_entry.set_sensitive(false);
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_assistant_apply()
{
  bool check_state;
  Glib::ustring entry_text;

  m_assistant.get_result(check_state, entry_text);
  m_check.set_active(check_state);
  m_entry.set_text(entry_text);
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_clicked()
{
  m_assistant.show();
}

9.2.7. Other Multi-item Containers

There are other multi-item containers. See the reference documentation for a complete list. Here are links to some example programs that show containers, which are not mentioned elsewhere in this tutorial.

Source Code, FlowBox

Source Code, IconView

10. The TreeView widget

The Gtk::TreeView widget can contain lists or trees of data, in columns.

10.1. The Model

Each Gtk::TreeView has an associated Gtk::TreeModel, which contains the data displayed by the TreeView. Each Gtk::TreeModel can be used by more than one Gtk::TreeView. For instance, this allows the same underlying data to be displayed and edited in 2 different ways at the same time. Or the 2 Views might display different columns from the same Model data, in the same way that 2 SQL queries (or "views") might show different fields from the same database table.

Although you can theoretically implement your own Model, you will normally use either the ListStore or TreeStore model classes.

Reference

10.1.1. ListStore, for rows

The ListStore contains simple rows of data, and each row has no children.

Figure 10-1TreeView - ListStore

Reference

10.1.2. TreeStore, for a hierarchy

The TreeStore contains rows of data, and each row may have child rows.

Figure 10-2TreeView - TreeStore

Reference

10.1.3. Model Columns

The TreeModelColumnRecord class is used to keep track of the columns and their data types. You add TreeModelColumn instances to the ColumnRecord and then use those TreeModelColumns when getting and setting the data in model rows. You will probably find it convenient to derive a new TreeModelColumnRecord which has your TreeModelColumn instances as member data.

class ModelColumns : public Gtk::TreeModelColumnRecord
{
public:

  ModelColumns()
    { add(m_col_text); add(m_col_number); }

  Gtk::TreeModelColumn<Glib::ustring> m_col_text;
  Gtk::TreeModelColumn<int> m_col_number;
};

ModelColumns m_Columns;

You specify the ColumnRecord when creating the Model, like so:

Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::ListStore> refListStore =
    Gtk::ListStore::create(m_Columns);

As a TreeModelColumnRecord describes structure, not data, it can be shared among multiple models, and this is preferable for efficiency. However, the instance (such as m_Columns here) should usually not be static, because it often needs to be instantiated after glibmm has been initialized. The best solution is to make it a lazily instantiated singleton, so that it will be constructed on-demand, whenever the first model accesses it.

10.1.4. Adding Rows

Add rows to the model with the append(), prepend(), or insert() methods.

auto iter = m_refListStore->append();

You can dereference the iterator to get the Row:

auto row = *iter;
10.1.4.1. Adding child rows

Gtk::TreeStore models can have child items. Add them with the append(), prepend(), or insert() methods, like so:

auto iter_child =
    m_refTreeStore->append(row.children());

10.1.5. Setting values

You can use the operator[] overload to set the data for a particular column in the row, specifying the TreeModelColumn used to create the model.

row[m_Columns.m_col_text] = "sometext";

10.1.6. Getting values

You can use the operator[] overload to get the data in a particular column in a row, specifying the TreeModelColumn used to create the model.

auto strText = row[m_Columns.m_col_text];
auto number = row[m_Columns.m_col_number];

The compiler will complain if you use an inappropriate type. For instance, this would generate a compiler error:

//compiler error - no conversion from ustring to int.
int number = row[m_Columns.m_col_text];

10.1.7. "Hidden" Columns

You might want to associate extra data with each row. If so, just add it as a Model column, but don't add it to the View.

10.2. The View

The View is the actual widget (Gtk::TreeView) that displays the model (Gtk::TreeModel) data and allows the user to interact with it. The View can show all of the model's columns, or just some, and it can show them in various ways.

Reference

10.2.1. Using a Model

You can specify a Gtk::TreeModel when constructing the Gtk::TreeView, or you can use the set_model() method, like so:

m_TreeView.set_model(m_refListStore);

10.2.2. Adding View Columns

You can use the append_column() method to tell the View that it should display certain Model columns, in a certain order, with a certain column title.

m_TreeView.append_column("Messages", m_Columns.m_col_text);

When using this simple append_column() overload, the TreeView will display the model data with an appropriate CellRenderer. For instance, strings and numbers are shown in a simple Gtk::Entry widget, and booleans are shown in a Gtk::CheckButton. This is usually what you need. For other column types you must either connect a callback that converts your type into a string representation, with TreeViewColumn::set_cell_data_func(), or derive a custom CellRenderer. Note that (unsigned) short is not supported by default - You could use (unsigned) int or (unsigned) long as the column type instead.

10.2.3. More than one Model Column per View Column

To render more than one model column in a view column, you need to create the TreeView::Column widget manually, and use pack_start() to add the model columns to it.

Then use append_column() to add the view Column to the View. Notice that Gtk::TreeView::append_column() is overloaded to accept either a prebuilt Gtk::TreeView::Column widget, or just the TreeModelColumn from which it generates an appropriate Gtk::TreeView::Column widget.

Here is some example code, which has a pixbuf icon and a text name in the same column:

auto pColumn = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::TreeView::Column>("Icon Name");

// m_columns.icon and m_columns.iconname are columns in the model.
// pColumn is the column in the TreeView:
pColumn->pack_start(m_columns.icon, /* expand= */ false);
pColumn->pack_start(m_columns.iconname);

m_TreeView.append_column(*pColumn);

10.2.4. Specifying CellRenderer details

The default CellRenderers and their default behaviour will normally suffice, but you might occasionally need finer control. For instance, this example code from gtkmm/demos/gtk-demo/example_treeview_treestore.cc, appends a Gtk::CellRenderer widget and instructs it to render the data from various model columns through various aspects of its appearance.

auto cols_count = m_TreeView.append_column_editable("Alex", m_columns.alex);
auto pColumn = m_TreeView.get_column(cols_count-1);
if(pColumn)
{
  auto pRenderer = static_cast<Gtk::CellRendererToggle*>(pColumn->get_first_cell());
  pColumn->add_attribute(pRenderer->property_visible(), m_columns.visible);
  pColumn->add_attribute(pRenderer->property_activatable(), m_columns.world);

You can also connect to CellRenderer signals to detect user actions. For instance:

auto pRenderer = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::CellRendererToggle>();
pRenderer->signal_toggled().connect(
    sigc::bind( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
        &Example_TreeView_TreeStore::on_cell_toggled), m_columns.dave)
);

10.2.5. Editable Cells

10.2.5.1. Automatically-stored editable cells.

Cells in a TreeView can be edited in-place by the user. To allow this, use the Gtk::TreeView insert_column_editable() and append_column_editable() methods instead of insert_column() and append_column(). When these cells are edited the new values will be stored immediately in the Model. Note that these methods are templates which can only be instantiated for simple column types such as Glib::ustring, int, and long.

10.2.5.2. Implementing custom logic for editable cells.

However, you might not want the new values to be stored immediately. For instance, maybe you want to restrict the input to certain characters or ranges of values.

To achieve this, you should use the normal Gtk::TreeView insert_column() and append_column() methods, then use get_column_cell_renderer() to get the Gtk::CellRenderer used by that column.

You should then cast that Gtk::CellRenderer* to the specific CellRenderer that you expect, so you can use specific API.

For instance, for a CellRendererText, you would set the cell's editable property to true, like so:

cell->property_editable() = true;

For a CellRendererToggle, you would set the activatable property instead.

You can then connect to the appropriate "edited" signal. For instance, connect to Gtk::CellRendererText::signal_edited(), or Gtk::CellRendererToggle::signal_toggled(). If the column contains more than one CellRenderer then you will need to use Gtk::TreeView::get_column() and then call get_cells() on that view Column.

In your signal handler, you should examine the new value and then store it in the Model if that is appropriate for your application.

10.3. Iterating over Model Rows

Gtk::TreeModel provides a C++ Standard Library-style container of its children, via the children() method. You can use the familiar begin() and end() methods iterator incrementing, like so:

auto children = refModel->children();
for (auto iter = children.begin(), end = children.end(); iter != end; ++iter)
{
  auto row = *iter;
  //Do something with the row - see above for set/get.
}

If you always want to iterate across the entire range, much more succinct syntax is possible using C++'s range-based for loop:

for (auto row: refModel->children())
{
  //Do something with the row - see above for set/get.
}

10.3.1. Row children

When using a Gtk::TreeStore, the rows can have child rows, which can have their own children in turn. Use Gtk::TreeModel::Row::children() to get the container of child Rows:

Gtk::TreeModel::Children children = row.children();

10.4. The Selection

To find out what rows the user has selected, get the Gtk::TreeView::Selection object from the TreeView, like so:

auto refTreeSelection = m_TreeView.get_selection();

10.4.1. Single or multiple selection

By default, only single rows can be selected, but you can allow multiple selection by setting the mode, like so:

refTreeSelection->set_mode(Gtk::SELECTION_MULTIPLE);

10.4.2. The selected rows

For single-selection, you can just call get_selected(), like so:

auto iter = refTreeSelection->get_selected();
if(iter) //If anything is selected
{
  auto row = *iter;
  //Do something with the row.
}

For multiple-selection, you need to call get_selected_rows() or define a callback, and give it to selected_foreach(), selected_foreach_path(), or selected_foreach_iter(), like so:

refTreeSelection->selected_foreach_iter(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &TheClass::selected_row_callback) );

void TheClass::selected_row_callback(
    const Gtk::TreeModel::const_iterator& iter)
{
  auto row = *iter;
  //Do something with the row.
}

10.4.3. The "changed" signal

To respond to the user clicking on a row or range of rows, connect to the signal like so:

refTreeSelection->signal_changed().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &Example_IconTheme::on_selection_changed)
);

10.4.4. Preventing row selection

Maybe the user should not be able to select every item in your list or tree. For instance, in the gtk-demo, you can select a demo to see the source code, but it doesn't make any sense to select a demo category.

To control which rows can be selected, use the set_select_function() method, providing a sigc::slot callback. For instance:

m_refTreeSelection->set_select_function( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &DemoWindow::select_function) );

and then

bool DemoWindow::select_function(
    const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::TreeModel>& model,
    const Gtk::TreeModel::Path& path, bool)
{
  const auto iter = model->get_iter(path);
  return iter->children().empty(); // only allow leaf nodes to be selected
}

10.4.5. Changing the selection

To change the selection, specify a Gtk::TreeModel::iterator or Gtk::TreeModel::Row, like so:

auto row = m_refModel->children()[5]; //The sixth row.
if(row)
  refTreeSelection->select(row.get_iter());

or

auto iter = m_refModel->children().begin()
if(iter)
  refTreeSelection->select(iter);

10.5. Sorting

The standard tree models (TreeStore and ListStore) derive from TreeSortable, so they offer sorting functionality. For instance, call set_sort_column(), to sort the model by the specified column. Or supply a callback function to set_sort_func() to implement a more complicated sorting algorithm.

TreeSortable Reference

10.5.1. Sorting by clicking on columns

So that a user can click on a TreeView's column header to sort the TreeView's contents, call Gtk::TreeView::Column::set_sort_column(), supplying the model column on which model should be sorted when the header is clicked. For instance:

auto pColumn = treeview.get_column(0);
if(pColumn)
  pColumn->set_sort_column(m_columns.m_col_id);

10.5.2. Independently sorted views of the same model

The TreeView already allows you to show the same TreeModel in two TreeView widgets. If you need one of these TreeViews to sort the model differently than the other then you should use a TreeModelSort instead of just, for instance, Gtk::TreeViewColumn::set_sort_column(). TreeModelSort is a model that contains another model, presenting a sorted version of that model. For instance, you might add a sorted version of a model to a TreeView like so:

auto sorted_model = Gtk::TreeModelSort::create(model);
sorted_model->set_sort_column(columns.m_col_name, Gtk::SORT_ASCENDING);
treeview.set_model(sorted_model);

Note, however, that the TreeView will provide iterators to the sorted model. You must convert them to iterators to the underlying child model in order to perform actions on that model. For instance:

void ExampleWindow::on_button_delete()
{
  auto refTreeSelection = m_treeview.get_selection();
  if(refTreeSelection)
  {
    auto sorted_iter = m_refTreeSelection->get_selected();
    if(sorted_iter)
    {
      auto iter = m_refModelSort->convert_iter_to_child_iter(sorted_iter);
      m_refModel->erase(iter);
    }
  }
}

TreeModelSort Reference

10.6. Drag and Drop

Gtk::TreeView already implements simple drag-and-drop when used with the Gtk::ListStore or Gtk::TreeStore models. If necessary, it also allows you to implement more complex behaviour when items are dragged and dropped, using the normal Drag and Drop API.

10.6.1. Reorderable rows

If you call Gtk::TreeView::set_reorderable() then your TreeView's items can be moved within the treeview itself. This is demonstrated in the TreeStore example.

However, this does not allow you any control of which items can be dragged, and where they can be dropped. If you need that extra control then you might create a derived Gtk::TreeModel from Gtk::TreeStore or Gtk::ListStore and override the Gtk::TreeDragSource::row_draggable_vfunc() and Gtk::TreeDragDest::row_drop_possible_vfunc() virtual methods. You can examine the Gtk::TreeModel::Paths provided and allow or disallow dragging or dropping by returning true or false.

This is demonstrated in the drag_and_drop example.

10.7. Popup Context Menu

Lots of people need to implement right-click context menus for TreeView's so we will explain how to do that here to save you some time. Apart from one or two points, it's much the same as a normal context menu, as described in the menus chapter.

10.7.1. Handling button_press_event

To detect a click of the right mouse button, you need to handle the button_press_event signal, and check exactly which button was pressed. Because the TreeView normally handles this signal completely, you need to either override the default signal handler in a derived TreeView class, use connect_notify() or use connect(slot, /* after= */ false). You probably also want to call the default handler before doing anything else, so that the right-click will cause the row to be selected first.

This is demonstrated in the Popup Context Menu example.

10.8. Examples

10.8.1. ListStore

This example has a Gtk::TreeView widget, with a Gtk::ListStore model.

Figure 10-3TreeView - ListStore

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_quit();

  //Tree model columns:
  class ModelColumns : public Gtk::TreeModel::ColumnRecord
  {
  public:

    ModelColumns()
    { add(m_col_id); add(m_col_name); add(m_col_number); add(m_col_percentage);}

    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<unsigned int> m_col_id;
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<Glib::ustring> m_col_name;
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<short> m_col_number;
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<int> m_col_percentage;
  };

  ModelColumns m_Columns;

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;

  Gtk::ScrolledWindow m_ScrolledWindow;
  Gtk::TreeView m_TreeView;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::ListStore> m_refTreeModel;

  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Quit;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include <iostream>
#include "examplewindow.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Button_Quit("Quit")
{
  set_title("Gtk::TreeView (ListStore) example");
  set_default_size(400, 200);

  m_VBox.set_margin(5);
  add(m_VBox);

  //Add the TreeView, inside a ScrolledWindow, with the button underneath:
  m_ScrolledWindow.add(m_TreeView);

  //Only show the scrollbars when they are necessary:
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_policy(Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC, Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC);
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_expand();

  m_VBox.add(m_ScrolledWindow);
  m_VBox.add(m_ButtonBox);

  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Quit);
  m_ButtonBox.set_margin(5);
  m_Button_Quit.set_hexpand(true);
  m_Button_Quit.set_halign(Gtk::Align::END);
  m_Button_Quit.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_quit) );

  //Create the Tree model:
  m_refTreeModel = Gtk::ListStore::create(m_Columns);
  m_TreeView.set_model(m_refTreeModel);

  //Fill the TreeView's model
  auto row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 1;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Billy Bob";
  row[m_Columns.m_col_number] = 10;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_percentage] = 15;

  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 2;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Joey Jojo";
  row[m_Columns.m_col_number] = 20;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_percentage] = 40;

  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 3;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Rob McRoberts";
  row[m_Columns.m_col_number] = 30;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_percentage] = 70;

  //Add the TreeView's view columns:
  //This number will be shown with the default numeric formatting.
  m_TreeView.append_column("ID", m_Columns.m_col_id);
  m_TreeView.append_column("Name", m_Columns.m_col_name);

  m_TreeView.append_column_numeric("Formatted number", m_Columns.m_col_number,
          "%010d" /* 10 digits, using leading zeroes. */);

  //Display a progress bar instead of a decimal number:
  auto cell = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::CellRendererProgress>();
  int cols_count = m_TreeView.append_column("Some percentage", *cell);
  auto pColumn = m_TreeView.get_column(cols_count - 1);
  if(pColumn)
  {
    pColumn->add_attribute(cell->property_value(), m_Columns.m_col_percentage);
  }

  //Make all the columns reorderable:
  //This is not necessary, but it's nice to show the feature.
  //You can use TreeView::set_column_drag_function() to more
  //finely control column drag and drop.
  for(guint i = 0; i < 2; i++)
  {
    auto column = m_TreeView.get_column(i);
    column->set_reorderable();
  }
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_quit()
{
  hide();
}

10.8.2. TreeStore

This example is very similar to the ListStore example, but uses a Gtk::TreeStore model instead, and adds children to the rows.

Figure 10-4TreeView - TreeStore

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_quit();
  void on_treeview_row_activated(const Gtk::TreeModel::Path& path, Gtk::TreeViewColumn* column);

  //Tree model columns:
  class ModelColumns : public Gtk::TreeModel::ColumnRecord
  {
  public:

    ModelColumns()
    { add(m_col_id); add(m_col_name); }

    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<int> m_col_id;
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<Glib::ustring> m_col_name;
  };

  ModelColumns m_Columns;

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;

  Gtk::ScrolledWindow m_ScrolledWindow;
  Gtk::TreeView m_TreeView;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::TreeStore> m_refTreeModel;

  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Quit;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include <iostream>
#include "examplewindow.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Button_Quit("Quit")
{
  set_title("Gtk::TreeView (TreeStore) example");
  set_default_size(400, 200);

  m_VBox.set_margin(5);
  add(m_VBox);

  //Add the TreeView, inside a ScrolledWindow, with the button underneath:
  m_ScrolledWindow.add(m_TreeView);

  //Only show the scrollbars when they are necessary:
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_policy(Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC, Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC);
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_expand();

  m_VBox.add(m_ScrolledWindow);
  m_VBox.add(m_ButtonBox);

  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Quit);
  m_ButtonBox.set_margin(5);
  m_Button_Quit.set_hexpand(true);
  m_Button_Quit.set_halign(Gtk::Align::END);
  m_Button_Quit.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_quit) );

  //Create the Tree model:
  m_refTreeModel = Gtk::TreeStore::create(m_Columns);
  m_TreeView.set_model(m_refTreeModel);

  //All the items to be reordered with drag-and-drop:
  m_TreeView.set_reorderable();

  //Fill the TreeView's model
  auto row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 1;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Billy Bob";

  auto childrow = *(m_refTreeModel->append(row.children()));
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 11;
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Billy Bob Junior";

  childrow = *(m_refTreeModel->append(row.children()));
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 12;
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Sue Bob";

  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 2;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Joey Jojo";


  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 3;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Rob McRoberts";

  childrow = *(m_refTreeModel->append(row.children()));
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 31;
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Xavier McRoberts";

  //Add the TreeView's view columns:
  m_TreeView.append_column("ID", m_Columns.m_col_id);
  m_TreeView.append_column("Name", m_Columns.m_col_name);

  //Connect signal:
  m_TreeView.signal_row_activated().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_treeview_row_activated) );
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_quit()
{
  hide();
}

void ExampleWindow::on_treeview_row_activated(const Gtk::TreeModel::Path& path,
        Gtk::TreeViewColumn* /* column */)
{
  const auto iter = m_refTreeModel->get_iter(path);
  if(iter)
  {
    const auto row = *iter;
    std::cout << "Row activated: ID=" << row[m_Columns.m_col_id] << ", Name="
        << row[m_Columns.m_col_name] << std::endl;
  }
}

10.8.3. Editable Cells

This example is identical to the ListStore example, but it uses TreeView::append_column_editable() instead of TreeView::append_column().

Figure 10-5TreeView - Editable Cells

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_quit();

  void treeviewcolumn_validated_on_cell_data(Gtk::CellRenderer* renderer, const Gtk::TreeModel::const_iterator& iter);
  void cellrenderer_validated_on_editing_started(Gtk::CellEditable* cell_editable, const Glib::ustring& path);
  void cellrenderer_validated_on_edited(const Glib::ustring& path_string, const Glib::ustring& new_text);

  //Tree model columns:
  class ModelColumns : public Gtk::TreeModel::ColumnRecord
  {
  public:

    ModelColumns()
    { add(m_col_id); add(m_col_name); add(m_col_foo); add(m_col_number); add(m_col_number_validated); }

    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<unsigned int> m_col_id;
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<Glib::ustring> m_col_name;
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<bool> m_col_foo;
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<int> m_col_number;
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<int> m_col_number_validated;
  };

  ModelColumns m_Columns;

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;

  Gtk::ScrolledWindow m_ScrolledWindow;
  Gtk::TreeView m_TreeView;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::ListStore> m_refTreeModel;

  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Quit;

  //For the validated column:
  //You could also use a CellRendererSpin or a CellRendererProgress:
  Gtk::CellRendererText m_cellrenderer_validated;
  Gtk::TreeView::Column m_treeviewcolumn_validated;
  bool m_validate_retry;
  Glib::ustring m_invalid_text_for_retry;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include <iostream>
#include <cstdio>
#include <cstdlib>
#include "examplewindow.h"

using std::sprintf;
using std::strtol;

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Button_Quit("Quit"),
  m_validate_retry(false)
{
  set_title("Gtk::TreeView Editable Cells example");
  set_default_size(400, 200);

  m_VBox.set_margin(5);
  add(m_VBox);

  //Add the TreeView, inside a ScrolledWindow, with the button underneath:
  m_ScrolledWindow.add(m_TreeView);

  //Only show the scrollbars when they are necessary:
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_policy(Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC, Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC);
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_expand();

  m_VBox.add(m_ScrolledWindow);
  m_VBox.add(m_ButtonBox);

  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Quit);
  m_ButtonBox.set_margin(5);
  m_Button_Quit.set_hexpand(true);
  m_Button_Quit.set_halign(Gtk::Align::END);
  m_Button_Quit.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_quit) );

  //Create the Tree model:
  m_refTreeModel = Gtk::ListStore::create(m_Columns);
  m_TreeView.set_model(m_refTreeModel);

  //Fill the TreeView's model
  auto row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 1;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Billy Bob";
  row[m_Columns.m_col_foo] = true;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_number] = 10;

  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 2;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Joey Jojo";
  row[m_Columns.m_col_foo] = true;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_number] = 20;

  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());

  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 3;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Rob McRoberts";
  row[m_Columns.m_col_foo] = false;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_number] = 30;

  //Add the TreeView's view columns:
  //We use the *_editable convenience methods for most of these,
  //because the default functionality is enough:
  m_TreeView.append_column_editable("ID", m_Columns.m_col_id);
  m_TreeView.append_column_editable("Name", m_Columns.m_col_name);
  m_TreeView.append_column_editable("foo", m_Columns.m_col_foo);
  m_TreeView.append_column_numeric_editable("foo", m_Columns.m_col_number,
          "%010d");


  //For this column, we create the CellRenderer ourselves, and connect our own
  //signal handlers, so that we can validate the data that the user enters, and
  //control how it is displayed.
  m_treeviewcolumn_validated.set_title("validated (<10)");
  m_treeviewcolumn_validated.pack_start(m_cellrenderer_validated);
  m_TreeView.append_column(m_treeviewcolumn_validated);

  //Tell the view column how to render the model values:
  m_treeviewcolumn_validated.set_cell_data_func(m_cellrenderer_validated,
          sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::treeviewcolumn_validated_on_cell_data) );

  //Make the CellRenderer editable, and handle its editing signals:
  m_cellrenderer_validated.property_editable() = true;

  m_cellrenderer_validated.signal_editing_started().connect(
          sigc::mem_fun(*this,
        &ExampleWindow::cellrenderer_validated_on_editing_started) );

  m_cellrenderer_validated.signal_edited().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::cellrenderer_validated_on_edited) );

  //If this was a CellRendererSpin then you would have to set the adjustment:
  //m_cellrenderer_validated.property_adjustment() = m_spin_adjustment;
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_quit()
{
  hide();
}

void ExampleWindow::treeviewcolumn_validated_on_cell_data(
        Gtk::CellRenderer* /* renderer */,
        const Gtk::TreeModel::const_iterator& iter)
{
  //Get the value from the model and show it appropriately in the view:
  if(iter)
  {
    const auto row = *iter;
    int model_value = row[m_Columns.m_col_number_validated];

    //This is just an example.
    //In this case, it would be easier to use append_column_editable() or
    //append_column_numeric_editable()
    char buffer[32];
    sprintf(buffer, "%d", model_value);

    auto view_text = buffer;
    m_cellrenderer_validated.property_text() = view_text;
  }
}

void ExampleWindow::cellrenderer_validated_on_editing_started(
        Gtk::CellEditable* cell_editable, const Glib::ustring& /* path */)
{
  //Start editing with previously-entered (but invalid) text,
  //if we are allowing the user to correct some invalid data.
  if(m_validate_retry)
  {
    //This is the CellEditable inside the CellRenderer.
    auto celleditable_validated = cell_editable;

    //It's usually an Entry, at least for a CellRendererText:
    auto pEntry = dynamic_cast<Gtk::Entry*>(celleditable_validated);
    if(pEntry)
    {
      pEntry->set_text(m_invalid_text_for_retry);
      m_validate_retry = false;
      m_invalid_text_for_retry.clear();
    }
  }

}

void ExampleWindow::cellrenderer_validated_on_edited(
        const Glib::ustring& path_string,
        const Glib::ustring& new_text)
{
  Gtk::TreePath path(path_string);

  //Convert the inputed text to an integer, as needed by our model column:
  char* pchEnd = nullptr;
  int new_value = strtol(new_text.c_str(), &pchEnd, 10);

  if(new_value > 10)
  {
    //Prevent entry of numbers higher than 10.

    //Tell the user:
    Gtk::MessageDialog dialog(*this,
            "The number must be less than 10. Please try again.",
            false, Gtk::MessageType::ERROR);
    dialog.run();

    //Start editing again, with the bad text, so that the user can correct it.
    //A real application should probably allow the user to revert to the
    //previous text.

    //Set the text to be used in the start_editing signal handler:
    m_invalid_text_for_retry = new_text;
    m_validate_retry = true;

    //Start editing again:
    m_TreeView.set_cursor(path, m_treeviewcolumn_validated,
            m_cellrenderer_validated, true /* start_editing */);
  }
  else
  {
    //Get the row from the path:
    auto iter = m_refTreeModel->get_iter(path);
    if(iter)
    {
      auto row = *iter;

      //Put the new value in the model:
      row[m_Columns.m_col_number_validated] = new_value;
    }
  }
}

10.8.4. Drag and Drop

This example is much like the TreeStore example, but has 2 extra columns to indicate whether the row can be dragged, and whether it can receive drag-and-dropped rows. It uses a derived Gtk::TreeStore which overrides the virtual functions as described in the TreeView Drag and Drop section.

Figure 10-6TreeView - Drag And Drop

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>
#include "treemodel_dnd.h"


class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_quit();


  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;

  Gtk::ScrolledWindow m_ScrolledWindow;
  Gtk::TreeView m_TreeView;
  Glib::RefPtr<TreeModel_Dnd> m_refTreeModel;

  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Quit;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: treemodel_dnd.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_TREEMODEL_DND_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_TREEMODEL_DND_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class TreeModel_Dnd : public Gtk::TreeStore
{
protected:
  TreeModel_Dnd();

public:

  //Tree model columns:
  class ModelColumns : public Gtk::TreeModel::ColumnRecord
  {
  public:

    ModelColumns()
    { add(m_col_id); add(m_col_name); add(m_col_draggable); add(m_col_receivesdrags); }

    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<int> m_col_id;
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<Glib::ustring> m_col_name;
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<bool> m_col_draggable;
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<bool> m_col_receivesdrags;
  };

  ModelColumns m_Columns;

  static Glib::RefPtr<TreeModel_Dnd> create();

protected:
  //Overridden virtual functions:
  bool row_draggable_vfunc(const Gtk::TreeModel::Path& path) const override;
  bool row_drop_possible_vfunc(const Gtk::TreeModel::Path& dest, const Gtk::SelectionData& selection_data) const override;

};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLE_TREEMODEL_DND_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include <iostream>
#include "examplewindow.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Button_Quit("_Quit", true)
{
  set_title("Gtk::TreeView (Drag and Drop) example");
  set_default_size(400, 200);

  m_VBox.set_margin(5);
  add(m_VBox);

  //Add the TreeView, inside a ScrolledWindow, with the button underneath:
  m_ScrolledWindow.add(m_TreeView);

  //Only show the scrollbars when they are necessary:
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_policy(Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC, Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC);
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_expand();

  m_VBox.add(m_ScrolledWindow);
  m_VBox.add(m_ButtonBox);

  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Quit);
  m_ButtonBox.set_margin(5);
  m_Button_Quit.set_hexpand(true);
  m_Button_Quit.set_halign(Gtk::Align::END);
  m_Button_Quit.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_quit) );

  //Create the Tree model:
  //Use our derived model, which overrides some Gtk::TreeDragDest and
  //Gtk::TreeDragSource virtual functions:
  //The columns are declared in the overridden TreeModel.
  m_refTreeModel = TreeModel_Dnd::create();
  m_TreeView.set_model(m_refTreeModel);

  //Enable Drag-and-Drop of TreeView rows:
  //See also the derived TreeModel's *_vfunc overrides.
  m_TreeView.enable_model_drag_source();
  m_TreeView.enable_model_drag_dest();

  //Fill the TreeView's model
  auto row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_id] = 1;
  row[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Billy Bob";
  row[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_draggable] = true;
  row[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_receivesdrags] = true;

  auto childrow = *(m_refTreeModel->append(row.children()));
  childrow[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_id] = 11;
  childrow[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Billy Bob Junior";
  childrow[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_draggable] = true;
  childrow[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_receivesdrags] = true;

  childrow = *(m_refTreeModel->append(row.children()));
  childrow[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_id] = 12;
  childrow[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Sue Bob";
  childrow[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_draggable] = true;
  childrow[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_receivesdrags] = true;

  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_id] = 2;
  row[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Joey Jojo";
  row[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_draggable] = true;
  row[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_receivesdrags] = true;

  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_id] = 3;
  row[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Rob McRoberts";
  row[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_draggable] = true;
  row[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_receivesdrags] = true;

  childrow = *(m_refTreeModel->append(row.children()));
  childrow[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_id] = 31;
  childrow[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Xavier McRoberts";
  childrow[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_draggable] = true;
  childrow[m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_receivesdrags] = true;

  //Add the TreeView's view columns:
  m_TreeView.append_column("ID", m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_id);
  m_TreeView.append_column("Name", m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_name);
  m_TreeView.append_column_editable("Draggable",
          m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_draggable);
  m_TreeView.append_column_editable("Receives Drags",
          m_refTreeModel->m_Columns.m_col_receivesdrags);
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_quit()
{
  hide();
}

File: treemodel_dnd.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "treemodel_dnd.h"
#include <iostream>

TreeModel_Dnd::TreeModel_Dnd()
{
  //We can't just call Gtk::TreeModel(m_Columns) in the initializer list
  //because m_Columns does not exist when the base class constructor runs.
  //And we can't have a static m_Columns instance, because that would be
  //instantiated before the gtkmm type system.
  //So, we use this method, which should only be used just after creation:
  set_column_types(m_Columns);
}

Glib::RefPtr<TreeModel_Dnd> TreeModel_Dnd::create()
{
  return Glib::RefPtr<TreeModel_Dnd>( new TreeModel_Dnd() );
}

bool
TreeModel_Dnd::row_draggable_vfunc(const Gtk::TreeModel::Path& path) const
{
  // Make the value of the "draggable" column determine whether this row can
  // be dragged:

  const const_iterator iter = get_iter(path);
  if(iter)
  {
    ConstRow row = *iter;
    bool is_draggable = row[m_Columns.m_col_draggable];
    return is_draggable;
  }

  return Gtk::TreeStore::row_draggable_vfunc(path);
}

bool
TreeModel_Dnd::row_drop_possible_vfunc(const Gtk::TreeModel::Path& dest,
        const Gtk::SelectionData& selection_data) const
{
  //Make the value of the "receives drags" column determine whether a row can be
  //dragged into it:

  //dest is the path that the row would have after it has been dropped:
  //But in this case we are more interested in the parent row:
  auto dest_parent = dest;
  bool dest_is_not_top_level = dest_parent.up();
  if(!dest_is_not_top_level || dest_parent.empty())
  {
    //The user wants to move something to the top-level.
    //Let's always allow that.
  }
  else
  {
    //Get an iterator for the row at this path:
    const const_iterator iter_dest_parent = get_iter(dest_parent);
    if(iter_dest_parent)
    {
      ConstRow row = *iter_dest_parent;
      bool receives_drags = row[m_Columns.m_col_receivesdrags];
      return receives_drags;
    }
  }

  // You could also examine the row being dragged (via selection_data)
  // if you must look at both rows to see whether a drop should be allowed.
  // You could use
  //   Glib::RefPtr<const Gtk::TreeModel> model_dragged_row;
  //   Gtk::TreeModel::Path path_dragged_row;
  //   Gtk::TreeModel::Path::get_from_selection_data(selection_data,
  //     model_dragged_row, path_dragged_row);
  // This is risky, though. If the row being dragged, and thus selection_data,
  // does not originate in the process that's calling get_from_selection_data(),
  // you'll most likely get a segmentation fault. See the documentation of
  // Gtk::TreePath::get_from_selection_data() or gtk_tree_get_row_drag_data().

  return Gtk::TreeStore::row_drop_possible_vfunc(dest, selection_data);
}

10.8.5. Popup Context Menu

This example is much like the ListStore example, but derives a custom TreeView in order to override the button_press_event, and also to encapsulate the tree model code in our derived class. See the TreeView Popup Context Menu section.

Figure 10-7TreeView - Popup Context Menu

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>
#include "treeview_withpopup.h"

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_quit();



  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;

  Gtk::ScrolledWindow m_ScrolledWindow;
  TreeView_WithPopup m_TreeView;

  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Quit;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: treeview_withpopup.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_TREEVIEW_WITHPOPUP_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_TREEVIEW_WITHPOPUP_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class TreeView_WithPopup : public Gtk::TreeView
{
public:
  TreeView_WithPopup();
  virtual ~TreeView_WithPopup();

protected:
  // Signal handler for showing popup menu:
  void on_popup_button_pressed(int n_press, double x, double y);

  //Signal handler for popup menu items:
  void on_menu_file_popup_generic();


  //Tree model columns:
  class ModelColumns : public Gtk::TreeModel::ColumnRecord
  {
  public:

    ModelColumns()
    { add(m_col_id); add(m_col_name); }

    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<unsigned int> m_col_id;
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<Glib::ustring> m_col_name;
  };

  ModelColumns m_Columns;

  //The Tree model:
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::ListStore> m_refTreeModel;

  Gtk::Menu m_Menu_Popup;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLE_TREEVIEW_WITHPOPUP_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include <iostream>
#include "examplewindow.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Button_Quit("Quit")
{
  set_title("Gtk::TreeView (ListStore) example");
  set_default_size(400, 200);

  m_VBox.set_margin(5);
  add(m_VBox);

  //Add the TreeView, inside a ScrolledWindow, with the button underneath:
  m_ScrolledWindow.add(m_TreeView);

  //Only show the scrollbars when they are necessary:
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_policy(Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC, Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC);
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_expand();

  m_VBox.add(m_ScrolledWindow);
  m_VBox.add(m_ButtonBox);

  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Quit);
  m_ButtonBox.set_margin(5);
  m_Button_Quit.set_hexpand(true);
  m_Button_Quit.set_halign(Gtk::Align::END);
  m_Button_Quit.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_quit) );
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_quit()
{
  hide();
}

File: treeview_withpopup.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "treeview_withpopup.h"
#include <iostream>

TreeView_WithPopup::TreeView_WithPopup()
{
  //Create the Tree model:
  m_refTreeModel = Gtk::ListStore::create(m_Columns);
  set_model(m_refTreeModel);

  //Fill the TreeView's model
  auto row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 1;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "right-click on this";

  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 2;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "or this";

  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 3;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "or this, for a popup context menu";

  //Add the TreeView's view columns:
  append_column("ID", m_Columns.m_col_id);
  append_column("Name", m_Columns.m_col_name);

  // Catch button press events:
  auto refGesture = Gtk::GestureMultiPress::create();
  refGesture->set_button(GDK_BUTTON_SECONDARY);
  refGesture->signal_pressed().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &TreeView_WithPopup::on_popup_button_pressed));
  add_controller(refGesture);

  //Fill popup menu:
  auto item = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::MenuItem>("_Edit", true);
  item->signal_activate().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &TreeView_WithPopup::on_menu_file_popup_generic) );
  m_Menu_Popup.append(*item);

  item = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::MenuItem>("_Process", true);
  item->signal_activate().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &TreeView_WithPopup::on_menu_file_popup_generic) );
  m_Menu_Popup.append(*item);

  item = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::MenuItem>("_Remove", true);
  item->signal_activate().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &TreeView_WithPopup::on_menu_file_popup_generic) );
  m_Menu_Popup.append(*item);

  m_Menu_Popup.accelerate(*this);
}

TreeView_WithPopup::~TreeView_WithPopup()
{
}

void TreeView_WithPopup::on_popup_button_pressed(int /* n_press */, double /* x */, double /* y */)
{
  m_Menu_Popup.popup_at_pointer();
}

void TreeView_WithPopup::on_menu_file_popup_generic()
{
  std::cout << "A popup menu item was selected." << std::endl;

  auto refSelection = get_selection();
  if(refSelection)
  {
    auto iter = refSelection->get_selected();
    if(iter)
    {
      int id = (*iter)[m_Columns.m_col_id];
      std::cout << "  Selected ID=" << id << std::endl;
    }
  }
}

11. Combo Boxes

The ComboBox widget offers a list (or tree) of choices in a dropdown menu. If appropriate, it can show extra information about each item, such as text, a picture, a check button, or a progress bar. The ComboBox widget usually restricts the user to the available choices, but it can optionally have an Entry, allowing the user to enter arbitrary text if none of the available choices are suitable.

The list is provided via a TreeModel, and columns from this model are added to the ComboBox's view with the ComboBox::pack_start() method. This provides flexibility and compile-time type-safety, but the ComboBoxText class provides a simpler text-based specialization in case that flexibility is not required.

Reference

11.1. The model

The model for a ComboBox can be defined and filled exactly as for a TreeView. For instance, you might derive a ComboBox class with one integer and one text column, like so:

class ModelColumns : public Gtk::TreeModel::ColumnRecord
{
public:
  ModelColumns()
  { add(m_col_id); add(m_col_name); }

  Gtk::TreeModelColumn<int> m_col_id;
  Gtk::TreeModelColumn<Glib::ustring> m_col_name;
};

ModelColumns m_columns;

After appending rows to this model, you should provide the model to the ComboBox with the set_model() method. Then use the pack_start() or pack_end() methods to specify what columns will be displayed in the ComboBox. As with the TreeView you may either use the default cell renderer by passing the TreeModelColumn to the pack methods, or you may instantiate a specific CellRenderer and specify a particular mapping with either add_attribute() or set_cell_data_func(). Note that these methods are in the CellLayout base class.

11.2. The chosen item

To discover what item, if any, the user has chosen from the ComboBox, call ComboBox::get_active(). This returns a TreeModel::iterator that you can dereference to a Row in order to read the values in your columns. For instance, you might read an integer ID value from the model, even though you have chosen only to show the human-readable description in the ComboBox. For instance:

Gtk::TreeModel::iterator iter = m_Combo.get_active();
if(iter)
{
  auto row = *iter;

  //Get the data for the selected row, using our knowledge
  //of the tree model:
  auto id = row[m_Columns.m_col_id];
  set_something_id_chosen(id); //Your own function.
}
else
  set_nothing_chosen(); //Your own function.

11.3. Responding to changes

You might need to react to every change of selection in the ComboBox, for instance to update other widgets. To do so, you should handle the changed signal. For instance:

m_combo.signal_changed().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
      &ExampleWindow::on_combo_changed) );

11.4. Full Example

Figure 11-1ComboBox

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm/window.h>
#include <gtkmm/comboboxtext.h>
#include <gtkmm/liststore.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  void on_cell_data_extra(const Gtk::TreeModel::const_iterator& iter);

  //Signal handlers:
  void on_combo_changed();


  //Tree model columns:
  class ModelColumns : public Gtk::TreeModel::ColumnRecord
  {
  public:

    ModelColumns()
    { add(m_col_id); add(m_col_name); add(m_col_extra);}

    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<int> m_col_id;
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<Glib::ustring> m_col_name;
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<Glib::ustring> m_col_extra;
  };

  ModelColumns m_Columns;

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::ComboBox m_Combo;
  Gtk::CellRendererText m_cell;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::ListStore> m_refTreeModel;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
{
  set_title("ComboBox example");

  //Create the Tree model:
  //m_refTreeModel = Gtk::TreeStore::create(m_Columns);
  m_refTreeModel = Gtk::ListStore::create(m_Columns);
  m_Combo.set_model(m_refTreeModel);

  //Fill the ComboBox's Tree Model:
  auto iter = m_refTreeModel->append();
  auto row = *iter;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 1;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Billy Bob";
  row[m_Columns.m_col_extra] = "something";
  m_Combo.set_active(iter);
  /*
  auto childrow = *(m_refTreeModel->append(row.children()));
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 11;
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Billy Bob Junior";

  childrow = *(m_refTreeModel->append(row.children()));
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 12;
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Sue Bob";
  */

  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 2;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Joey Jojo";
  row[m_Columns.m_col_extra] = "yadda";


  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 3;
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Rob McRoberts";
  row[m_Columns.m_col_extra] = "";

  /*
  childrow = *(m_refTreeModel->append(row.children()));
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 31;
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Xavier McRoberts";
  */

  //Add the model columns to the Combo (which is a kind of view),
  //rendering them in the default way:
  m_Combo.pack_start(m_Columns.m_col_id);
  m_Combo.pack_start(m_Columns.m_col_name);

  //An example of adding a cell renderer manually,
  //instead of using pack_start(model_column, Gtk::PackOptions::EXPAND_WIDGET)
  //so we have more control:
  m_Combo.set_cell_data_func(m_cell,
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_cell_data_extra));
  m_Combo.pack_start(m_cell);

  //Add the ComboBox to the window.
  add(m_Combo);

  //Connect signal handler:
  m_Combo.signal_changed().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_combo_changed) );
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_cell_data_extra(const Gtk::TreeModel::const_iterator& iter)
{
  auto row = *iter;
  const Glib::ustring extra = row[m_Columns.m_col_extra];

  //Some arbitrary logic just to show that this is where you can do such things:

  //Transform the value, deciding how to represent it as text:
  if(extra.empty())
    m_cell.property_text() = "(none)";
  else
    m_cell.property_text() = "-" + extra + "-";

  //Change other cell renderer properties too:
  m_cell.property_foreground() = (extra == "yadda" ? "red" : "green");
}

void ExampleWindow::on_combo_changed()
{
  const auto iter = m_Combo.get_active();
  if(iter)
  {
    const auto row = *iter;
    if(row)
    {
      //Get the data for the selected row, using our knowledge of the tree
      //model:
      int id = row[m_Columns.m_col_id];
      Glib::ustring name = row[m_Columns.m_col_name];

      std::cout << " ID=" << id << ", name=" << name << std::endl;
    }
  }
  else
    std::cout << "invalid iter" << std::endl;
}

11.5. Simple Text Example

Figure 11-2ComboBoxText

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm/window.h>
#include <gtkmm/comboboxtext.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_combo_changed();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::ComboBoxText m_Combo;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
{
  set_title("ComboBoxText example");

  //Fill the combo:
  m_Combo.append("something");
  m_Combo.append("something else");
  m_Combo.append("something or other");
  m_Combo.set_active(1);

  add(m_Combo);

  //Connect signal handler:
  m_Combo.signal_changed().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_combo_changed) );
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_combo_changed()
{
  Glib::ustring text = m_Combo.get_active_text();
  if(!(text.empty()))
    std::cout << "Combo changed: " << text << std::endl;
}

11.6. ComboBox with an Entry

A ComboBox may contain an Entry widget for entering of arbitrary text, by specifying true for the constructor's has_entry parameter.

11.6.1. The text column

So that the Entry can interact with the drop-down list of choices, you must specify which of your model columns is the text column, with set_entry_text_column(). For instance:

m_combo.set_entry_text_column(m_columns.m_col_name);

When you select a choice from the drop-down menu, the value from this column will be placed in the Entry.

11.6.2. The entry

Because the user may enter arbitrary text, an active model row isn't enough to tell us what text the user has entered. Therefore, you should retrieve the Entry widget with the ComboBox::get_entry() method and call get_text() on that.

11.6.3. Responding to changes

When the user enters arbitrary text, it may not be enough to connect to the changed signal, which is emitted for every typed character. It is not emitted when the user presses the Enter key. Pressing the Enter key or moving the keyboard focus to another widget may signal that the user has finished entering text. To be notified of these events, connect to the Entry's activate and focus_out_event signals, like so

auto entry = m_Combo.get_entry();
if (entry)
{
  // Alternatively you can connect to m_Combo.signal_changed().
  entry->signal_changed().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleWindow::on_entry_changed) );

  entry->signal_activate().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleWindow::on_entry_activate) );

  entry->signal_focus_out_event().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleWindow::on_entry_focus_out_event) );
}
The changed signals of ComboBox and Entry are both emitted for every change. It doesn't matter which one you connect to. But only Entry's focus_out_event signal is useful here.

X events are described in more detail in the X Event signals section in the appendix.

11.6.4. Full Example

Figure 11-3ComboBox with Entry

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm/window.h>
#include <gtkmm/combobox.h>
#include <gtkmm/liststore.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_combo_changed();
  void on_entry_changed();
  void on_entry_has_focus_changed();

  //Signal connection:
  sigc::connection m_ConnectionHasFocusChanged;
  bool m_entry_had_focus {false};

  //Tree model columns:
  class ModelColumns : public Gtk::TreeModel::ColumnRecord
  {
  public:

    ModelColumns()
    { add(m_col_id); add(m_col_name); }

    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<Glib::ustring> m_col_id; //The data to choose - this must be text.
    Gtk::TreeModelColumn<Glib::ustring> m_col_name;
  };

  ModelColumns m_Columns;

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::ComboBox m_Combo;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::ListStore> m_refTreeModel;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_Combo(true /* has_entry */)
{
  set_title("ComboBox example");

  //Create the Tree model:
  //m_refTreeModel = Gtk::TreeStore::create(m_Columns);
  m_refTreeModel = Gtk::ListStore::create(m_Columns);
  m_Combo.set_model(m_refTreeModel);

  //Fill the ComboBox's Tree Model:
  auto row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = "1";
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Billy Bob";
  /*
  auto childrow = *(m_refTreeModel->append(row.children()));
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 11;
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Billy Bob Junior";

  childrow = *(m_refTreeModel->append(row.children()));
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 12;
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Sue Bob";
  */

  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = "2";
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Joey Jojo";

  row = *(m_refTreeModel->append());
  row[m_Columns.m_col_id] = "3";
  row[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Rob McRoberts";

  /*
  childrow = *(m_refTreeModel->append(row.children()));
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_id] = 31;
  childrow[m_Columns.m_col_name] = "Xavier McRoberts";
  */

  //Add the model columns to the Combo (which is a kind of view),
  //rendering them in the default way:
  //This is automatically rendered when we use set_entry_text_column().
  //m_Combo.pack_start(m_Columns.m_col_id, Gtk::PackOptions::EXPAND_WIDGET);
  m_Combo.pack_start(m_Columns.m_col_name);

  m_Combo.set_entry_text_column(m_Columns.m_col_id);
  m_Combo.set_active(1);

  //Add the ComboBox to the window.
  add(m_Combo);

  //Connect signal handlers:
  m_Combo.signal_changed().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_combo_changed));

  auto entry = m_Combo.get_entry();
  if (entry)
  {
    entry->signal_changed().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
      &ExampleWindow::on_entry_changed) );
    m_ConnectionHasFocusChanged = entry->property_has_focus().signal_changed().
      connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_entry_has_focus_changed));
  }
  else
    std::cout << "No Entry ???" << std::endl;
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
  // The has_focus changed signal may be emitted while m_Combo is being destructed.
  // The signal handler can generate critical messages, if it's called when
  // m_Combo has been partly destructed.
  m_ConnectionHasFocusChanged.disconnect();
}

void ExampleWindow::on_combo_changed()
{
  auto entry = m_Combo.get_entry();
  if (entry)
  {
    std::cout << "on_combo_changed(): Row=" << m_Combo.get_active_row_number()
      << ", ID=" << entry->get_text() << std::endl;
  }
}

void ExampleWindow::on_entry_changed()
{
  auto entry = m_Combo.get_entry();
  if (entry)
  {
    std::cout << "on_entry_changed(): Row=" << m_Combo.get_active_row_number()
      << ", ID=" << entry->get_text() << std::endl;
  }
}

void ExampleWindow::on_entry_has_focus_changed()
{
  auto entry = m_Combo.get_entry();
  if (entry)
  {
    const bool entry_has_focus = entry->has_focus();
    if (m_entry_had_focus && !entry_has_focus)
    {
      // entry->has_focus() has changed from true to false; entry has lost focus.
      std::cout << "on_entry_has_focus_changed() to not focused: Row="
        << m_Combo.get_active_row_number() << ", ID=" << entry->get_text() << std::endl;
    }
    m_entry_had_focus = entry_has_focus;
  }
}

11.6.5. Simple Text Example

Figure 11-4ComboBoxText with Entry

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm/window.h>
#include <gtkmm/comboboxtext.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_combo_changed();
  void on_entry_changed();
  void on_entry_has_focus_changed();

  //Signal connection:
  sigc::connection m_ConnectionHasFocusChanged;
  bool m_entry_had_focus {false};

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::ComboBoxText m_Combo;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_Combo(true /* has_entry */)
{
  set_title("ComboBoxText example");

  //Fill the combo:
  m_Combo.append("something");
  m_Combo.append("something else");
  m_Combo.append("something or other");
  m_Combo.set_active(0);

  add(m_Combo);

  //Connect signal handlers:
  m_Combo.signal_changed().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleWindow::on_combo_changed) );

  auto entry = m_Combo.get_entry();
  if (entry)
  {
    entry->signal_changed().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
      &ExampleWindow::on_entry_changed));
    m_ConnectionHasFocusChanged = entry->property_has_focus().signal_changed().
      connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_entry_has_focus_changed));
  }
  else
    std::cout << "No Entry ???" << std::endl;

  m_Combo.property_has_frame() = false;
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
  // The has_focus changed signal may be emitted while m_Combo is being destructed.
  // The signal handler can generate critical messages, if it's called when
  // m_Combo has been partly destructed.
  m_ConnectionHasFocusChanged.disconnect();
}

void ExampleWindow::on_combo_changed()
{
  std::cout << "on_combo_changed(): Row=" << m_Combo.get_active_row_number()
    << ", Text=" << m_Combo.get_active_text() << std::endl;
}

void ExampleWindow::on_entry_changed()
{
  std::cout << "on_entry_changed(): Row=" << m_Combo.get_active_row_number()
    << ", Text=" << m_Combo.get_active_text() << std::endl;
}

void ExampleWindow::on_entry_has_focus_changed()
{
  auto entry = m_Combo.get_entry();
  if (entry)
  {
    const bool entry_has_focus = entry->has_focus();
    if (m_entry_had_focus && !entry_has_focus)
    {
      // entry->has_focus() has changed from true to false; entry has lost focus.
      std::cout << "on_entry_has_focus_changed() to not focused: Row="
        << m_Combo.get_active_row_number() << ", ID=" << entry->get_text() << std::endl;
    }
    m_entry_had_focus = entry_has_focus;
  }
}

12. TextView

The TextView widget can be used to display and edit large amounts of formatted text. Like the TreeView, it has a model/view design. In this case the TextBuffer is the model.

12.1. The Buffer

Gtk::TextBuffer is a model containing the data for the Gtk::TextView, like the Gtk::TreeModel used by Gtk::TreeView. This allows two or more Gtk::TextViews to share the same TextBuffer, and allows those TextBuffers to be displayed slightly differently. Or you could maintain several Gtk::TextBuffers and choose to display each one at different times in the same Gtk::TextView widget.

The TextView creates its own default TextBuffer, which you can access via the get_buffer() method.

Reference

12.1.1. Iterators

A Gtk::TextBuffer::iterator and a Gtk::TextBuffer::const_iterator represent a position between two characters in the text buffer. Whenever the buffer is modified in a way that affects the number of characters in the buffer, all outstanding iterators become invalid. Because of this, iterators can't be used to preserve positions across buffer modifications. To preserve a position, use Gtk::TextBuffer::Mark.

Reference

12.1.2. Tags and Formatting

12.1.2.1. Tags

To specify that some text in the buffer should have specific formatting, you must define a tag to hold that formatting information, and then apply that tag to the region of text. For instance, to define the tag and its properties:

auto refTagMatch = Gtk::TextBuffer::Tag::create();
refTagMatch->property_background() = "orange";

You can specify a name for the Tag when using the create() method, but it is not necessary.

The Tag class has many other properties.

Reference

12.1.2.2. TagTable

Each Gtk::TextBuffer uses a Gtk::TextBuffer::TagTable, which contains the Tags for that buffer. 2 or more TextBuffers may share the same TagTable. When you create Tags you should add them to the TagTable. For instance:

auto refTagTable = Gtk::TextBuffer::TagTable::create();
refTagTable->add(refTagMatch);
//Hopefully a future version of gtkmm will have a set_tag_table() method,
//for use after creation of the buffer.
auto refBuffer = Gtk::TextBuffer::create(refTagTable);

You can also use get_tag_table() to get, and maybe modify, the TextBuffer's default TagTable instead of creating one explicitly.

Reference

12.1.2.3. Applying Tags

If you have created a Tag and added it to the TagTable, you may apply that tag to part of the TextBuffer so that some of the text is displayed with that formatting. You define the start and end of the range of text by specifying Gtk::TextBuffer::iterators. For instance:

refBuffer->apply_tag(refTagMatch, iterRangeStart, iterRangeStop);

Or you could specify the tag when first inserting the text:

refBuffer->insert_with_tag(iter, "Some text", refTagMatch);

You can apply more than one Tag to the same text, by using apply_tag() more than once, or by using insert_with_tags(). The Tags might specify different values for the same properties, but you can resolve these conflicts by using Tag::set_priority().

12.1.3. Marks

TextBuffer iterators are generally invalidated when the text changes, but you can use a Gtk::TextBuffer::Mark to remember a position in these situations. For instance,

auto refMark = refBuffer->create_mark(iter);

You can then use the get_iter() method later to create an iterator for the Mark's new position.

There are two built-in Marks - insert and selection_bound, which you can access with TextBuffer's get_insert() and get_selection_bound() methods.

Reference

12.1.4. The View

As mentioned above, each TextView has a TextBuffer, and one or more TextViews can share the same TextBuffer.

Like the TreeView, you should probably put your TextView inside a ScrolledWindow to allow the user to see and move around the whole text area with scrollbars.

Reference

12.1.4.1. Default formatting

TextView has various methods which allow you to change the presentation of the buffer for this particular view. Some of these may be overridden by the Gtk::TextTags in the buffer, if they specify the same things. For instance, set_left_margin(), set_right_margin(), set_indent(), etc.

12.1.4.2. Scrolling

Gtk::TextView has various scroll_to() methods. These allow you to ensure that a particular part of the text buffer is visible. For instance, your application's Find feature might use Gtk::TextView::scroll_to() to show the found text.

12.2. Widgets and ChildAnchors

You can embed widgets, such as Gtk::Buttons, in the text. Each such child widget needs a ChildAnchor. ChildAnchors are associated with iterators. For instance, to create a child anchor at a particular position, use Gtk::TextBuffer::create_child_anchor():

auto refAnchor = refBuffer->create_child_anchor(iter);

Then, to add a widget at that position, use Gtk::TextView::add_child_at_anchor():

m_TextView.add_child_at_anchor(m_Button, refAnchor);

Reference

12.3. Examples

12.3.1. Simple Example

Figure 12-1TextView

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:

  void fill_buffers();

  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_quit();
  void on_button_buffer1();
  void on_button_buffer2();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;

  Gtk::ScrolledWindow m_ScrolledWindow;
  Gtk::TextView m_TextView;

  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::TextBuffer> m_refTextBuffer1, m_refTextBuffer2;

  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Quit, m_Button_Buffer1, m_Button_Buffer2;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Button_Quit("_Quit", true),
  m_Button_Buffer1("Use buffer 1"),
  m_Button_Buffer2("Use buffer 2")
{
  set_title("Gtk::TextView example");
  set_default_size(400, 200);

  m_VBox.set_margin(5);
  add(m_VBox);

  //Add the TreeView, inside a ScrolledWindow, with the button underneath:
  m_ScrolledWindow.add(m_TextView);

  //Only show the scrollbars when they are necessary:
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_policy(Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC, Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC);
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_expand();

  m_VBox.add(m_ScrolledWindow);

  //Add buttons:
  m_VBox.add(m_ButtonBox);

  m_Button_Buffer1.set_hexpand(true);
  m_Button_Buffer1.set_halign(Gtk::Align::END);
  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Buffer1);
  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Buffer2);
  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Quit);
  m_ButtonBox.set_margin(5);
  m_ButtonBox.set_spacing(5);

  //Connect signals:
  m_Button_Quit.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_quit) );
  m_Button_Buffer1.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_buffer1) );
  m_Button_Buffer2.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_buffer2) );

  fill_buffers();
  on_button_buffer1();
}

void ExampleWindow::fill_buffers()
{
  m_refTextBuffer1 = Gtk::TextBuffer::create();
  m_refTextBuffer1->set_text("This is the text from TextBuffer #1.");

  m_refTextBuffer2 = Gtk::TextBuffer::create();
  m_refTextBuffer2->set_text(
          "This is some alternative text, from TextBuffer #2.");

}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_quit()
{
  hide();
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_buffer1()
{
  m_TextView.set_buffer(m_refTextBuffer1);
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_buffer2()
{
  m_TextView.set_buffer(m_refTextBuffer2);
}

13. Menus and Toolbars

There are specific APIs for menus and toolbars, but you should usually deal with them together, creating Gio::SimpleActions that you can refer to in both menus and toolbars. In this way you can handle activation of the action instead of responding to the menu and toolbar items separately. And you can enable or disable both the menu and toolbar item via the action. Gtk::Builder can create menus and toolbars.

This involves the use of the Gio::SimpleActionGroup, Gio::SimpleAction and Gtk::Builder classes, all of which should be instantiated via their create() methods, which return RefPtrs.

13.1. Actions

First create the Gio::SimpleActions and add them to a Gio::SimpleActionGroup, with Gio::ActionMap::add_action(). (Gio::ActionMap is a base class of Gio::SimpleActionGroup.) Then add the action group to your window with Gtk::Widget::insert_action_group().

The arguments to add_action() specify the action's name, which is used in the menu items and toolbar buttons. You can also specify a signal handler when calling add_action(). This signal handler will be called when the action is activated via either a menu item or a toolbar button.

For instance:

m_refActionGroup = Gio::SimpleActionGroup::create();

m_refActionGroup->add_action("new", sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_action_file_new));
m_refActionGroup->add_action("open", sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_action_file_open));
m_refActionGroup->add_action("quit", sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_action_file_quit));

insert_action_group("example", m_refActionGroup);

If you use an Gtk::ApplicationWindow, you don't have to create your own action group. Gio::ActionGroup and Gio::ActionMap are base classes of Gtk::ApplicationWindow.

13.2. Menubar and Toolbar

Next you should create a Gtk::Builder. At this point is also a good idea to tell the application to respond to keyboard shortcuts, by using Gtk::Application::set_accel_for_action().

For instance,

m_refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create();

app->set_accel_for_action("example.new", "<Primary>n");
app->set_accel_for_action("example.quit", "<Primary>q");
app->set_accel_for_action("example.copy", "<Primary>c");
app->set_accel_for_action("example.paste", "<Primary>v");

If your main window is derived from ApplicationWindow and you instantiate your menubar with Gtk::Application::set_menubar(), then you don't have to call set_accel_for_action(). See Application Menu and Main Menu example for an example.

Then, you can define the actual visible layout of the menus and toolbars, and add the UI layout to the Builder. This "ui string" uses an XML format, in which you should mention the names of the actions that you have already created. For instance:

Glib::ustring ui_info =
  "<interface>"
  "  <menu id='menubar'>"
  "    <submenu>"
  "      <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_File</attribute>"
  "      <section>"
  "        <item>"
  "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_New</attribute>"
  "          <attribute name='action'>example.new</attribute>"
  "          <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;n</attribute>"
  "        </item>"
  "      </section>"
  "      <section>"
  "        <item>"
  "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Quit</attribute>"
  "          <attribute name='action'>example.quit</attribute>"
  "          <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;q</attribute>"
  "        </item>"
  "      </section>"
  "    </submenu>"
  "    <submenu>"
  "      <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Edit</attribute>"
  "      <item>"
  "        <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Copy</attribute>"
  "        <attribute name='action'>example.copy</attribute>"
  "        <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;c</attribute>"
  "      </item>"
  "      <item>"
  "        <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Paste</attribute>"
  "        <attribute name='action'>example.paste</attribute>"
  "        <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;v</attribute>"
  "      </item>"
  "    </submenu>"
  "  </menu>"
  "</interface>";

m_refBuilder->add_from_string(ui_info);
m_refBuilder->add_from_resource("/toolbar/toolbar.glade");

This is where we specify the names of the menu items as they will be seen by users in the menu. Therefore, this is where you should make strings translatable, by adding translatable='yes'.

To instantiate a Gtk::MenuBar and Gtk::Toolbar which you can actually show, you should use the Builder::get_object() and Builder::get_widget() methods, and then add the widgets to a container. For instance:

auto object = m_refBuilder->get_object("menubar");
auto gmenu = std::dynamic_pointer_cast<Gio::Menu>(object);
auto pMenuBar = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::MenuBar>(gmenu);
m_Box.add(*pMenuBar);

Gtk::Toolbar* toolbar = nullptr;
m_refBuilder->get_widget("toolbar", toolbar);
m_Box.add(*toolbar);

13.3. Popup Menus

Menus are normally just added to a window, but they can also be displayed temporarily as the result of a mouse button click. For instance, a context menu might be displayed when the user clicks their right mouse button.

For instance:

Glib::ustring ui_info =
  "<interface>"
  "  <menu id='menu-examplepopup'>"
  "    <section>"
  "      <item>"
  "        <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>Edit</attribute>"
  "        <attribute name='action'>examplepopup.edit</attribute>"
  "      </item>"
  "      <item>"
  "        <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>Process</attribute>"
  "        <attribute name='action'>examplepopup.process</attribute>"
  "      </item>"
  "      <item>"
  "        <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>Remove</attribute>"
  "        <attribute name='action'>examplepopup.remove</attribute>"
  "      </item>"
  "    </section>"
  "  </menu>"
  "</interface>";

m_refBuilder->add_from_string(ui_info);

auto object = m_refBuilder->get_object("menu-examplepopup");
auto gmenu = Glib::RefPtr<Gio::Menu>::cast_dynamic(object);
m_pMenuPopup = new Gtk::Menu(gmenu);

To show the popup menu, use Gtk::Menu's popup() method, providing the button identifier and the time of activation, as provided by the button_press_event signal, which you will need to handle anyway. For instance:

bool ExampleWindow::on_button_press_event(GdkEventButton* event)
{
  if( (event->type == GDK_BUTTON_PRESS) && (event->button == 3) )
  {
    if(!m_pMenuPopup->get_attach_widget())
      m_pMenuPopup->attach_to_widget(*this);

    m_pMenuPopup->popup(event->button, event->time);
    return true; //It has been handled.
  }
  else
    return false;
}

13.4. Gio::Resource and glib-compile-resources

Applications and libraries often contain binary or textual data that is really part of the application, rather than user data. For instance Gtk::Builder .glade files, splashscreen images, Gio::Menu markup xml, CSS files, icons, etc. These are often shipped as files in $datadir/appname, or manually included as literal strings in the code.

The Gio::Resource API and the glib-compile-resources program provide a convenient and efficient alternative to this, which has some nice properties. You maintain the files as normal files, so it's easy to edit them, but during the build the files are combined into a binary bundle that is linked into the executable. This means that loading the resource files is efficient (as they are already in memory, shared with other instances) and simple (no need to check for things like I/O errors or locate the files in the filesystem). It also makes it easier to create relocatable applications.

Resource bundles are created by the glib-compile-resources program which takes an xml file that describes the bundle, and a set of files that the xml references. These are combined into a binary resource bundle.

Gio::Resource Reference

An example:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<gresources>
  <gresource prefix="/toolbar">
    <file preprocess="xml-stripblanks">toolbar.glade</file>
    <file>rain.png</file>
  </gresource>
</gresources>
This will create a resource bundle with the files
  • /toolbar/toolbar.glade
  • /toolbar/rain.png

You can then use glib-compile-resources to compile the xml to a binary bundle that you can load with Gio::Resource::create_from_file(). However, it's more common to use the --generate-source argument to create a C source file to link directly into your application. E.g.

$ glib-compile-resources --target=resources.c --generate-source toolbar.gresource.xml

Once a Gio::Resource has been created and registered all the data in it can be accessed globally in the process by using API calls like Gio::Resource::open_stream_from_global_resources() to stream the data or Gio::Resource::lookup_data_in_global_resources() to get a direct pointer to the data. You can also use URIs like resource:///toolbar/rain.png with Gio::File to access the resource data.

Often you don't need a Gio::Resource instance, because resource data can be loaded with methods such as Gdk::Pixbuf::create_from_resource(), Gtk::Builder::add_from_resource() and Gtk::Image::set_from_resource().

13.5. Examples

13.5.1. Application Menu and Main Menu example

This program contains an application menu, a menubar and a toolbar. Classes are derived from Gtk::Application and Gtk::ApplicationWindow.

Figure 13-1App and Main Menu

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::ApplicationWindow
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_menu_others();

  void on_menu_choices(const Glib::ustring& parameter);
  void on_menu_choices_other(int parameter);
  void on_menu_toggle();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_Box;

  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder> m_refBuilder;

  //Two sets of choices:
  Glib::RefPtr<Gio::SimpleAction> m_refChoice;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gio::SimpleAction> m_refChoiceOther;

  Glib::RefPtr<Gio::SimpleAction> m_refToggle;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: exampleapplication.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPLICATION_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPLICATION_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleApplication : public Gtk::Application
{
protected:
  ExampleApplication();

public:
  static Glib::RefPtr<ExampleApplication> create();

protected:
  //Overrides of default signal handlers:
  void on_startup() override;
  void on_activate() override;

private:
  void create_window();

  void on_window_hide(Gtk::Window* window);
  void on_menu_file_new_generic();
  void on_menu_file_quit();
  void on_menu_help_about();

  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder> m_refBuilder;
};

#endif /* GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPLICATION_H */

File: exampleapplication.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleapplication.h"
#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleApplication::ExampleApplication()
: Gtk::Application("org.gtkmm.example.main_menu")
{
  Glib::set_application_name("Main Menu Example");
}

Glib::RefPtr<ExampleApplication> ExampleApplication::create()
{
  return Glib::RefPtr<ExampleApplication>(new ExampleApplication());
}

void ExampleApplication::on_startup()
{
  //Call the base class's implementation:
  Gtk::Application::on_startup();

  //Create actions for menus and toolbars.
  //We can use add_action() because Gtk::Application derives from Gio::ActionMap.

  //File|New sub menu:
  add_action("newstandard",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleApplication::on_menu_file_new_generic));

  add_action("newfoo",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleApplication::on_menu_file_new_generic));

  add_action("newgoo",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleApplication::on_menu_file_new_generic));

  //File menu:
  add_action("quit", sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleApplication::on_menu_file_quit));

  //Help menu:
  add_action("about", sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleApplication::on_menu_help_about));

  m_refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create();

  //Layout the actions in a menubar and an application menu:
  Glib::ustring ui_info =
    "<interface>"
    "  <!-- menubar -->"
    "  <menu id='menu-example'>"
    "    <submenu>"
    "      <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_File</attribute>"
    "      <section>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>New _Standard</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>app.newstandard</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;n</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>New _Foo</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>app.newfoo</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>New _Goo</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>app.newgoo</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "      </section>"
    "      <section>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Quit</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>app.quit</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;q</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "      </section>"
    "    </submenu>"
    "    <submenu>"
    "      <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Edit</attribute>"
    "      <section>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Copy</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>win.copy</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;c</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Paste</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>win.paste</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;v</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Something</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>win.something</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "      </section>"
    "    </submenu>"
    "    <submenu>"
    "      <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Choices</attribute>"
    "      <section>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>Choice _A</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>win.choice</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='target'>a</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>Choice _B</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>win.choice</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='target'>b</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "      </section>"
    "    </submenu>"
    "    <submenu>"
    "      <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Other Choices</attribute>"
    "      <section>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>Choice 1</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>win.choiceother</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='target' type='i'>1</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>Choice 2</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>win.choiceother</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='target' type='i'>2</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "      </section>"
    "      <section>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>Some Toggle</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>win.sometoggle</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "      </section>"
    "    </submenu>"
    "    <submenu>"
    "      <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Help</attribute>"
    "      <section>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_About</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>win.about</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "      </section>"
    "    </submenu>"
    "  </menu>"
    ""
    "  <!-- application menu -->"
    "  <menu id='appmenu'>"
    "    <submenu>"
    "      <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_File</attribute>"
    "      <section>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>New _Standard</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>app.newstandard</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;n</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>New _Foo</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>app.newfoo</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>New _Goo</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>app.newgoo</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "      </section>"
    "      <section>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Quit</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>app.quit</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;q</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "      </section>"
    "    </submenu>"
    "    <submenu>"
    "      <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Help</attribute>"
    "      <section>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_About</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>app.about</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "      </section>"
    "    </submenu>"
    "  </menu>"
    "</interface>";

  try
  {
    m_refBuilder->add_from_string(ui_info);
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "Building menus failed: " << ex.what();
  }

  //Get the menubar and the app menu, and add them to the application:
  auto object = m_refBuilder->get_object("menu-example");
  auto gmenu = std::dynamic_pointer_cast<Gio::Menu>(object);
  object = m_refBuilder->get_object("appmenu");
  auto appMenu = std::dynamic_pointer_cast<Gio::Menu>(object);
  if (!(gmenu && appMenu)) {
    g_warning("GMenu or AppMenu not found");
  }
  else
  {
    set_app_menu(appMenu);
    set_menubar(gmenu);
  }
}

void ExampleApplication::on_activate()
{
  //std::cout << "debug1: " << G_STRFUNC << std::endl;
  // The application has been started, so let's show a window.
  // A real application might want to reuse this window in on_open(),
  // when asked to open a file, if no changes have been made yet.
  create_window();
}

void ExampleApplication::create_window()
{
  auto win = new ExampleWindow();

  //Make sure that the application runs for as long this window is still open:
  add_window(*win);

  //Delete the window when it is hidden.
  //That's enough for this simple example.
  win->signal_hide().connect(sigc::bind(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleApplication::on_window_hide), win));

  win->show();
}

void ExampleApplication::on_window_hide(Gtk::Window* window)
{
  delete window;
}

void ExampleApplication::on_menu_file_new_generic()
{
  std::cout << "A File|New menu item was selected." << std::endl;
}

void ExampleApplication::on_menu_file_quit()
{
  std::cout << G_STRFUNC << std::endl;
  quit(); // Not really necessary, when Gtk::Widget::hide() is called.

  // Gio::Application::quit() will make Gio::Application::run() return,
  // but it's a crude way of ending the program. The window is not removed
  // from the application. Neither the window's nor the application's
  // destructors will be called, because there will be remaining reference
  // counts in both of them. If we want the destructors to be called, we
  // must remove the window from the application. One way of doing this
  // is to hide the window.
  std::vector<Gtk::Window*> windows = get_windows();
  if (windows.size() > 0)
    windows[0]->hide(); // In this simple case, we know there is only one window.
}

void ExampleApplication::on_menu_help_about()
{
  std::cout << "App|Help|About was selected." << std::endl;
}

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleapplication.h"

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
  auto application = ExampleApplication::create();

  // Start the application, showing the initial window,
  // and opening extra windows for any files that it is asked to open,
  // for instance as a command-line parameter.
  // run() will return when the last window has been closed by the user.
  const int status = application->run(argc, argv);
  return status;
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: Gtk::ApplicationWindow(),
  m_Box(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL)
{
  set_title("Main menu example");
  set_default_size(300, 100);

  // ExampleApplication displays the menubar. Other stuff, such as a toolbar,
  // is put into the box.
  add(m_Box);

  // Create actions for menus and toolbars.
  // We can use add_action() because Gtk::ApplicationWindow derives from Gio::ActionMap.
  // This Action Map uses a "win." prefix for the actions.
  // Therefore, for instance, "win.copy", is used in ExampleApplication::on_startup()
  // to layout the menu.

  //Edit menu:
  add_action("copy", sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_others));
  add_action("paste", sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_others));
  add_action("something", sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_others));

  //Choices menus, to demonstrate Radio items,
  //using our convenience methods for string and int radio values:
  m_refChoice = add_action_radio_string("choice",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_choices), "a");

  m_refChoiceOther = add_action_radio_integer("choiceother",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_choices_other), 1);

  m_refToggle = add_action_bool("sometoggle",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_toggle), false);

  //Help menu:
  add_action("about", sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_others));

  //Create the toolbar and add it to a container widget:

  m_refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create();

  Glib::ustring ui_info =
    "<!-- Generated with glade 3.18.3 and then changed manually -->"
    "<interface>"
    "  <requires lib='gtk' version='3.94'/>"
    "  <object class='GtkToolbar' id='toolbar'>"
    "    <property name='can_focus'>False</property>"
    "    <child>"
    "      <object class='GtkToolButton' id='toolbutton_new'>"
    "        <property name='can_focus'>False</property>"
    "        <property name='tooltip_text' translatable='yes'>New Standard</property>"
    "        <property name='action_name'>app.newstandard</property>"
    "        <property name='icon_name'>document-new</property>"
    "        <property name='expand'>False</property>"
    "        <property name='homogeneous'>True</property>"
    "      </object>"
    "    </child>"
    "    <child>"
    "      <object class='GtkToolButton' id='toolbutton_quit'>"
    "        <property name='can_focus'>False</property>"
    "        <property name='tooltip_text' translatable='yes'>Quit</property>"
    "        <property name='action_name'>app.quit</property>"
    "        <property name='icon_name'>application-exit</property>"
    "        <property name='expand'>False</property>"
    "        <property name='homogeneous'>True</property>"
    "      </object>"
    "    </child>"
    "  </object>"
    "</interface>";

  try
  {
    m_refBuilder->add_from_string(ui_info);
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "Building toolbar failed: " <<  ex.what();
  }

  Gtk::Toolbar* toolbar = nullptr;
  m_refBuilder->get_widget("toolbar", toolbar);
  if (!toolbar)
    g_warning("GtkToolbar not found");
  else
    m_Box.add(*toolbar);
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_menu_others()
{
  std::cout << "A menu item was selected." << std::endl;
}

void ExampleWindow::on_menu_choices(const Glib::ustring& parameter)
{
  //The radio action's state does not change automatically:
  m_refChoice->change_state(parameter);

  Glib::ustring message;
  if (parameter == "a")
    message = "Choice a was selected.";
  else
    message = "Choice b was selected.";

  std::cout << message << std::endl;
}

void ExampleWindow::on_menu_choices_other(int parameter)
{
  //The radio action's state does not change automatically:
  m_refChoiceOther->change_state(parameter);

  Glib::ustring message;
  if (parameter == 1)
    message = "Choice 1 was selected.";
  else
    message = "Choice 2 was selected.";

  std::cout << message << std::endl;
}

void ExampleWindow::on_menu_toggle()
{
  bool active = false;
  m_refToggle->get_state(active);

  //The toggle action's state does not change automatically:
  active = !active;
  m_refToggle->change_state(active);

  Glib::ustring message;
  if (active)
    message = "Toggle is active.";
  else
    message = "Toggle is not active.";

  std::cout << message << std::endl;
}

13.5.2. Main Menu example

This program contains a menubar and a toolbar. A class is derived from Gtk::Window.

Figure 13-2Main Menu

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow(const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Application>& app);
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

private:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_action_file_new();
  void on_action_file_quit();
  void on_action_others();
  void on_action_toggle();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_Box;

  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder> m_refBuilder;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gio::SimpleActionGroup> m_refActionGroup;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gio::SimpleAction> m_refActionRain;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include <gtkmm.h>
#include "examplewindow.h"

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window(app);

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm.h>
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow(const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Application>& app)
: m_Box(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL)
{
  set_title("main_menu example");
  set_default_size(200, 200);

  add(m_Box); //We can put a MenuBar at the top of the box and other stuff below it.

  //Define the actions:
  m_refActionGroup = Gio::SimpleActionGroup::create();

  m_refActionGroup->add_action("new",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_action_file_new) );
  m_refActionGroup->add_action("open",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_action_others) );


  m_refActionRain = m_refActionGroup->add_action_bool("rain",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_action_toggle),
    false);

  m_refActionGroup->add_action("quit",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_action_file_quit) );

  m_refActionGroup->add_action("cut",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_action_others) );
  m_refActionGroup->add_action("copy",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_action_others) );
  m_refActionGroup->add_action("paste",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_action_others) );

  insert_action_group("example", m_refActionGroup);

  //Define how the actions are presented in the menus and toolbars:
  m_refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create();

  //Layout the actions in a menubar and toolbar:
  const char* ui_info =
    "<interface>"
    "  <menu id='menubar'>"
    "    <submenu>"
    "      <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_File</attribute>"
    "      <section>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_New</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>example.new</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;n</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Open</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>example.open</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;o</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "      </section>"
    "      <section>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>Rain</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>example.rain</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "      </section>"
    "      <section>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Quit</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>example.quit</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;q</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "      </section>"
    "    </submenu>"
    "    <submenu>"
    "      <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Edit</attribute>"
    "      <item>"
    "        <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Cut</attribute>"
    "        <attribute name='action'>example.cut</attribute>"
    "        <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;x</attribute>"
    "      </item>"
    "      <item>"
    "        <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Copy</attribute>"
    "        <attribute name='action'>example.copy</attribute>"
    "        <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;c</attribute>"
    "      </item>"
    "      <item>"
    "        <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Paste</attribute>"
    "        <attribute name='action'>example.paste</attribute>"
    "        <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;v</attribute>"
    "      </item>"
    "    </submenu>"
    "  </menu>"
    "</interface>";

  // When the menubar is a child of a Gtk::Window, keyboard accelerators are not
  // automatically fetched from the Gio::Menu.
  // See the examples/book/menus/main_menu example for an alternative way of
  // adding the menubar when using Gtk::ApplicationWindow.
  // Gtk::Application::set_accel_for_action() is new in gtkmm 3.11.9.
  app->set_accel_for_action("example.new", "<Primary>n");
  app->set_accel_for_action("example.open", "<Primary>o");
  app->set_accel_for_action("example.quit", "<Primary>q");
  app->set_accel_for_action("example.cut", "<Primary>x");
  app->set_accel_for_action("example.copy", "<Primary>c");
  app->set_accel_for_action("example.paste", "<Primary>v");

  try
  {
    m_refBuilder->add_from_string(ui_info);
    m_refBuilder->add_from_resource("/toolbar/toolbar.glade");
  }
  catch(const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "Building menus and toolbar failed: " <<  ex.what();
  }

  //Get the menubar:
  auto object = m_refBuilder->get_object("menubar");
  auto gmenu = std::dynamic_pointer_cast<Gio::Menu>(object);
  if (!gmenu)
    g_warning("GMenu not found");
  else
  {
    auto pMenuBar = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::MenuBar>(gmenu);

    //Add the MenuBar to the window:
    m_Box.add(*pMenuBar);
  }

  //Get the toolbar and add it to a container widget:
  Gtk::Toolbar* toolbar = nullptr;
  m_refBuilder->get_widget("toolbar", toolbar);
  if (!toolbar)
    g_warning("GtkToolbar not found");
  else
    m_Box.add(*toolbar);
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_action_file_quit()
{
  hide(); //Closes the main window to stop the app->run().
}

void ExampleWindow::on_action_file_new()
{
   std::cout << "A File|New menu item was selected." << std::endl;
}

void ExampleWindow::on_action_others()
{
  std::cout << "A menu item was selected." << std::endl;
}

void ExampleWindow::on_action_toggle()
{
  std::cout << "The toggle menu item was selected." << std::endl;

  bool active = false;
  m_refActionRain->get_state(active);

  //The toggle action's state does not change automatically:
  active = !active;
  m_refActionRain->change_state(active);

  Glib::ustring message;
  if(active)
    message = "Toggle is active.";
  else
    message = "Toggle is not active";

  std::cout << message << std::endl;
}

File: toolbar.gresource.xml (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<gresources>
  <gresource prefix="/toolbar">
    <file preprocess="xml-stripblanks">toolbar.glade</file>
    <file>rain.png</file>
  </gresource>
</gresources>

13.5.3. Popup Menu example

Figure 13-3Popup Menu

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_label_pressed(int n_press, double x, double y);

  void on_menu_file_popup_generic();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_Box;
  Gtk::Label m_Label;

  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder> m_refBuilder;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::GestureMultiPress> m_refGesture;

  Gtk::Menu* m_pMenuPopup;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_Box(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Label("Right-click to see the popup menu."),
  m_pMenuPopup(nullptr)
{
  set_title("popup example");
  set_default_size(200, 200);

  add(m_Box);

  // Catch button_press events:
  m_Box.add(m_Label);
  m_Label.set_expand();
  m_refGesture = Gtk::GestureMultiPress::create();
  m_refGesture->set_button(GDK_BUTTON_SECONDARY);
  m_refGesture->signal_pressed().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_label_pressed));
  m_Label.add_controller(m_refGesture);

  //Create actions:

  //Fill menu:

  auto refActionGroup = Gio::SimpleActionGroup::create();

  //File|New sub menu:
  //These menu actions would normally already exist for a main menu, because a
  //context menu should not normally contain menu items that are only available
  //via a context menu.

  refActionGroup->add_action("edit",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_popup_generic));

  refActionGroup->add_action("process", //TODO: How to specify "<control>P" as an accelerator.
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_popup_generic));

  refActionGroup->add_action("remove",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_popup_generic));

  insert_action_group("examplepopup", refActionGroup);


  m_refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create();

  //Layout the actions in a menubar and toolbar:
  Glib::ustring ui_info =
    "<interface>"
    "  <menu id='menu-examplepopup'>"
    "    <section>"
    "      <item>"
    "        <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>Edit</attribute>"
    "        <attribute name='action'>examplepopup.edit</attribute>"
    "      </item>"
    "      <item>"
    "        <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>Process</attribute>"
    "        <attribute name='action'>examplepopup.process</attribute>"
    "      </item>"
    "      <item>"
    "        <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>Remove</attribute>"
    "        <attribute name='action'>examplepopup.remove</attribute>"
    "      </item>"
    "    </section>"
    "  </menu>"
    "</interface>";

  try
  {
    m_refBuilder->add_from_string(ui_info);
  }
  catch(const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "building menus failed: " <<  ex.what();
  }

  //Get the menu:
  auto object =
    m_refBuilder->get_object("menu-examplepopup");
  auto gmenu =
    std::dynamic_pointer_cast<Gio::Menu>(object);
  if(!gmenu)
    g_warning("GMenu not found");

  m_pMenuPopup = new Gtk::Menu(gmenu);
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_popup_generic()
{
   std::cout << "A popup menu item was selected." << std::endl;
}

void ExampleWindow::on_label_pressed(int /* n_press */, double /* x */, double /* y */)
{
  if (m_pMenuPopup && !m_pMenuPopup->get_attach_widget())
    m_pMenuPopup->attach_to_widget(*this);

  if (m_pMenuPopup)
    m_pMenuPopup->popup_at_pointer();
}

14. Adjustments

gtkmm has various widgets that can be visually adjusted using the mouse or the keyboard, such as the Range widgets (described in the Range Widgets section). There are also a few widgets that display some adjustable part of a larger area, such as the Viewport widget. These widgets have Gtk::Adjustment objects that express this common part of their API.

So that applications can react to changes, for instance when a user moves a scrollbar, Gtk::Adjustment has a value_changed signal. You can then use the get_value() method to discover the new value.

14.1. Creating an Adjustment

The Gtk::Adjustment is created by its create() method which is as follows:

Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Adjustment> Gtk::Adjustment::create(
  double value,
  double lower,
  double upper,
  double step_increment = 1,
  double page_increment = 10,
  double page_size = 0);

The value argument is the initial value of the adjustment, usually corresponding to the topmost or leftmost position of an adjustable widget. The lower and upper arguments specify the possible range of values which the adjustment can hold. The step_increment argument specifies the smaller of the two increments by which the user can change the value, while the page_increment is the larger one. The page_size argument usually corresponds somehow to the visible area of a panning widget. The upper argument is used to represent the bottommost or rightmost coordinate in a panning widget's child.

14.2. Using Adjustments the Easy Way

The adjustable widgets can be roughly divided into those which use and require specific units for these values, and those which treat them as arbitrary numbers.

The group which treats the values as arbitrary numbers includes the Range widgets (Scrollbar and Scale), the ScaleButton widget, and the SpinButton widget. These widgets are typically "adjusted" directly by the user with the mouse or keyboard. They will treat the lower and upper values of an adjustment as a range within which the user can manipulate the adjustment's value. By default, they will only modify the value of an adjustment.

The other group includes the Viewport widget and the ScrolledWindow widget. All of these widgets use pixel values for their adjustments. These are also typically adjusted indirectly using scrollbars. While all widgets which use adjustments can either create their own adjustments or use ones you supply, you'll generally want to let this particular category of widgets create its own adjustments.

If you share an adjustment object between a Scrollbar and a TextView widget, manipulating the scrollbar will automagically adjust the TextView widget. You can set it up like this:

// creates its own adjustments
Gtk::TextView textview;
// uses the newly-created adjustment for the scrollbar as well
Gtk::Scrollbar vscrollbar (textview.get_vadjustment(), Gtk::ORIENTATION_VERTICAL);

14.3. Adjustment Internals

OK, you say, that's nice, but what if I want to create my own handlers to respond when the user adjusts a Range widget or a SpinButton. To access the value of a Gtk::Adjustment, you can use the get_value() and set_value() methods:

As mentioned earlier, Gtk::Adjustment can emit signals. This is, of course, how updates happen automatically when you share an Adjustment object between a Scrollbar and another adjustable widget; all adjustable widgets connect signal handlers to their adjustment's value_changed signal, as can your program.

So, for example, if you have a Scale widget, and you want to change the rotation of a picture whenever its value changes, you would create a signal handler like this:

void cb_rotate_picture (MyPicture* picture)
{
  picture->set_rotation(adj->get_value());
...

and connect it to the scale widget's adjustment like this:

adj->signal_value_changed().connect(sigc::bind<MyPicture*>(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &cb_rotate_picture), picture));

What if a widget reconfigures the upper or lower fields of its Adjustment, such as when a user adds more text to a text widget? In this case, it emits the changed signal.

Range widgets typically connect a handler to this signal, which changes their appearance to reflect the change - for example, the size of the slider in a scrollbar will grow or shrink in inverse proportion to the difference between the lower and upper values of its Adjustment.

You probably won't ever need to attach a handler to this signal, unless you're writing a new type of range widget.

adjustment->signal_changed();

15. Dialogs

Dialogs are used as secondary windows, to provide specific information or to ask questions. Gtk::Dialog windows contain a few pre-packed widgets to ensure consistency, and a run() method which blocks until the user dismisses the dialog.

There are several derived Dialog classes which you might find useful. Gtk::MessageDialog is used for most simple notifications. But at other times you might need to derive your own dialog class to provide more complex functionality.

To pack widgets into a custom dialog, you should pack them into the Gtk::Box, available via get_content_area(). To just add a Button to the bottom of the Dialog, you could use the add_button() method.

The run() method returns an int. This may be a value from the Gtk::ResponseType if the user closed the dialog by clicking a standard button, or it could be the custom response value that you specified when using add_button().

Reference

15.1. MessageDialog

MessageDialog is a convenience class, used to create simple, standard message dialogs, with a message, an icon, and buttons for user response. You can specify the type of message and the text in the constructor, as well as specifying standard buttons via the Gtk::ButtonsType enum.

Reference

15.1.1. Example

Figure 15-1MessageDialog

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_info_clicked();
  void on_button_question_clicked();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Info, m_Button_Question;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/messagedialog.h>
#include <iostream>


ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_ButtonBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Button_Info("Show Info MessageDialog"),
  m_Button_Question("Show Question MessageDialog")
{
  set_title("Gtk::MessageDialog example");

  add(m_ButtonBox);

  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Info);
  m_Button_Info.set_expand(true);
  m_Button_Info.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_info_clicked) );

  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Question);
  m_Button_Question.set_expand(true);
  m_Button_Question.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_question_clicked) );
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_info_clicked()
{
  Gtk::MessageDialog dialog(*this, "This is an INFO MessageDialog");
  dialog.set_secondary_text(
          "And this is the secondary text that explains things.");

  dialog.run();
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_question_clicked()
{
  Gtk::MessageDialog dialog(*this, "This is a QUESTION MessageDialog",
          false /* use_markup */, Gtk::MessageType::QUESTION,
          Gtk::ButtonsType::OK_CANCEL);
  dialog.set_secondary_text(
          "And this is the secondary text that explains things.");

  int result = dialog.run();

  //Handle the response:
  switch(result)
  {
    case Gtk::ResponseType::OK:
    {
      std::cout << "OK clicked." << std::endl;
      break;
    }
    case Gtk::ResponseType::CANCEL:
    {
      std::cout << "Cancel clicked." << std::endl;
      break;
    }
    default:
    {
      std::cout << "Unexpected button clicked." << std::endl;
      break;
    }
  }
}

15.2. FileChooserDialog

The FileChooserDialog is suitable for use with "Open" or "Save" menu items.

Most of the useful member methods for this class are actually in the Gtk::FileChooser base class.

Reference

15.2.1. Example

Figure 15-2FileChooser

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_file_clicked();
  void on_button_folder_clicked();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_File, m_Button_Folder;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>


ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_ButtonBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Button_File("Choose File"),
  m_Button_Folder("Choose Folder")
{
  set_title("Gtk::FileSelection example");

  add(m_ButtonBox);

  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_File);
  m_Button_File.set_expand(true);
  m_Button_File.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_file_clicked) );

  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Folder);
  m_Button_Folder.set_expand(true);
  m_Button_Folder.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_folder_clicked) );
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_folder_clicked()
{
  Gtk::FileChooserDialog dialog("Please choose a folder",
          Gtk::FileChooser::Action::SELECT_FOLDER);
  dialog.set_transient_for(*this);

  //Add response buttons the the dialog:
  dialog.add_button("_Cancel", Gtk::ResponseType::CANCEL);
  dialog.add_button("Select", Gtk::ResponseType::OK);

  int result = dialog.run();

  //Handle the response:
  switch(result)
  {
    case Gtk::ResponseType::OK:
    {
      std::cout << "Select clicked." << std::endl;
      std::cout << "Folder selected: " << dialog.get_filename()
          << std::endl;
      break;
    }
    case Gtk::ResponseType::CANCEL:
    {
      std::cout << "Cancel clicked." << std::endl;
      break;
    }
    default:
    {
      std::cout << "Unexpected button clicked." << std::endl;
      break;
    }
  }
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_file_clicked()
{
  Gtk::FileChooserDialog dialog("Please choose a file",
          Gtk::FileChooser::Action::OPEN);
  dialog.set_transient_for(*this);

  //Add response buttons the the dialog:
  dialog.add_button("_Cancel", Gtk::ResponseType::CANCEL);
  dialog.add_button("_Open", Gtk::ResponseType::OK);

  //Add filters, so that only certain file types can be selected:

  auto filter_text = Gtk::FileFilter::create();
  filter_text->set_name("Text files");
  filter_text->add_mime_type("text/plain");
  dialog.add_filter(filter_text);

  auto filter_cpp = Gtk::FileFilter::create();
  filter_cpp->set_name("C/C++ files");
  filter_cpp->add_mime_type("text/x-c");
  filter_cpp->add_mime_type("text/x-c++");
  filter_cpp->add_mime_type("text/x-c-header");
  dialog.add_filter(filter_cpp);

  auto filter_any = Gtk::FileFilter::create();
  filter_any->set_name("Any files");
  filter_any->add_pattern("*");
  dialog.add_filter(filter_any);

  //Show the dialog and wait for a user response:
  int result = dialog.run();

  //Handle the response:
  switch(result)
  {
    case Gtk::ResponseType::OK:
    {
      std::cout << "Open clicked." << std::endl;

      //Notice that this is a std::string, not a Glib::ustring.
      auto filename = dialog.get_filename();
      std::cout << "File selected: " <<  filename << std::endl;
      break;
    }
    case Gtk::ResponseType::CANCEL:
    {
      std::cout << "Cancel clicked." << std::endl;
      break;
    }
    default:
    {
      std::cout << "Unexpected button clicked." << std::endl;
      break;
    }
  }
}

15.3. ColorChooserDialog

The ColorChooserDialog allows the user to choose a color. The ColorButton opens a color selection dialog when it is clicked.

Reference

15.3.1. Example

Figure 15-3ColorChooserDialog

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_color_button_color_set();
  void on_button_dialog_clicked();

  //Draw function:
  void on_drawing_area_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height);

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;
  Gtk::ColorButton m_ColorButton;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Dialog;
  Gtk::DrawingArea m_DrawingArea; //To show the color.

  Gdk::RGBA m_Color;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL, 5),
  m_Button_Dialog("Choose Color")
{
  set_title("Gtk::ColorChooserDialog example");
  set_default_size(200, 200);

  add(m_VBox);

  m_VBox.add(m_ColorButton);
  m_ColorButton.signal_color_set().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleWindow::on_color_button_color_set) );

  m_VBox.add(m_Button_Dialog);
  m_Button_Dialog.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleWindow::on_button_dialog_clicked) );

  //Set start color:
  m_Color.set_red(0.0);
  m_Color.set_green(0.0);
  m_Color.set_blue(1.0);
  m_Color.set_alpha(1.0); //opaque
  m_ColorButton.set_rgba(m_Color);

  m_VBox.add(m_DrawingArea);
  m_DrawingArea.set_expand(true);
  m_DrawingArea.set_draw_func(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_drawing_area_draw));
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_color_button_color_set()
{
  //Store the chosen color:
  m_Color = m_ColorButton.get_rgba();
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_dialog_clicked()
{
  Gtk::ColorChooserDialog dialog("Please choose a color");
  dialog.set_transient_for(*this);

  //Get the previously selected color:
  dialog.set_rgba(m_Color);

  const int result = dialog.run();

  //Handle the response:
  switch(result)
  {
    case Gtk::ResponseType::OK:
    {
      //Store the chosen color:
      m_Color = dialog.get_rgba();
      m_ColorButton.set_rgba(m_Color);
      break;
    }
    case Gtk::ResponseType::CANCEL:
    {
      std::cout << "Cancel clicked." << std::endl;
      break;
    }
    default:
    {
      std::cout << "Unexpected button clicked: " << result << std::endl;
      break;
    }
  }
}

void ExampleWindow::on_drawing_area_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int, int)
{
  Gdk::Cairo::set_source_rgba(cr, m_Color);
  cr->paint();
}

15.4. FontChooserDialog

The FontChooserDialog allows the user to choose a font. The FontButton opens a font chooser dialog when it is clicked.

Reference

15.4.1. Example

Figure 15-4FontChooserDialog

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_font_button_font_set();
  void on_button_dialog_clicked();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::FontButton m_FontButton;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Dialog;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_ButtonBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_FontButton("Sans 10"),
  m_Button_Dialog("Choose Font")
{
  set_title("Gtk::FontChooserDialog example");

  add(m_ButtonBox);

  m_ButtonBox.add(m_FontButton);
  m_FontButton.set_expand(true);
  m_FontButton.set_use_font(true);
  m_FontButton.set_use_size(true);
  m_FontButton.signal_font_set().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleWindow::on_font_button_font_set) );

  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Dialog);
  m_Button_Dialog.set_expand(true);
  m_Button_Dialog.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleWindow::on_button_dialog_clicked) );
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_font_button_font_set()
{
  auto font_name = m_FontButton.get_font();
  std::cout << "Font chosen: " << font_name << std::endl;
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_dialog_clicked()
{
  Gtk::FontChooserDialog dialog("Please choose a font", *this);

  //Get the previously selected font name from the FontButton:
  dialog.set_font(m_FontButton.get_font());

  int result = dialog.run();

  //Handle the response:
  switch(result)
  {
    case Gtk::ResponseType::OK:
    {
      auto font_name = dialog.get_font();
      std::cout << "Font chosen: " << font_name << std::endl;
      m_FontButton.set_font(font_name);
      break;
    }
    case Gtk::ResponseType::CANCEL:
    {
      std::cout << "Cancel clicked." << std::endl;
      break;
    }
    default:
    {
      std::cout << "Unexpected button clicked: " << result << std::endl;
      break;
    }
  }
}

15.5. Non-modal AboutDialog

The AboutDialog offers a simple way to display information about a program, like its logo, name, copyright, website and license.

Most dialogs in this chapter are modal, that is, they freeze the rest of the application while they are shown. It's also possible to create a non-modal dialog, which does not freeze other windows in the application. The following example shows a non-modal AboutDialog. This is perhaps not the kind of dialog you would normally make non-modal, but non-modal dialogs can be useful in other cases. E.g. gedit's search-and-replace dialog is non-modal.

Reference

15.5.1. Example

Figure 15-5AboutDialog

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_clicked();
  void on_about_dialog_response(int response_id);

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;
  Gtk::Label m_Label;
  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button;
  Gtk::AboutDialog m_Dialog;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Label("The AboutDialog is non-modal. "
    "You can select parts of this text while the AboutDialog is shown."),
  m_ButtonBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Button("Show AboutDialog")
{
  set_title("Gtk::AboutDialog example");

  add(m_VBox);

  m_VBox.add(m_Label);
  m_Label.set_expand(true);
  m_Label.set_line_wrap(true);
  m_Label.set_selectable(true);

  m_VBox.add(m_ButtonBox);
  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button);
  m_Button.set_expand(true);
  m_Button.set_halign(Gtk::Align::CENTER);
  m_Button.set_valign(Gtk::Align::CENTER);
  m_Button.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_clicked) );

  m_Dialog.set_transient_for(*this);

  m_Dialog.set_logo(Gdk::Texture::create_for_pixbuf(
    Gdk::Pixbuf::create_from_resource("/about/gtkmm_logo.gif", -1, 40, true)));
  m_Dialog.set_program_name("Example application");
  m_Dialog.set_version("1.0.0");
  m_Dialog.set_copyright("Murray Cumming");
  m_Dialog.set_comments("This is just an example application.");
  m_Dialog.set_license("LGPL");

  m_Dialog.set_website("http://www.gtkmm.org");
  m_Dialog.set_website_label("gtkmm website");

  std::vector<Glib::ustring> list_authors;
  list_authors.push_back("Murray Cumming");
  list_authors.push_back("Somebody Else");
  list_authors.push_back("AN Other");
  m_Dialog.set_authors(list_authors);

  m_Dialog.signal_response().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_about_dialog_response) );

  m_Button.grab_focus();
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_about_dialog_response(int response_id)
{
  std::cout << response_id
    << ", close=" << Gtk::ResponseType::CLOSE
    << ", cancel=" << Gtk::ResponseType::CANCEL
    << ", delete_event=" << Gtk::ResponseType::DELETE_EVENT
    << std::endl;

  switch (response_id)
  {
  case Gtk::ResponseType::CLOSE:
  case Gtk::ResponseType::CANCEL:
  case Gtk::ResponseType::DELETE_EVENT:
    m_Dialog.hide();
    break;
  default:
    std::cout << "Unexpected response!" << std::endl;
    break;
  }
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_clicked()
{
  m_Dialog.show();

  //Bring it to the front, in case it was already shown:
  m_Dialog.present();
}

File: aboutdialog.gresource.xml (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<gresources>
  <gresource prefix="/about">
    <file>gtkmm_logo.gif</file>
  </gresource>
</gresources>

16. The DrawingArea Widget

The DrawingArea widget is a blank window that gives you the freedom to create any graphic you desire. Along with that freedom comes the responsibility to draw on the widget. When a widget is first shown, or when it is covered and then uncovered again it needs to redraw itself. Most widgets have code to do this, but the DrawingArea does not, allowing you to write your own draw function to determine how the contents of the widget will be drawn. This is done by setting a draw function with a call to the set_draw_func() member function.

GTK+ uses the Cairo drawing API. With gtkmm, you may use the cairomm C++ API for cairo.

You can draw very sophisticated shapes using Cairo, but the methods to do so are quite basic. Cairo provides methods for drawing straight lines, curved lines, and arcs (including circles). These basic shapes can be combined to create more complex shapes and paths which can be filled with solid colors, gradients, patterns, and other things. In addition, Cairo can perform complex transformations, do compositing of images, and render antialiased text.

Cairo and Pango

Although Cairo can render text, it's not meant to be a replacement for Pango. Pango is a better choice if you need to perform more advanced text rendering such as wrapping or ellipsizing text. Drawing text with Cairo should only be done if the text is part of a graphic.

In this section of the tutorial, we'll cover the basic Cairo drawing model, describe each of the basic drawing elements in some detail (with examples), and then present a simple application that uses Cairo to draw a custom clock widget.

16.1. The Cairo Drawing Model

The basic concept of drawing in Cairo involves defining 'invisible' paths and then stroking or filling them to make them visible.

To do any drawing in gtkmm with Cairo, you must first get a Cairo::Context object. This class holds all of the graphics state parameters that describe how drawing is to be done. This includes information such as line width, color, the surface to draw to, and many other things. This allows the actual drawing functions to take fewer arguments to simplify the interface. Usually, you use the Cairo::Context that you get as input data to the draw function that you set with the call to set_draw_func(). It's also possible to create a Cairo::Context by calling the Gdk::Surface::create_cairo_context() and Gdk::CairoContext::cairo_create() functions. Since Cairo contexts are reference-counted objects, cairo_create() returns a Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context> object. (Note the difference between Gdk::CairoContext and Cairo::Context.)

The following example shows how to set up a Cairo context with a foreground color of red and a width of 2. Any drawing functions that use this context will use these settings.

Gtk::DrawingArea myArea;
auto gdkCairoContext = myArea.get_surface()->create_cairo_context();
auto myContext = gdkCairoContext->cairo_create();
myContext->set_source_rgb(1.0, 0.0, 0.0);
myContext->set_line_width(2.0);
    

Each Cairo::Context is associated with a particular Gdk::Surface, so the first line of the above example creates a Gtk::DrawingArea widget and the next two lines use its associated Gdk::Surface to create a Cairo::Context object. The final two lines change the graphics state of the context.

There are a number of graphics state variables that can be set for a Cairo context. The most common context attributes are color (using set_source_rgb() or set_source_rgba() for translucent colors), line width (using set_line_width()), line dash pattern (using set_dash()), line cap style (using set_line_cap()), and line join style (using set_line_join()), and font styles (using set_font_size(), set_font_face() and others). There are many other settings as well, such as transformation matrices, fill rules, whether to perform antialiasing, and others. For further information, see the cairomm API documentation.

The current state of a Cairo::Context can be saved to an internal stack of saved states and later be restored to the state it was in when you saved it. To do this, use the save() method and the restore() method. This can be useful if you need to temporarily change the line width and color (or any other graphics setting) in order to draw something and then return to the previous settings. In this situation, you could call Cairo::Context::save(), change the graphics settings, draw the lines, and then call Cairo::Context::restore() to restore the original graphics state. Multiple calls to save() and restore() can be nested; each call to restore() restores the state from the matching paired save().

It is good practice to put all modifications to the graphics state between save()/restore() function calls. For example, if you have a function that takes a Cairo::Context reference as an argument, you might implement it as follows:

void doSomething(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& context, int x)
{
    context->save();
    // change graphics state
    // perform drawing operations
    context->restore();
}

The draw function that you set with a call to set_draw_func() is called with a Cairo context that you shall use for drawing in the Gtk::DrawingArea widget. It is not necessary to save and restore this Cairo context in the draw function.

16.2. Drawing Straight Lines

Now that we understand the basics of the Cairo graphics library, we're almost ready to start drawing. We'll start with the simplest of drawing elements: the straight line. But first you need to know a little bit about Cairo's coordinate system. The origin of the Cairo coordinate system is located in the upper-left corner of the window with positive x values to the right and positive y values going down.

Since the Cairo graphics library was written with support for multiple output targets (the X window system, PNG images, OpenGL, etc), there is a distinction between user-space and device-space coordinates. The mapping between these two coordinate systems defaults to one-to-one so that integer values map roughly to pixels on the screen, but this setting can be adjusted if desired. Sometimes it may be useful to scale the coordinates so that the full width and height of a window both range from 0 to 1 (the 'unit square') or some other mapping that works for your application. This can be done with the Cairo::Context::scale() function.

16.2.1. Example

In this example, we'll construct a small but fully functional gtkmm program and draw some lines into the window. The lines are drawn by creating a path and then stroking it. A path is created using the functions Cairo::Context::move_to() and Cairo::Context::line_to(). The function move_to() is similar to the act of lifting your pen off of the paper and placing it somewhere else -- no line is drawn between the point you were at and the point you moved to. To draw a line between two points, use the line_to() function.

After you've finished creating your path, you still haven't drawn anything visible yet. To make the path visible, you must use the function stroke() which will stroke the current path with the line width and style specified in your Cairo::Context object. After stroking, the current path will be cleared so that you can start on your next path.

Many Cairo drawing functions have a _preserve() variant. Normally drawing functions such as clip(), fill(), or stroke() will clear the current path. If you use the _preserve() variant, the current path will be retained so that you can use the same path with the next drawing function.

Figure 16-1Drawing Area - Lines

Source Code

File: myarea.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H

#include <gtkmm/drawingarea.h>

class MyArea : public Gtk::DrawingArea
{
public:
  MyArea();
  virtual ~MyArea();

protected:
  void on_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height);
};

#endif // GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "myarea.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>
#include <gtkmm/window.h>

int main(int argc, char** argv)
{
   auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

   Gtk::Window win;
   win.set_title("DrawingArea");

   MyArea area;
   win.add(area);
   area.show();

   return app->run(win, argc, argv);
}

File: myarea.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "myarea.h"
#include <cairomm/context.h>

MyArea::MyArea()
{
  set_draw_func(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &MyArea::on_draw));
}

MyArea::~MyArea()
{
}

void MyArea::on_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height)
{
  // coordinates for the center of the window
  int xc, yc;
  xc = width / 2;
  yc = height / 2;

  cr->set_line_width(10.0);

  // draw red lines out from the center of the window
  cr->set_source_rgb(0.8, 0.0, 0.0);
  cr->move_to(0, 0);
  cr->line_to(xc, yc);
  cr->line_to(0, height);
  cr->move_to(xc, yc);
  cr->line_to(width, yc);
  cr->stroke();
}

This program contains a single class, MyArea, which is a subclass of Gtk::DrawingArea and contains an on_draw() member function. This function becomes the draw function by a call to set_draw_func() in MyArea's constructor. on_draw() is then called whenever the image in the drawing area needs to be redrawn. It is passed a Cairo::RefPtr pointer to a Cairo::Context that we use for the drawing. The actual drawing code sets the color we want to use for drawing by using set_source_rgb() which takes arguments defining the Red, Green, and Blue components of the desired color (valid values are between 0 and 1). After setting the color, we created a new path using the functions move_to() and line_to(), and then stroked this path with stroke().

Drawing with relative coordinates

In the example above we drew everything using absolute coordinates. You can also draw using relative coordinates. For a straight line, this is done with the function Cairo::Context::rel_line_to().

16.2.2. Line styles

In addition to drawing basic straight lines, there are a number of things that you can customize about a line. You've already seen examples of setting a line's color and width, but there are others as well.

If you've drawn a series of lines that form a path, you may want them to join together in a certain way. Cairo offers three different ways to join lines together: Miter, Bevel, and Round. These are show below:

Figure 16-2Different join types in Cairo

The line join style is set using the function Cairo::Context::set_line_join().

Line ends can have different styles as well. The default style is for the line to start and stop exactly at the destination points of the line. This is called a Butt cap. The other options are Round (uses a round ending, with the center of the circle at the end point) or Square (uses a squared ending, with the center of the square at the end point). This setting is set using the function Cairo::Context::set_line_cap().

There are other things you can customize as well, including creating dashed lines and other things. For more information, see the Cairo API documentation.

16.2.3. Drawing thin lines

If you try to draw one pixel wide lines, you may notice that the line sometimes comes up blurred and wider than it ought to be. This happens because Cairo will try to draw from the selected position, to both sides (half to each), so if you're positioned right on the intersection of the pixels, and want a one pixel wide line, Cairo will try to use half of each adjacent pixel, which isn't possible (a pixel is the smallest unit possible). This happens when the width of the line is an odd number of pixels (not just one pixel).

The trick is to position in the middle of the pixel where you want the line to be drawn, and thus guaranteeing you get the desired results. See Cairo FAQ.

Figure 16-3Drawing Area - Thin Lines

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm/window.h>
#include <gtkmm/grid.h>
#include <gtkmm/checkbutton.h>
#include "myarea.h"

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_toggled();

private:
  Gtk::Grid m_Container;
  MyArea m_Area_Lines;
  Gtk::CheckButton m_Button_FixLines;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: myarea.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H

#include <gtkmm/drawingarea.h>

class MyArea : public Gtk::DrawingArea
{
public:
  MyArea();
  virtual ~MyArea();

  void fix_lines(bool fix = true);

protected:
  void on_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height);

private:
  double m_fix;
};

#endif // GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_Button_FixLines("Fix lines")
{
  set_title("Thin lines example");

  m_Container.set_orientation(Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL);

  m_Container.add(m_Area_Lines);
  m_Container.add(m_Button_FixLines);

  add(m_Container);

  m_Button_FixLines.signal_toggled().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_button_toggled));

  // Synchonize the drawing in m_Area_Lines with the state of the toggle button.
  on_button_toggled();
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_toggled()
{
  m_Area_Lines.fix_lines(m_Button_FixLines.get_active());
}

File: myarea.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "myarea.h"

MyArea::MyArea()
: m_fix (0)
{
  set_content_width(200);
  set_content_height(100);
  set_draw_func(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &MyArea::on_draw));
}

MyArea::~MyArea()
{
}

void MyArea::on_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height)
{
  cr->set_line_width(1.0);

  // draw one line, every two pixels
  // without the 'fix', you won't notice any space between the lines,
  // since each one will occupy two pixels (width)
  for (int i = 0; i < width; i += 2)
  {
    cr->move_to(i + m_fix, 0);
    cr->line_to(i + m_fix, height);
  }

  cr->stroke();
}

// Toogle between both values (0 or 0.5)
void MyArea::fix_lines(bool fix)
{
  // to get the width right, we have to draw in the middle of the pixel
  m_fix = fix ? 0.5 : 0.0;

  // force the redraw of the image
  queue_draw();
}

16.3. Drawing Curved Lines

In addition to drawing straight lines Cairo allows you to easily draw curved lines (technically a cubic Bézier spline) using the Cairo::Context::curve_to() and Cairo::Context::rel_curve_to() functions. These functions take coordinates for a destination point as well as coordinates for two 'control' points. This is best explained using an example, so let's dive in.

16.3.1. Example

This simple application draws a curve with Cairo and displays the control points for each end of the curve.

Figure 16-4Drawing Area - Lines

Source Code

File: myarea.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H

#include <gtkmm/drawingarea.h>

class MyArea : public Gtk::DrawingArea
{
public:
  MyArea();
  virtual ~MyArea();

protected:
  void on_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height);
};

#endif // GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "myarea.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>
#include <gtkmm/window.h>

int main(int argc, char** argv)
{
   auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

   Gtk::Window win;
   win.set_title("DrawingArea");

   MyArea area;
   win.add(area);
   area.show();

   return app->run(win, argc, argv);
}

File: myarea.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "myarea.h"
#include <cairomm/context.h>

MyArea::MyArea()
{
  set_draw_func(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &MyArea::on_draw));
}

MyArea::~MyArea()
{
}

void MyArea::on_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height)
{
  double x0=0.1, y0=0.5, // start point
         x1=0.4, y1=0.9,  // control point #1
         x2=0.6, y2=0.1,  // control point #2
         x3=0.9, y3=0.5;  // end point

  // scale to unit square (0 to 1 width and height)
  cr->scale(width, height);

  cr->set_line_width(0.05);
  // draw curve
  cr->move_to(x0, y0);
  cr->curve_to(x1, y1, x2, y2, x3, y3);
  cr->stroke();
  // show control points
  cr->set_source_rgba(1, 0.2, 0.2, 0.6);
  cr->move_to(x0, y0);
  cr->line_to (x1, y1);
  cr->move_to(x2, y2);
  cr->line_to (x3, y3);
  cr->stroke();
}

The only difference between this example and the straight line example is in the on_draw() function, but there are a few new concepts and functions introduced here, so let's examine them briefly.

We make a call to Cairo::Context::scale(), passing in the width and height of the drawing area. This scales the user-space coordinate system such that the width and height of the widget are both equal to 1.0 'units'. There's no particular reason to scale the coordinate system in this case, but sometimes it can make drawing operations easier.

The call to Cairo::Context::curve_to() should be fairly self-explanatory. The first pair of coordinates define the control point for the beginning of the curve. The second set of coordinates define the control point for the end of the curve, and the last set of coordinates define the destination point. To make the concept of control points a bit easier to visualize, a line has been drawn from each control point to the end-point on the curve that it is associated with. Note that these control point lines are both translucent. This is achieved with a variant of set_source_rgb() called set_source_rgba(). This function takes a fourth argument specifying the alpha value of the color (valid values are between 0 and 1).

16.4. Drawing Arcs and Circles

With Cairo, the same function is used to draw arcs, circles, or ellipses: Cairo::Context::arc(). This function takes five arguments. The first two are the coordinates of the center point of the arc, the third argument is the radius of the arc, and the final two arguments define the start and end angle of the arc. All angles are defined in radians, so drawing a circle is the same as drawing an arc from 0 to 2 * M_PI radians. An angle of 0 is in the direction of the positive X axis (in user-space). An angle of M_PI/2 radians (90 degrees) is in the direction of the positive Y axis (in user-space). Angles increase in the direction from the positive X axis toward the positive Y axis. So with the default transformation matrix, angles increase in a clockwise direction. (Remember that the positive Y axis points downwards.)

To draw an ellipse, you can scale the current transformation matrix by different amounts in the X and Y directions. For example, to draw an ellipse with center at x, y and size width, height:

context->save();
context->translate(x, y);
context->scale(width / 2.0, height / 2.0);
context->arc(0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 2 * M_PI);
context->restore();

16.4.1. Example

Here's an example of a simple program that draws an arc, a circle and an ellipse into a drawing area.

Figure 16-5Drawing Area - Arcs

Source Code

File: myarea.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H

#include <gtkmm/drawingarea.h>

class MyArea : public Gtk::DrawingArea
{
public:
  MyArea();
  virtual ~MyArea();

protected:
  void on_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height);
};

#endif // GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "myarea.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>
#include <gtkmm/window.h>

int main(int argc, char** argv)
{
   auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

   Gtk::Window win;
   win.set_title("DrawingArea");

   MyArea area;
   win.add(area);
   area.show();

   return app->run(win, argc, argv);
}

File: myarea.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "myarea.h"
#include <cairomm/context.h>
#include <cmath>

MyArea::MyArea()
{
  set_draw_func(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &MyArea::on_draw));
}

MyArea::~MyArea()
{
}

void MyArea::on_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height)
{
  const int lesser = std::min(width, height);

  // coordinates for the center of the window
  const int xc = width / 2;
  const int yc = height / 2;

  cr->set_line_width(lesser * 0.02);  // outline thickness changes
                                      // with window size

  // first draw a simple unclosed arc
  cr->save();
  cr->arc(width / 3.0, height / 4.0, lesser / 4.0, -(M_PI / 5.0), M_PI);
  cr->close_path();   // line back to start point
  cr->set_source_rgb(0.0, 0.8, 0.0);
  cr->fill_preserve();
  cr->restore();  // back to opaque black
  cr->stroke();   // outline it

  // now draw a circle
  cr->save();
  cr->arc(xc, yc, lesser / 4.0, 0.0, 2.0 * M_PI); // full circle
  cr->set_source_rgba(0.0, 0.0, 0.8, 0.6);    // partially translucent
  cr->fill_preserve();
  cr->restore();  // back to opaque black
  cr->stroke();

  // and finally an ellipse
  double ex, ey, ew, eh;
  // center of ellipse
  ex = xc;
  ey = 3.0 * height / 4.0;
  // ellipse dimensions
  ew = 3.0 * width / 4.0;
  eh = height / 3.0;

  cr->save();

  cr->translate(ex, ey);  // make (ex, ey) == (0, 0)
  cr->scale(ew / 2.0, eh / 2.0);  // for width: ew / 2.0 == 1.0
                                  // for height: eh / 2.0 == 1.0

  cr->arc(0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 2 * M_PI);  // 'circle' centered at (0, 0)
                                          // with 'radius' of 1.0

  cr->set_source_rgba(0.8, 0.0, 0.0, 0.7);
  cr->fill_preserve();
  cr->restore();  // back to opaque black
  cr->stroke();
}

There are a couple of things to note about this example code. Again, the only real difference between this example and the previous ones is the on_draw() function, so we'll limit our focus to that function. In addition, the first part of the function is nearly identical to the previous examples, so we'll skip that portion.

Note that in this case, we've expressed nearly everything in terms of the height and width of the window, including the width of the lines. Because of this, when you resize the window, everything scales with the window. Also note that there are three drawing sections in the function and each is wrapped with a save()/restore() pair so that we're back at a known state after each drawing.

The section for drawing an arc introduces one new function, close_path(). This function will in effect draw a straight line from the current point back to the first point in the path. There is a significant difference between calling close_path() and manually drawing a line back to the starting point, however. If you use close_path(), the lines will be nicely joined together. If you use line_to() instead, the lines will end at the same point, but Cairo won't do any special joining.

Drawing counter-clockwise

The function Cairo::Context::arc_negative() is exactly the same as Cairo::Context::arc() but the angles go the opposite direction.

16.5. Drawing Text

16.5.1. Drawing Text with Pango

Text is drawn via Pango Layouts. The easiest way to create a Pango::Layout is to use Gtk::Widget::create_pango_layout(). Once created, the layout can be manipulated in various ways, including changing the text, font, etc. Finally, the layout can be rendered using the Pango::Layout::show_in_cairo_context() method.

16.5.2. Example

Here is an example of a program that draws some text, some of it upside-down. The Printing chapter contains another example of drawing text.

Figure 16-6Drawing Area - Text

Source Code

File: myarea.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H

#include <gtkmm/drawingarea.h>

class MyArea : public Gtk::DrawingArea
{
public:
  MyArea();
  virtual ~MyArea();

protected:
  void on_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height);

private:
  void draw_rectangle(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height);
  void draw_text(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int rectangle_width, int rectangle_height);

};

#endif // GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "myarea.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>
#include <gtkmm/window.h>

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  Gtk::Window window;
  window.set_title("Drawing text example");

  MyArea area;
  window.add(area);
  area.show();

  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: myarea.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "myarea.h"

MyArea::MyArea()
{
  set_draw_func(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &MyArea::on_draw));
}

MyArea::~MyArea()
{
}

void MyArea::on_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height)
{
  const int rectangle_width = width;
  const int rectangle_height = height / 2;

  // Draw a black rectangle
  cr->set_source_rgb(0.0, 0.0, 0.0);
  draw_rectangle(cr, rectangle_width, rectangle_height);

  // and some white text
  cr->set_source_rgb(1.0, 1.0, 1.0);
  draw_text(cr, rectangle_width, rectangle_height);

  // flip the image vertically
  // see http://www.cairographics.org/documentation/cairomm/reference/classCairo_1_1Matrix.html
  // the -1 corresponds to the yy part (the flipping part)
  // the height part is a translation (we could have just called cr->translate(0, height) instead)
  // it's height and not height / 2, since we want this to be on the second part of our drawing
  // (otherwise, it would draw over the previous part)
  Cairo::Matrix matrix(1.0, 0.0, 0.0, -1.0, 0.0, height);

  // apply the matrix
  cr->transform(matrix);

  // white rectangle
  cr->set_source_rgb(1.0, 1.0, 1.0);
  draw_rectangle(cr, rectangle_width, rectangle_height);

  // black text
  cr->set_source_rgb(0.0, 0.0, 0.0);
  draw_text(cr, rectangle_width, rectangle_height);
}

void MyArea::draw_rectangle(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr,
                            int width, int height)
{
  cr->rectangle(0, 0, width, height);
  cr->fill();
}

void MyArea::draw_text(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr,
                       int rectangle_width, int rectangle_height)
{
  // http://developer.gnome.org/pangomm/unstable/classPango_1_1FontDescription.html
  Pango::FontDescription font;

  font.set_family("Monospace");
  font.set_weight(Pango::Weight::BOLD);

  // http://developer.gnome.org/pangomm/unstable/classPango_1_1Layout.html
  auto layout = create_pango_layout("Hi there!");

  layout->set_font_description(font);

  int text_width;
  int text_height;

  //get the text dimensions (it updates the variables -- by reference)
  layout->get_pixel_size(text_width, text_height);

  // Position the text in the middle
  cr->move_to((rectangle_width-text_width)/2, (rectangle_height-text_height)/2);

  layout->show_in_cairo_context(cr);
}

16.6. Drawing Images

There is a method for drawing from a Gdk::Pixbuf to a Cairo::Context. A Gdk::Pixbuf buffer is a useful wrapper around a collection of pixels, which can be read from files, and manipulated in various ways.

Probably the most common way of creating Gdk::Pixbufs is to use Gdk::Pixbuf::create_from_file() or Gdk::Pixbuf::create_from_resource(), which can read an image file, such as a png file into a pixbuf ready for rendering.

The Gdk::Pixbuf can be rendered by setting it as the source pattern of the Cairo context with Gdk::Cairo::set_source_pixbuf(). Then draw the image with either Cairo::Context::paint() (to draw the whole image), or Cairo::Context::rectangle() and Cairo::Context::fill() (to fill the specified rectangle). set_source_pixbuf() is not a member of Cairo::Context. It takes a Cairo::Context as its first parameter.

Here is a small bit of code to tie it all together: (Note that usually you wouldn't load the image every time in the draw signal handler! It's just shown here to keep it all together.)

void MyArea::on_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height)
{
  auto image = Gdk::Pixbuf::create_from_file("myimage.png");
  // Draw the image at 110, 90, except for the outermost 10 pixels.
  Gdk::Cairo::set_source_pixbuf(cr, image, 100, 80);
  cr->rectangle(110, 90, image->get_width()-20, image->get_height()-20);
  cr->fill();
}

16.6.1. Example

Here is an example of a simple program that draws an image. The program loads the image from a resource file. See the Gio::Resource and glib-compile-resources section. Use glib-compile-resources to compile the resources into a C source file that can be compiled and linked with the C++ code. E.g.

$ glib-compile-resources --target=resources.c --generate-source image.gresource.xml

Figure 16-7Drawing Area - Image

Source Code

File: myarea.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H

#include <gtkmm/drawingarea.h>
#include <gdkmm/pixbuf.h>

class MyArea : public Gtk::DrawingArea
{
public:
  MyArea();
  virtual ~MyArea();

protected:
  void on_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height);

  Glib::RefPtr<Gdk::Pixbuf> m_image;
};

#endif // GTKMM_EXAMPLE_MYAREA_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "myarea.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>
#include <gtkmm/window.h>

int main(int argc, char** argv)
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  Gtk::Window win;
  win.set_title("DrawingArea");
  win.set_default_size(300, 200);

  MyArea area;
  win.add(area);
  area.show();

  return app->run(win, argc, argv);
}

File: myarea.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "myarea.h"
#include <cairomm/context.h>
#include <giomm/resource.h>
#include <gdkmm/general.h> // set_source_pixbuf()
#include <glibmm/fileutils.h>
#include <iostream>

MyArea::MyArea()
{
  try
  {
    // The fractal image has been created by the XaoS program.
    // http://xaos.sourceforge.net
    m_image = Gdk::Pixbuf::create_from_resource("/image/fractal_image.png");
  }
  catch(const Gio::ResourceError& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ResourceError: " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
  catch(const Gdk::PixbufError& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "PixbufError: " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }

  // Show at least a quarter of the image.
  if (m_image)
  {
    set_content_width(m_image->get_width()/2);
    set_content_height(m_image->get_height()/2);
  }

  // Set the draw function.
  set_draw_func(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &MyArea::on_draw));
}

MyArea::~MyArea()
{
}

void MyArea::on_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height)
{
  if (!m_image)
    return;

  // Draw the image in the middle of the drawing area, or (if the image is
  // larger than the drawing area) draw the middle part of the image.
  Gdk::Cairo::set_source_pixbuf(cr, m_image,
    (width - m_image->get_width())/2, (height - m_image->get_height())/2);
  cr->paint();
}

File: image.gresource.xml (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<gresources>
  <gresource prefix="/image">
    <file>fractal_image.png</file>
  </gresource>
</gresources>

16.7. Example Application: Creating a Clock with Cairo

Now that we've covered the basics of drawing with Cairo, let's try to put it all together and create a simple application that actually does something. The following example uses Cairo to create a custom Clock widget. The clock has a second hand, a minute hand, and an hour hand, and updates itself every second.

Source Code

File: clock.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_CLOCK_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_CLOCK_H

#include <gtkmm/drawingarea.h>

class Clock : public Gtk::DrawingArea
{
public:
  Clock();
  virtual ~Clock();

protected:
  void on_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height);

  bool on_timeout();

  double m_radius;
  double m_line_width;
};

#endif // GTKMM_EXAMPLE_CLOCK_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "clock.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>
#include <gtkmm/window.h>

int main(int argc, char** argv)
{
   auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

   Gtk::Window win;
   win.set_title("Cairomm Clock");

   Clock c;
   win.add(c);
   c.show();

   return app->run(win, argc, argv);
}

File: clock.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include <ctime>
#include <cmath>
#include <cairomm/context.h>
#include <glibmm/main.h>
#include "clock.h"

Clock::Clock()
: m_radius(0.42), m_line_width(0.05)
{
  Glib::signal_timeout().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this, &Clock::on_timeout), 1000 );
  set_draw_func(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &Clock::on_draw));
}

Clock::~Clock()
{
}

void Clock::on_draw(const Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context>& cr, int width, int height)
{
  // scale to unit square and translate (0, 0) to be (0.5, 0.5), i.e.
  // the center of the window
  cr->scale(width, height);
  cr->translate(0.5, 0.5);
  cr->set_line_width(m_line_width);

  cr->save();
  cr->set_source_rgba(0.337, 0.612, 0.117, 0.9);   // green
  cr->paint();
  cr->restore();
  cr->arc(0, 0, m_radius, 0, 2 * M_PI);
  cr->save();
  cr->set_source_rgba(1.0, 1.0, 1.0, 0.8);
  cr->fill_preserve();
  cr->restore();
  cr->stroke_preserve();
  cr->clip();

  //clock ticks
  for (int i = 0; i < 12; i++)
  {
    double inset = 0.05;

    cr->save();
    cr->set_line_cap(Cairo::Context::LineCap::ROUND);

    if(i % 3 != 0)
    {
      inset *= 0.8;
      cr->set_line_width(0.03);
    }

    cr->move_to(
      (m_radius - inset) * cos (i * M_PI / 6),
      (m_radius - inset) * sin (i * M_PI / 6));
    cr->line_to (
      m_radius * cos (i * M_PI / 6),
      m_radius * sin (i * M_PI / 6));
    cr->stroke();
    cr->restore(); /* stack-pen-size */
  }

  // store the current time
  time_t rawtime;
  time(&rawtime);
  struct tm * timeinfo = localtime (&rawtime);

  // compute the angles of the indicators of our clock
  double minutes = timeinfo->tm_min * M_PI / 30;
  double hours = timeinfo->tm_hour * M_PI / 6;
  double seconds= timeinfo->tm_sec * M_PI / 30;

  cr->save();
  cr->set_line_cap(Cairo::Context::LineCap::ROUND);

  // draw the seconds hand
  cr->save();
  cr->set_line_width(m_line_width / 3);
  cr->set_source_rgba(0.7, 0.7, 0.7, 0.8); // gray
  cr->move_to(0, 0);
  cr->line_to(sin(seconds) * (m_radius * 0.9),
    -cos(seconds) * (m_radius * 0.9));
  cr->stroke();
  cr->restore();

  // draw the minutes hand
  cr->set_source_rgba(0.117, 0.337, 0.612, 0.9);   // blue
  cr->move_to(0, 0);
  cr->line_to(sin(minutes + seconds / 60) * (m_radius * 0.8),
    -cos(minutes + seconds / 60) * (m_radius * 0.8));
  cr->stroke();

  // draw the hours hand
  cr->set_source_rgba(0.337, 0.612, 0.117, 0.9);   // green
  cr->move_to(0, 0);
  cr->line_to(sin(hours + minutes / 12.0) * (m_radius * 0.5),
    -cos(hours + minutes / 12.0) * (m_radius * 0.5));
  cr->stroke();
  cr->restore();

  // draw a little dot in the middle
  cr->arc(0, 0, m_line_width / 3.0, 0, 2 * M_PI);
  cr->fill();
}

bool Clock::on_timeout()
{
  // force our program to redraw the entire clock.
  queue_draw();
  return true;
}

As before, almost all of the interesting stuff is done in the draw function on_draw(). Before we dig into the draw function, notice that the constructor for the Clock widget connects a handler function on_timeout() to a timer with a timeout period of 1000 milliseconds (1 second). This means that on_timeout() will get called once per second. The sole responsibility of this function is to invalidate the window so that gtkmm will be forced to redraw it.

Now let's take a look at the code that performs the actual drawing. The first section of on_draw() should be pretty familiar by now. This example again scales the coordinate system to be a unit square so that it's easier to draw the clock as a percentage of window size so that it will automatically scale when the window size is adjusted. Furthermore, the coordinate system is scaled over and down so that the (0, 0) coordinate is in the very center of the window.

The function Cairo::Context::paint() is used here to set the background color of the window. This function takes no arguments and fills the current surface (or the clipped portion of the surface) with the source color currently active. After setting the background color of the window, we draw a circle for the clock outline, fill it with white, and then stroke the outline in black. Notice that both of these actions use the _preserve variant to preserve the current path, and then this same path is clipped to make sure that our next lines don't go outside the outline of the clock.

After drawing the outline, we go around the clock and draw ticks for every hour, with a larger tick at 12, 3, 6, and 9. Now we're finally ready to implement the time-keeping functionality of the clock, which simply involves getting the current values for hours, minutes and seconds, and drawing the hands at the correct angles.

17. Drag and Drop

Gtk::Widget has several methods and signals which are prefixed with "drag_". These are used for Drag and Drop.

17.1. Sources and Destinations

Things are dragged from sources to be dropped on destinations. Each source and destination has information about the data formats that it can send or receive, provided by Gdk::ContentFormats. A drop destination will only accept a dragged item if they both share a compatible format. Appropriate signals will then be emitted, telling the signal handlers which format was used.

Gdk::ContentFormats objects contain information about available GTypes and mime types (media types).

17.2. Methods

Widgets can be identified as sources or destinations using these Gtk::Widget methods:

void drag_source_set(const Glib::RefPtr<Gdk::ContentFormats>& targets,
      Gdk::ModifierType start_button_mask, Gdk::DragAction actions);
  • targets is a Gdk::ContentFormats object.
  • start_button_mask is an ORed combination of values, which specify which modifier key or mouse button must be pressed to start the drag.
  • actions is an ORed combination of values, which specify which Drag and Drop operations will be possible from this source - for instance, copy, move, or link. The user can choose between the actions by using modifier keys, such as Shift to change from copy to move, and this will be shown by a different cursor.
void drag_dest_set(const Glib::RefPtr<Gdk::ContentFormats>& targets,
    Gtk::DestDefaults flags, Gdk::DragAction actions);
  • flags is an ORed combination of values which indicates how the widget will respond visually to Drag and Drop items.
  • actions indicates the Drag and Drop actions which this destination can receive - see the description above.

There are several methods to add source formats and destination formats. Examples:

  • drag_source_add_text_targets()
  • drag_source_add_image_targets()
  • drag_dest_add_text_targets()
  • drag_dest_add_image_targets()

17.3. Signals

When a drop destination has accepted a dragged item, certain signals will be emitted, depending on what action has been selected. For instance, the user might have held down the Shift key to specify a move rather than a copy. Remember that the user can only select the actions which you have specified in your calls to drag_dest_set() and drag_source_set().

17.3.1. Copy

The source widget will emit these signals, in this order:

  • drag_begin: Provides a Gdk::Drag.
  • drag_data_get: Provides a Gdk::Drag, and a Gtk::SelectionData object, in which you should put the requested data.
  • drag_end: Provides a Gdk::Drag.

The destination widget will emit these signals, in this order:

  • drag_motion: Provides a Gdk::Drop and coordinates. You can call the status() method of the Gdk::Drop to indicate which action will be accepted.
  • drag_drop: Provides a Gdk::Drop and coordinates. You can call drag_get_data(), which triggers the drag_data_get signal in the source widget, and then the drag_data_received signal in the destination widget.
  • drag_data_received: Provides a Gdk::Drop, and a Gtk::SelectionData object which contains the dropped data. You should call the finish() or failed() method of the Gdk::Drop to indicate whether the operation was successful.

17.3.2. Move

During a move, the source widget will also emit this signal:

  • drag_data_delete: Gives the source the opportunity to delete the original data if that's appropriate.

17.4. Example

Here is a very simple example, demonstrating a drag and drop Copy operation:

Figure 17-1Drag and Drop

Source Code

File: dndwindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_DNDWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_DNDWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm/box.h>
#include <gtkmm/label.h>
#include <gtkmm/window.h>
#include <gtkmm/button.h>

class DnDWindow : public Gtk::Window
{

public:
  DnDWindow();
  virtual ~DnDWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_drag_data_get(
          const Glib::RefPtr<Gdk::Drag>& drag,
          Gtk::SelectionData& selection_data);
  void on_label_drop_drag_data_received(
          const Glib::RefPtr<Gdk::Drop>& drop,
          const Gtk::SelectionData& selection_data);

  //Member widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_HBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Drag;
  Gtk::Label m_Label_Drop;
};

#endif // GTKMM_EXAMPLE_DNDWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "dndwindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main (int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  DnDWindow dndWindow;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(dndWindow, argc, argv);
}

File: dndwindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "dndwindow.h"
#include <iostream>

DnDWindow::DnDWindow()
: m_Button_Drag("Drag Here\n"),
  m_Label_Drop("Drop here\n")
{
  set_title("DnD example");

  add(m_HBox);

  //Drag site:

  //Make m_Button_Drag a DnD drag source:
  m_Button_Drag.drag_source_set(Glib::RefPtr<Gdk::ContentFormats>());
  m_Button_Drag.drag_source_add_text_targets();

  //Connect signals:
  m_Button_Drag.signal_drag_data_get().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &DnDWindow::on_button_drag_data_get));

  m_HBox.add(m_Button_Drag);
  m_Button_Drag.set_expand(true);

  //Drop site:

  //Make m_Label_Drop a DnD drop destination:
  // Don't do this: m_Label_Drop.drag_dest_set({}).
  // It would call the wrong overload of drag_dest_set() with the wrong
  // default values of flags and actions (wrong in this simple example).
  m_Label_Drop.drag_dest_set(Glib::RefPtr<Gdk::ContentFormats>());
  m_Label_Drop.drag_dest_add_text_targets();

  //Connect signals:
  m_Label_Drop.signal_drag_data_received().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &DnDWindow::on_label_drop_drag_data_received) );

  m_HBox.add(m_Label_Drop);
  m_Label_Drop.set_expand(true);
}

DnDWindow::~DnDWindow()
{
}

void DnDWindow::on_button_drag_data_get(
        const Glib::RefPtr<Gdk::Drag>&,
        Gtk::SelectionData& selection_data)
{
  selection_data.set(selection_data.get_target(), 8 /* 8 bits format */,
          (const guchar*)"I'm Data!",
          9 /* the length of I'm Data! in bytes */);
}

void DnDWindow::on_label_drop_drag_data_received(
        const Glib::RefPtr<Gdk::Drop>& drop,
        const Gtk::SelectionData& selection_data)
{
  const int length = selection_data.get_length();
  if((length >= 0) && (selection_data.get_format() == 8))
  {
    std::cout << "Received \"" << selection_data.get_data_as_string()
        << "\" in label " << std::endl;
  }

  drop->failed();
}

There is a more complex example in examples/others/dnd.

18. The Clipboard

Simple text copy-paste functionality is provided for free by widgets such as Gtk::Entry and Gtk::TextView, but you might need special code to deal with your own data formats. For instance, a drawing program would need special code to allow copy and paste within a view, or between documents.

You can get a clipboard instance with Gtk::Widget::get_clipboard() or Gdk::Display::get_clipboard().

Your application doesn't need to wait for clipboard operations, particularly between the time when the user chooses Copy and then later chooses Paste. Many Gdk::Clipboard methods take sigc::slots which specify callback methods. When Gdk::Clipboard is ready, it will call these methods, providing the requested data.

Reference

18.1. Formats

Different applications contain different types of data, and they might make that data available in a variety of formats. gtkmm calls these data types formats.

For instance, gedit can supply and receive the text/plain mime type, so you can paste data into gedit from any application that supplies that format. Or two different image editing applications might supply and receive a variety of image formats. As long as one application can receive one of the formats that the other supplies then you will be able to copy data from one to the other.

Clipboard data can be in a variety of binary formats. This chapter, and the examples, assume that the data is 8-bit text. This would allow us to use an XML format for the clipboard data. However this would probably not be appropriate for binary data such as images.

The Drag and Drop API uses the same mechanism. You should probably use the same data formats for both Clipboard and Drag and Drop operations.

18.2. Copy

When the user asks to copy some data, you should copy the data to the Clipboard. For instance,

void ExampleWindow::on_button_copy()
{
  get_clipboard()->set_text("example_custom_target");
}

18.3. Paste

When the user asks to paste data from the Clipboard, you should request a specific format and provide a callback method which will be called with the actual data. For instance:

void ExampleWindow::on_button_paste()
{
  get_clipboard()->read_text_async(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_clipboard_received));
}

Here is an example callback method:

void ExampleWindow::on_clipboard_received(Glib::RefPtr<Gio::AsyncResult>& result)
{
  auto text = get_clipboard()->read_text_finish(result);
  //Do something with the pasted data.
}

18.3.1. Discovering the available formats

To find out what formats are currently available on the Clipboard for pasting, call the get_formats() method. Then call a Gdk::ContentFormats method to find out if a format that your application supports is available.

18.4. Examples

18.4.1. Simple

This example allows copy and pasting of application-specific data, using the standard text format. Although this is simple, it's not ideal because it does not identify the Clipboard data as being of a particular type.

Figure 18-1Clipboard - Simple

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_copy();
  void on_button_paste();

  void on_clipboard_text_received(Glib::RefPtr<Gio::AsyncResult>& result);

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;

  Gtk::Label m_Label;

  Gtk::Grid m_Grid;
  Gtk::ToggleButton m_ButtonA1, m_ButtonA2, m_ButtonB1, m_ButtonB2;

  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Copy, m_Button_Paste;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  // Gio::Application::Flags::NON_UNIQUE because it shall be possible to run
  // several instances of this application simultaneously.
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create(
    "org.gtkmm.example", Gio::Application::Flags::NON_UNIQUE);

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Label("Select cells in the grid, click Copy, then open a second "
        "instance of this example to try pasting the copied data."),
  m_ButtonA1("A1"), m_ButtonA2("A2"), m_ButtonB1("B1"), m_ButtonB2("B2"),
  m_Button_Copy("_Copy", /* mnemonic= */ true), m_Button_Paste("_Paste", true)
{
  set_title("Gtk::Clipboard example");

  m_VBox.set_margin(12);
  add(m_VBox);

  m_VBox.add(m_Label);

  //Fill Grid:
  m_VBox.add(m_Grid);
  m_Grid.set_expand(true);
  m_Grid.set_row_homogeneous(true);
  m_Grid.set_column_homogeneous(true);
  m_Grid.attach(m_ButtonA1, 0, 0);
  m_Grid.attach(m_ButtonA2, 1, 0);
  m_Grid.attach(m_ButtonB1, 0, 1);
  m_Grid.attach(m_ButtonB2, 1, 1);

  //Add ButtonBox to bottom:
  m_VBox.add(m_ButtonBox);
  m_VBox.set_spacing(6);

  //Fill ButtonBox:
  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Copy);
  m_Button_Copy.set_hexpand(true);
  m_Button_Copy.set_halign(Gtk::Align::END);
  m_Button_Copy.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_copy) );
  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Paste);
  m_Button_Paste.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_paste) );
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_copy()
{
  //Build a string representation of the stuff to be copied:
  //Ideally you would use XML, with an XML parser here:
  Glib::ustring strData;
  strData += m_ButtonA1.get_active() ? "1" : "0";
  strData += m_ButtonA2.get_active() ? "1" : "0";
  strData += m_ButtonB1.get_active() ? "1" : "0";
  strData += m_ButtonB2.get_active() ? "1" : "0";

  get_clipboard()->set_text(strData);
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_paste()
{
  //Tell the clipboard to call our method when it is ready:
  get_clipboard()->read_text_async(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_clipboard_text_received));
}

void ExampleWindow::on_clipboard_text_received(Glib::RefPtr<Gio::AsyncResult>& result)
{
  Glib::ustring text;
  try
  {
    text = get_clipboard()->read_text_finish(result);
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error& err)
  {
    // Print an error about why pasting failed.
    // Usually you probably want to ignore such failures,
    // but for demonstration purposes, we show the error.
    std::cout << "Pasting failed: " << err.what() << std::endl;
  }

  //See comment in on_button_copy() about this silly clipboard format.
  if(text.size() >= 4)
  {
    m_ButtonA1.set_active( text[0] == '1' );
    m_ButtonA2.set_active( text[1] == '1' );
    m_ButtonB1.set_active( text[2] == '1' );
    m_ButtonB2.set_active( text[3] == '1' );
  }
}

18.4.2. Ideal

This is like the simple example, but it

  1. Defines a custom clipboard target, though the format is still text.

  2. It uses the Gdk::ContentFormats::signal_changed() signal and disables the Paste button if it can't use anything on the clipboard.

Figure 18-2Clipboard - Ideal

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_copy();
  void on_button_paste();

  void on_clipboard_content_changed();

  void on_clipboard_received(Glib::RefPtr<Gio::AsyncResult>& result);
  void on_clipboard_received_targets(Glib::RefPtr<Gio::AsyncResult>& result);

  void update_paste_status(); //Disable the paste button if there is nothing to paste.

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;

  Gtk::Label m_Label;

  Gtk::Grid m_Grid;
  Gtk::ToggleButton m_ButtonA1, m_ButtonA2, m_ButtonB1, m_ButtonB2;

  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Copy, m_Button_Paste;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  // Gio::Application::Flags::NON_UNIQUE because it shall be possible to run
  // several instances of this application simultaneously.
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create(
    "org.gtkmm.example", Gio::Application::Flags::NON_UNIQUE);

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>
#include <string>

namespace
{

const char example_format_custom[] = "gtkmmclipboardexample";

} // anonymous namespace


ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Label("Select cells in the grid, click Copy, then open a second instance "
          "of this example to try pasting the copied data.\nOr try pasting the "
          "text representation into gedit."),
  m_ButtonA1("A1"), m_ButtonA2("A2"), m_ButtonB1("B1"), m_ButtonB2("B2"),
  m_Button_Copy("_Copy", /* mnemonic= */ true), m_Button_Paste("_Paste", true)
{
  set_title("Gtk::Clipboard example");

  m_VBox.set_margin(12);
  add(m_VBox);

  m_VBox.add(m_Label);

  //Fill Grid:
  m_VBox.add(m_Grid);
  m_Grid.set_expand(true);
  m_Grid.set_row_homogeneous(true);
  m_Grid.set_column_homogeneous(true);
  m_Grid.attach(m_ButtonA1, 0, 0);
  m_Grid.attach(m_ButtonA2, 1, 0);
  m_Grid.attach(m_ButtonB1, 0, 1);
  m_Grid.attach(m_ButtonB2, 1, 1);

  //Add ButtonBox to bottom:
  m_VBox.add(m_ButtonBox);
  m_VBox.set_spacing(6);

  //Fill ButtonBox:
  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Copy);
  m_Button_Copy.set_hexpand(true);
  m_Button_Copy.set_halign(Gtk::Align::END);
  m_Button_Copy.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_copy) );
  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Paste);
  m_Button_Paste.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_paste) );

  //Connect a signal handler that will be called when the contents of
  //the clipboard change.
  get_clipboard()->property_content().signal_changed().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_clipboard_content_changed));

  update_paste_status();
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_copy()
{
  //Build a string representation of the stuff to be copied:
  //Ideally you would use XML, with an XML parser here:
  Glib::ustring strData(example_format_custom);
  strData += m_ButtonA1.get_active() ? " A1" : "";
  strData += m_ButtonA2.get_active() ? " A2" : "";
  strData += m_ButtonB1.get_active() ? " B1" : "";
  strData += m_ButtonB2.get_active() ? " B2" : "";

  get_clipboard()->set_text(strData);
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_paste()
{
  //Tell the clipboard to call our method when it is ready:
  get_clipboard()->read_text_async(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_clipboard_received));
}

void ExampleWindow::on_clipboard_content_changed()
{
  update_paste_status();
}

void ExampleWindow::on_clipboard_received(Glib::RefPtr<Gio::AsyncResult>& result)
{
  Glib::ustring text;
  try
  {
    text = get_clipboard()->read_text_finish(result);
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error& err)
  {
    // Print an error about why pasting failed.
    // Usually you probably want to ignore such failures,
    // but for demonstration purposes, we show the error.
    std::cout << "Pasting failed: " << err.what() << std::endl;
  }

  if (text.find(example_format_custom) == 0)
  {
    // It's the expected format.
    m_ButtonA1.set_active(text.find("A1") != std::string::npos);
    m_ButtonA2.set_active(text.find("A2") != std::string::npos);
    m_ButtonB1.set_active(text.find("B1") != std::string::npos);
    m_ButtonB2.set_active(text.find("B2") != std::string::npos);
  }
  else
  {
    // Unexpected format. Disable the Paste button.
    std::cout << "Unexpected pasted text: \"" << text << "\"" << std::endl;
    m_Button_Paste.set_sensitive(false);
  }
}

void ExampleWindow::update_paste_status()
{
  // Disable the paste button if there is nothing to paste.
  get_clipboard()->read_text_async(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_clipboard_received_targets));
}

void ExampleWindow::on_clipboard_received_targets(Glib::RefPtr<Gio::AsyncResult>& result)
{
  Glib::ustring text;
  try
  {
    text = get_clipboard()->read_text_finish(result);
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error&)
  {
  }

  const bool bPasteIsPossible = text.find(example_format_custom) == 0;

  // Enable/Disable the Paste button appropriately:
  m_Button_Paste.set_sensitive(bPasteIsPossible);
}

19. Printing

At the application development level, gtkmm's printing API provides dialogs that are consistent across applications and allows use of Cairo's common drawing API, with Pango-driven text rendering. In the implementation of this common API, platform-specific backends and printer-specific drivers are used.

19.1. PrintOperation

The primary object is Gtk::PrintOperation, allocated for each print operation. To handle page drawing connect to its signals, or inherit from it and override the default virtual signal handlers. PrintOperation automatically handles all the settings affecting the print loop.

19.1.1. Signals

The PrintOperation::run() method starts the print loop, during which various signals are emitted:

  • begin_print: You must handle this signal, because this is where you create and set up a Pango::Layout using the provided Gtk::PrintContext, and break up your printing output into pages.
  • paginate: Pagination is potentially slow so if you need to monitor it you can call the PrintOperation::set_show_progress() method and handle this signal.
  • For each page that needs to be rendered, the following signals are emitted:
    • request_page_setup: Provides a PrintContext, page number and Gtk::PageSetup. Handle this signal if you need to modify page setup on a per-page basis.
    • draw_page: You must handle this signal, which provides a PrintContext and a page number. The PrintContext should be used to create a Cairo::Context into which the provided page should be drawn. To render text, iterate over the Pango::Layout you created in the begin_print handler.
  • end_print: A handler for it is a safe place to free any resources related to a PrintOperation. If you have your custom class that inherits from PrintOperation, it is naturally simpler to do it in the destructor.
  • done: This signal is emitted when printing is finished, meaning when the print data is spooled. Note that the provided Gtk::PrintOperationResult may indicate that an error occurred. In any case you probably want to notify the user about the final status.
  • status_changed: Emitted whenever a print job's status changes, until it is finished. Call the PrintOperation::set_track_print_status() method to monitor the job status after spooling. To see the status, use get_status() or get_status_string().

Reference

19.2. Page setup

The PrintOperation class has a method called set_default_page_setup() which selects the default paper size, orientation and margins. To show a page setup dialog from your application, use the Gtk::run_page_setup_dialog() method, which returns a Gtk::PageSetup object with the chosen settings. Use this object to update a PrintOperation and to access the selected Gtk::PaperSize, Gtk::PageOrientation and printer-specific margins.

You should save the chosen Gtk::PageSetup so you can use it again if the page setup dialog is shown again.

For instance,

//Within a class that inherits from Gtk::Window and keeps m_refPageSetup and m_refSettings as members...
auto new_page_setup = Gtk::run_page_setup_dialog(*this, m_refPageSetup, m_refSettings);
m_refPageSetup = new_page_setup;

Reference

The Cairo coordinate system, in the draw_page handler, is automatically rotated to the current page orientation. It is normally within the printer margins, but you can change that via the PrintOperation::set_use_full_page() method. The default measurement unit is device pixels. To select other units, use the PrintOperation::set_unit() method.

19.3. Rendering text

Text rendering is done using Pango. The Pango::Layout object for printing should be created by calling the PrintContext::create_pango_layout() method. The PrintContext object also provides the page metrics, via get_width() and get_height(). The number of pages can be set with PrintOperation::set_n_pages(). To actually render the Pango text in on_draw_page, get a Cairo::Context with PrintContext::get_cairo_context() and show the Pango::LayoutLines that appear within the requested page number.

See an example of exactly how this can be done.

19.4. Asynchronous operations

By default, PrintOperation::run() returns when a print operation is completed. If you need to run a non-blocking print operation, call PrintOperation::set_allow_async(). Note that set_allow_async() is not supported on all platforms, however the done signal will still be emitted.

run() may return PRINT_OPERATION_RESULT_IN_PROGRESS. To track status and handle the result or error you need to implement signal handlers for the done and status_changed signals:

For instance,

// in class ExampleWindow's method...
auto op = PrintOperation::create();
// ...set up op...
op->signal_done().connect(sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_printoperation_done), op));
// run the op

Second, check for an error and connect to the status_changed signal. For instance:

void ExampleWindow::on_printoperation_done(Gtk::PrintOperationResult result, const Glib::RefPtr<PrintOperation>& op)
{
  if (result == Gtk::PRINT_OPERATION_RESULT_ERROR)
    //notify user
  else if (result == Gtk::PRINT_OPERATION_RESULT_APPLY)
    //Update PrintSettings with the ones used in this PrintOperation

  if (! op->is_finished())
    op->signal_status_changed().connect(sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_printoperation_status_changed), op));
}

Finally, check the status. For instance,

void ExampleWindow::on_printoperation_status_changed(const Glib::RefPtr<PrintOperation>& op)
{
  if (op->is_finished())
    //the print job is finished
  else
    //get the status with get_status() or get_status_string()

  //update UI
}

19.5. Export to PDF

The 'Print to file' option is available in the print dialog, without the need for extra implementation. However, it is sometimes useful to generate a pdf file directly from code. For instance,

auto op = Gtk::PrintOperation::create();
// ...set up op...
op->set_export_filename("test.pdf");
auto res = op->run(Gtk::PRINT_OPERATION_ACTION_EXPORT);

19.6. Extending the print dialog

You may add a custom tab to the print dialog:

  • Set the title of the tab via PrintOperation::set_custom_tab_label(), create a new widget and return it from the create_custom_widget signal handler. You'll probably want this to be a container widget, packed with some others.
  • Get the data from the widgets in the custom_widget_apply signal handler.

Although the custom_widget_apply signal provides the widget you previously created, to simplify things you can keep the widgets you expect to contain some user input as class members. For example, let's say you have a Gtk::Entry called m_Entry as a member of your CustomPrintOperation class:

Gtk::Widget* CustomPrintOperation::on_create_custom_widget()
{
  set_custom_tab_label("My custom tab");

  auto hbox = new Gtk::Box(Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL, 8);
  hbox->set_margin(6);

  auto label = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::Label>("Enter some text: ");
  hbox->add(*label);

  hbox->add(m_Entry);

  return hbox;
}

void CustomPrintOperation::on_custom_widget_apply(Gtk::Widget* /* widget */)
{
  auto user_input = m_Entry.get_text();
  //...
}

The example in examples/book/printing/advanced demonstrates this.

19.7. Preview

The native GTK+ print dialog has a preview button, but you may also start a preview directly from an application:

// in a class that inherits from Gtk::Window...
auto op = PrintOperation::create();
// ...set up op...
op->run(Gtk::PRINT_OPERATION_ACTION_PREVIEW, *this);

On Unix, the default preview handler uses an external viewer program. On Windows, the native preview dialog will be shown. If necessary you may override this behaviour and provide a custom preview dialog. See the example located in /examples/book/printing/advanced.

19.8. Example

19.8.1. Simple

The following example demonstrates how to print some input from a user interface. It shows how to implement on_begin_print and on_draw_page, as well as how to track print status and update the print settings.

Figure 19-1Printing - Simple

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

// This file is part of the printing/simple and printing/advanced examples

#include <gtkmm.h>

class PrintFormOperation;

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow(const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Application>& app);
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:

  void build_main_menu(const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Application>& app);

  void print_or_preview(Gtk::PrintOperation::Action print_action);

  //PrintOperation signal handlers.
  //We handle these so can get necessary information to update the UI or print settings.
  //Our derived PrintOperation class also overrides some default signal handlers.
  void on_printoperation_status_changed();
  void on_printoperation_done(Gtk::PrintOperation::Result result);

  //Action signal handlers:
  void on_menu_file_new();
  void on_menu_file_page_setup();
  void on_menu_file_print_preview();
  void on_menu_file_print();
  void on_menu_file_quit();

  //Printing-related objects:
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::PageSetup> m_refPageSetup;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::PrintSettings> m_refSettings;
  Glib::RefPtr<PrintFormOperation> m_refPrintFormOperation;

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;
  Gtk::Grid m_Grid;

  Gtk::Label m_NameLabel;
  Gtk::Entry m_NameEntry;

  Gtk::Label m_SurnameLabel;
  Gtk::Entry m_SurnameEntry;

  Gtk::Label m_CommentsLabel;
  Gtk::ScrolledWindow m_ScrolledWindow;
  Gtk::TextView m_TextView;

  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::TextBuffer> m_refTextBuffer;

  unsigned m_ContextId;
  Gtk::Statusbar m_Statusbar;

  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder> m_refBuilder;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: printformoperation.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_PRINT_FORM_OPERATION_H
#define GTKMM_PRINT_FORM_OPERATION_H

#include <gtkmm.h>
#include <pangomm.h>
#include <vector>

//We derive our own class from PrintOperation,
//so we can put the actual print implementation here.
class PrintFormOperation : public Gtk::PrintOperation
{
 public:
  static Glib::RefPtr<PrintFormOperation> create();
  virtual ~PrintFormOperation();

  void set_name(const Glib::ustring& name) { m_Name = name; }
  void set_comments(const Glib::ustring& comments) { m_Comments = comments; }

 protected:
  PrintFormOperation();

  //PrintOperation default signal handler overrides:
  void on_begin_print(const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::PrintContext>& context) override;
  void on_draw_page(const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::PrintContext>& context, int page_nr) override;

  Glib::ustring m_Name;
  Glib::ustring m_Comments;
  Glib::RefPtr<Pango::Layout> m_refLayout;
  std::vector<int> m_PageBreaks; // line numbers where a page break occurs
};

#endif // GTKMM_PRINT_FORM_OPERATION_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window(app);

  // Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include "printformoperation.h"
#include <iostream>

const Glib::ustring app_title = "gtkmm Printing Example";

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow(const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Application>& app)
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_NameLabel("Name"),
  m_SurnameLabel("Surname"),
  m_CommentsLabel("Comments")
{
  m_refPageSetup = Gtk::PageSetup::create();
  m_refSettings = Gtk::PrintSettings::create();

  m_ContextId = m_Statusbar.get_context_id(app_title);

  set_title(app_title);
  set_default_size(400, 300);

  add(m_VBox);

  build_main_menu(app);

  m_VBox.add(m_Grid);

  //Arrange the widgets inside the grid:
  m_Grid.set_expand(true);
  m_Grid.set_row_spacing(5);
  m_Grid.set_column_spacing(5);
  m_Grid.attach(m_NameLabel, 0, 0);
  m_Grid.attach(m_NameEntry, 1, 0);

  m_Grid.attach(m_SurnameLabel, 0, 1);
  m_Grid.attach(m_SurnameEntry, 1, 1);

  //Add the TextView, inside a ScrolledWindow:
  m_ScrolledWindow.add(m_TextView);

  //Only show the scrollbars when they are necessary:
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_policy(Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC, Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC);

  m_Grid.attach(m_CommentsLabel, 0, 2);
  m_Grid.attach(m_ScrolledWindow, 1, 2);
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_hexpand(true);
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_vexpand(true);

  m_refTextBuffer = Gtk::TextBuffer::create();
  m_TextView.set_buffer(m_refTextBuffer);

  m_Statusbar.set_expand(true);
  m_VBox.add(m_Statusbar);
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::build_main_menu(const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Application>& app)
{
  //Create actions for menus and toolbars:
  auto refActionGroup = Gio::SimpleActionGroup::create();

  //File menu:
  refActionGroup->add_action("new",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_new));

  refActionGroup->add_action("pagesetup",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_page_setup));

  refActionGroup->add_action("printpreview",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_print_preview));

  refActionGroup->add_action("print",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_print));

  refActionGroup->add_action("quit",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_quit));

  insert_action_group("example", refActionGroup);

  // When the menubar is a child of a Gtk::Window, keyboard accelerators are not
  // automatically fetched from the Gio::Menu.
  // See the examples/book/menus/main_menu example for an alternative way of
  // adding the menubar when using Gtk::ApplicationWindow.
  app->set_accel_for_action("example.new", "<Primary>n");
  app->set_accel_for_action("example.print", "<Primary>p");
  app->set_accel_for_action("example.quit", "<Primary>q");

  m_refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create();

  // Layout the actions in a menubar:
  Glib::ustring ui_menu_info =
    "<interface>"
    "  <menu id='menu-example'>"
    "    <submenu>"
    "      <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_File</attribute>"
    "      <section>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_New</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>example.new</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "      </section>"
    "      <section>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>Page _Setup...</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>example.pagesetup</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>Print Preview</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>example.printpreview</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Print...</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>example.print</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "      </section>"
    "      <section>"
    "        <item>"
    "          <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Quit</attribute>"
    "          <attribute name='action'>example.quit</attribute>"
    "        </item>"
    "      </section>"
    "    </submenu>"
    "  </menu>"
    "</interface>";

  try
  {
    m_refBuilder->add_from_string(ui_menu_info);
  }
  catch(const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "building menus failed: " << ex.what();
  }

  // Layout the actions in a toolbar:
  Glib::ustring ui_toolbar_info =
    "<!-- Generated with glade 3.18.3 and then changed manually -->"
    "<interface>"
      "<requires lib='gtk' version='3.94'/>"
      "<object class='GtkToolbar' id='toolbar'>"
        "<property name='can_focus'>False</property>"
        "<child>"
          "<object class='GtkToolButton' id='toolbutton_new'>"
            "<property name='can_focus'>False</property>"
            "<property name='tooltip_text' translatable='yes'>New</property>"
            "<property name='action_name'>example.new</property>"
            "<property name='icon_name'>document-new</property>"
            "<property name='expand'>False</property>"
            "<property name='homogeneous'>True</property>"
          "</object>"
        "</child>"
        "<child>"
          "<object class='GtkToolButton' id='toolbutton_print'>"
            "<property name='can_focus'>False</property>"
            "<property name='tooltip_text' translatable='yes'>Print</property>"
            "<property name='action_name'>example.print</property>"
            "<property name='icon_name'>document-print</property>"
            "<property name='expand'>False</property>"
            "<property name='homogeneous'>True</property>"
          "</object>"
        "</child>"
        "<child>"
          "<object class='GtkSeparatorToolItem' id='separator1'>"
            "<property name='can_focus'>False</property>"
            "<property name='expand'>False</property>"
            "<property name='homogeneous'>False</property>"
          "</object>"
        "</child>"
        "<child>"
          "<object class='GtkToolButton' id='toolbutton_quit'>"
            "<property name='can_focus'>False</property>"
            "<property name='tooltip_text' translatable='yes'>Quit</property>"
            "<property name='action_name'>example.quit</property>"
            "<property name='icon_name'>application-exit</property>"
            "<property name='expand'>False</property>"
            "<property name='homogeneous'>True</property>"
          "</object>"
        "</child>"
      "</object>"
    "</interface>";

  try
  {
    m_refBuilder->add_from_string(ui_toolbar_info);
  }
  catch(const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "building toolbar failed: " << ex.what();
  }

  // Get the menubar and add it to a container widget:
  auto object = m_refBuilder->get_object("menu-example");
  auto gmenu = std::dynamic_pointer_cast<Gio::Menu>(object);
  if (!gmenu)
    g_warning("GMenu not found");
  else
  {
    auto pMenuBar = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::MenuBar>(gmenu);

    // Add the MenuBar to the window:
    m_VBox.add(*pMenuBar);
  }

  // Get the toolbar and add it to a container widget:
  Gtk::Toolbar* toolbar = nullptr;
  m_refBuilder->get_widget("toolbar", toolbar);
  if (!toolbar)
    g_warning("GtkToolbar not found");
  else
    m_VBox.add(*toolbar);
}

void ExampleWindow::on_printoperation_status_changed()
{
  Glib::ustring status_msg;

  if (m_refPrintFormOperation->is_finished())
  {
    status_msg = "Print job completed.";
  }
  else
  {
    //You could also use get_status().
    status_msg = m_refPrintFormOperation->get_status_string();
  }

  m_Statusbar.push(status_msg, m_ContextId);
}

void ExampleWindow::on_printoperation_done(Gtk::PrintOperation::Result result)
{
  //Printing is "done" when the print data is spooled.

  if (result == Gtk::PrintOperation::Result::ERROR)
  {
    Gtk::MessageDialog err_dialog(*this, "Error printing form", false,
            Gtk::MessageType::ERROR, Gtk::ButtonsType::OK, true);
    err_dialog.run();
  }
  else if (result == Gtk::PrintOperation::Result::APPLY)
  {
    //Update PrintSettings with the ones used in this PrintOperation:
    m_refSettings = m_refPrintFormOperation->get_print_settings();
  }

  if (!m_refPrintFormOperation->is_finished())
  {
    //We will connect to the status-changed signal to track status
    //and update a status bar. In addition, you can, for example,
    //keep a list of active print operations, or provide a progress dialog.
    m_refPrintFormOperation->signal_status_changed().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
                    &ExampleWindow::on_printoperation_status_changed));
  }
}

void ExampleWindow::print_or_preview(Gtk::PrintOperation::Action print_action)
{
  //Create a new PrintOperation with our PageSetup and PrintSettings:
  //(We use our derived PrintOperation class)
  m_refPrintFormOperation = PrintFormOperation::create();

  m_refPrintFormOperation->set_name(m_NameEntry.get_text() + " " + m_SurnameEntry.get_text());
  m_refPrintFormOperation->set_comments(m_refTextBuffer->get_text(false /*Don't include hidden*/));
  // In the printing/advanced example, the font will be set through a custom tab
  // in the print dialog.

  m_refPrintFormOperation->set_track_print_status();
  m_refPrintFormOperation->set_default_page_setup(m_refPageSetup);
  m_refPrintFormOperation->set_print_settings(m_refSettings);

  m_refPrintFormOperation->signal_done().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
                  &ExampleWindow::on_printoperation_done));
  try
  {
    m_refPrintFormOperation->run(print_action /* print or preview */, *this);
  }
  catch (const Gtk::PrintError& ex)
  {
    //See documentation for exact Gtk::PrintError error codes.
    std::cerr << "An error occurred while trying to run a print operation:"
        << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
}

void ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_new()
{
  //Clear entries and textview:
  m_NameEntry.set_text("");
  m_SurnameEntry.set_text("");
  m_refTextBuffer->set_text("");
  m_TextView.set_buffer(m_refTextBuffer);
}

void ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_page_setup()
{
  //Show the page setup dialog, asking it to start with the existing settings:
  auto new_page_setup =
      Gtk::run_page_setup_dialog(*this, m_refPageSetup, m_refSettings);

  //Save the chosen page setup dialog for use when printing, previewing, or
  //showing the page setup dialog again:
  m_refPageSetup = new_page_setup;
}

void ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_print_preview()
{
  print_or_preview(Gtk::PrintOperation::Action::PREVIEW);
}

void ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_print()
{
  print_or_preview(Gtk::PrintOperation::Action::PRINT_DIALOG);
}

void ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_quit()
{
  hide();
}

File: printformoperation.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "printformoperation.h"

PrintFormOperation::PrintFormOperation()
{
}

PrintFormOperation::~PrintFormOperation()
{
}

Glib::RefPtr<PrintFormOperation> PrintFormOperation::create()
{
  return Glib::RefPtr<PrintFormOperation>(new PrintFormOperation());
}

void PrintFormOperation::on_begin_print(
        const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::PrintContext>& print_context)
{
  //Create and set up a Pango layout for PrintData based on the passed
  //PrintContext: We then use this to calculate the number of pages needed, and
  //the lines that are on each page.
  m_refLayout = print_context->create_pango_layout();

  Pango::FontDescription font_desc("sans 12");
  m_refLayout->set_font_description(font_desc);

  const double width = print_context->get_width();
  const double height = print_context->get_height();

  m_refLayout->set_width(static_cast<int>(width * Pango::SCALE));

  //Set and mark up the text to print:
  Glib::ustring marked_up_form_text;
  marked_up_form_text += "<b>Name</b>: " + m_Name + "\n\n";
  marked_up_form_text += "<b>Comments</b>: " + m_Comments;

  m_refLayout->set_markup(marked_up_form_text);

  //Set the number of pages to print by determining the line numbers
  //where page breaks occur:
  const int line_count = m_refLayout->get_line_count();

  Glib::RefPtr<Pango::LayoutLine> layout_line;
  double page_height = 0;

  for (int line = 0; line < line_count; ++line)
  {
    Pango::Rectangle ink_rect, logical_rect;

    layout_line = m_refLayout->get_line(line);
    layout_line->get_extents(ink_rect, logical_rect);

    const double line_height = logical_rect.get_height() / 1024.0;

    if (page_height + line_height > height)
    {
      m_PageBreaks.push_back(line);
      page_height = 0;
    }

    page_height += line_height;
  }

  set_n_pages(m_PageBreaks.size() + 1);
}

void PrintFormOperation::on_draw_page(
        const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::PrintContext>& print_context, int page_nr)
{
  //Decide which lines we need to print in order to print the specified page:
  int start_page_line = 0;
  int end_page_line = 0;

  if(page_nr == 0)
  {
    start_page_line = 0;
  }
  else
  {
    start_page_line = m_PageBreaks[page_nr - 1];
  }

  if(page_nr < static_cast<int>(m_PageBreaks.size()))
  {
    end_page_line = m_PageBreaks[page_nr];
  }
  else
  {
    end_page_line = m_refLayout->get_line_count();
  }

  //Get a Cairo Context, which is used as a drawing board:
  Cairo::RefPtr<Cairo::Context> cairo_ctx = print_context->get_cairo_context();

  //We'll use black letters:
  cairo_ctx->set_source_rgb(0, 0, 0);

  //Render Pango LayoutLines over the Cairo context:
  auto iter = m_refLayout->get_iter();

  double start_pos = 0;
  int line_index = 0;

  do
  {
    if(line_index >= start_page_line)
    {
      auto layout_line = iter.get_line();
      auto logical_rect = iter.get_line_logical_extents();
      int baseline = iter.get_baseline();

      if (line_index == start_page_line)
      {
        start_pos = logical_rect.get_y() / 1024.0;
      }

      cairo_ctx->move_to(logical_rect.get_x() / 1024.0,
        baseline / 1024.0 - start_pos);

      layout_line->show_in_cairo_context(cairo_ctx);
    }

    line_index++;
  }
  while(line_index < end_page_line && iter.next_line());
}

20. Recently Used Documents

gtkmm provides an easy way to manage recently used documents. This functionality is implemented in the Gtk::RecentManager class.

Each item in the list of recently used files is identified by its URI, and can have associated metadata. The metadata can be used to specify how the file should be displayed, a description of the file, its mime type, which application registered it, whether it's private to the registering application, and several other things.

20.1. RecentManager

RecentManager acts as a database of recently used files. You use this class to register new files, remove files from the list, or look up recently used files. There is one list of recently used files per user.

You can create a new RecentManager, but you'll most likely just want to use the default one. You can get a reference to the default RecentManager with get_default().

20.1.1. Adding Items to the List of Recent Files

To add a new file to the list of recent documents, in the simplest case, you only need to provide the URI. For example:

auto recent_manager = Gtk::RecentManager::get_default();
recent_manager->add_item(uri);

If you want to register a file with metadata, you can pass a RecentManager::Data parameter to add_item(). The metadata that can be set on a particular file item is as follows:

  • app_exec: The command line to be used to launch this resource. This string may contain the "f" and "u" escape characters which will be expanded to the resource file path and URI respectively
  • app_name: The name of the application that registered the resource
  • description: A short description of the resource as a UTF-8 encoded string
  • display_name: The name of the resource to be used for display as a UTF-8 encoded string
  • groups: A list of groups associated with this item. Groups are essentially arbitrary strings associated with a particular resource. They can be thought of as 'categories' (such as "email", "graphics", etc) or tags for the resource.
  • is_private: Whether this resource should be visible only to applications that have registered it or not
  • mime_type: The MIME type of the resource

In addition to adding items to the list, you can also look up items from the list and modify or remove items.

20.1.2. Looking up Items in the List of Recent Files

To look up recently used files, RecentManager provides several functions. To look up a specific item by its URI, you can use the lookup_item() function, which will return a RecentInfo class. If the specified URI did not exist in the list of recent files, lookup_item() throws a RecentManagerError exception. For example:

Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::RecentInfo> info;
try
{
  info = recent_manager->lookup_item(uri);
}
catch(const Gtk::RecentManagerError& ex)
{
  std::cerr << "RecentManagerError: " << ex.what() << std::endl;
}
if (info)
{
  // item was found
}

A RecentInfo object is essentially an object containing all of the metadata about a single recently-used file. You can use this object to look up any of the properties listed above.

If you don't want to look for a specific URI, but instead want to get a list of all recently used items, RecentManager provides the get_items() function. The return value of this function is a std::vector of all recently used files. The following code demonstrates how you might get a list of recently used files:

auto info_list = recent_manager->get_items();

The maximum age of items in the recently used files list can be set with Gtk::Settings::property_gtk_recent_files_max_age(). Default value: 30 days.

20.1.3. Modifying the List of Recent Files

There may be times when you need to modify the list of recent files. For instance, if a file is moved or renamed, you may need to update the file's location in the recent files list so that it doesn't point to an incorrect location. You can update an item's location by using move_item().

In addition to changing a file's URI, you can also remove items from the list, either one at a time or by clearing them all at once. The former is accomplished with remove_item(), the latter with purge_items().

The functions move_item(), remove_item() and purge_items() have no effect on the actual files that are referred to by the URIs, they only modify the list of recent files.

20.2. FileChooser

FileChooser is an interface that can be implemented by widgets displaying a list of files. gtkmm provides four built-in implementations for choosing recent files or other files: FileChooserWidget, FileChooserDialog, FileChooserButton, and FileChooserNative.

FileChooserWidget is a simple widget for displaying a list of recently used files or other files. FileChooserWidget is the basic building block for FileChooserDialog, but you can embed it into your user interface if you want to.

20.2.1. Simple FileChooserDialog example

Shown below is a simple example of how to use the FileChooserDialog class in a program. This simple program has a menubar with a File Chooser Dialog menu item. When you select this menu item, a dialog pops up showing a list of files. If you select Recent in the sidebar, the list of recently used files is shown.

If this is the first time you're using a program that uses the Recent Files framework, the dialog may be empty at first. Otherwise it should show the list of recently used documents registered by other applications.

After selecting the File Chooser Dialog menu item and the Recent sidebar item, you should see something similar to the following window.

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow(const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Application>& app);
  ~ExampleWindow() override;

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_menu_file_files_dialog();
  void on_menu_file_quit();
  void on_menu_file_new();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_Box;

  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder> m_refBuilder;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gio::SimpleActionGroup> m_refActionGroup;

  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::RecentManager> m_refRecentManager;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window(app);

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow(const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Application>& app)
: m_Box(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_refRecentManager(Gtk::RecentManager::get_default())
{
  set_title("Recent files example");
  set_default_size(300, 150);

  //We can put a MenuBar at the top of the box and other stuff below it.
  add(m_Box);

  //Create actions for menus and toolbars:
  m_refActionGroup = Gio::SimpleActionGroup::create();

  //File menu:
  m_refActionGroup->add_action("new",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_new));

  //A menu item to open the file chooser dialog:
  m_refActionGroup->add_action("files-dialog",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_files_dialog));

  m_refActionGroup->add_action("quit",
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_quit) );

  insert_action_group("example", m_refActionGroup);


  m_refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create();

  // When the menubar is a child of a Gtk::Window, keyboard accelerators are not
  // automatically fetched from the Gio::Menu.
  // See the examples/book/menus/main_menu example for an alternative way of
  // adding the menubar when using Gtk::ApplicationWindow.
  app->set_accel_for_action("example.new", "<Primary>n");
  app->set_accel_for_action("example.files-dialog", "<Primary>o");
  app->set_accel_for_action("example.quit", "<Primary>q");

  //Layout the actions in a menubar and a toolbar:
  const char* ui_info =
    "<interface>"
    "  <menu id='menubar'>"
    "    <submenu>"
    "      <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_File</attribute>"
    "      <item>"
    "        <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_New</attribute>"
    "        <attribute name='action'>example.new</attribute>"
    "        <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;n</attribute>"
    "      </item>"
    "      <item>"
    "        <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>File Chooser _Dialog</attribute>"
    "        <attribute name='action'>example.files-dialog</attribute>"
    "        <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;o</attribute>"
    "      </item>"
    "      <item>"
    "        <attribute name='label' translatable='yes'>_Quit</attribute>"
    "        <attribute name='action'>example.quit</attribute>"
    "        <attribute name='accel'>&lt;Primary&gt;q</attribute>"
    "      </item>"
    "    </submenu>"
    "  </menu>"
    "  <object class='GtkToolbar' id='toolbar'>"
    "    <property name='can_focus'>False</property>"
    "    <child>"
    "      <object class='GtkToolButton' id='toolbutton_new'>"
    "        <property name='can_focus'>False</property>"
    "        <property name='tooltip_text' translatable='yes'>New</property>"
    "        <property name='action_name'>example.new</property>"
    "        <property name='icon_name'>document-new</property>"
    "        <property name='expand'>False</property>"
    "        <property name='homogeneous'>True</property>"
    "      </object>"
    "    </child>"
    "    <child>"
    "      <object class='GtkToolButton' id='toolbutton_quit'>"
    "        <property name='can_focus'>False</property>"
    "        <property name='tooltip_text' translatable='yes'>Quit</property>"
    "        <property name='action_name'>example.quit</property>"
    "        <property name='icon_name'>application-exit</property>"
    "        <property name='expand'>False</property>"
    "        <property name='homogeneous'>True</property>"
    "      </object>"
    "    </child>"
    "  </object>"
    "</interface>";

  try
  {
    m_refBuilder->add_from_string(ui_info);
  }
  catch(const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "building menubar and toolbar failed: " <<  ex.what();
  }

  //Get the menubar and toolbar widgets, and add them to a container widget:
  auto object = m_refBuilder->get_object("menubar");
  auto gmenu = std::dynamic_pointer_cast<Gio::Menu>(object);
  if (gmenu)
  {
    //Menubar:
    auto pMenubar = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::MenuBar>(gmenu);
    m_Box.add(*pMenubar);
  }
  else
    g_warning("GMenu not found");

  Gtk::Toolbar* pToolbar = nullptr;
  m_refBuilder->get_widget("toolbar", pToolbar);
  if (pToolbar)
    //Toolbar:
    m_Box.add(*pToolbar);
  else
    g_warning("GtkToolbar not found");
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_new()
{
  std::cout << " New File" << std::endl;
}

void ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_quit()
{
  hide(); //Closes the main window to stop the app->run().
}

void ExampleWindow::on_menu_file_files_dialog()
{
  Gtk::FileChooserDialog dialog(*this, "Files", Gtk::FileChooser::Action::OPEN,
    /* use_header_bar= */ true);
  dialog.add_button("Select File", Gtk::ResponseType::OK);
  dialog.add_button("_Cancel", Gtk::ResponseType::CANCEL);

  const int response = dialog.run();
  dialog.hide();
  if (response == Gtk::ResponseType::OK)
  {
    auto selected_uri = dialog.get_uri();
    std::cout << "URI selected = " << selected_uri << std::endl;
    std::cout << (m_refRecentManager->has_item(selected_uri) ? "A" : "Not a")
      << " recently used file" << std::endl;
  }
}

The constructor for ExampleWindow creates the menu and the toolbar using Builder (see Chapter 13 ― Menus and Toolbars for more information). It then adds the menu and the toolbar to the window.

20.2.2. Filtering Files

For any of the FileChooser classes, if you don't wish to display all of the items in the list of files, you can filter the list to show only those that you want. You can filter the list with the help of the FileFilter class. This class allows you to filter files by their name (add_pattern()), or their mime type (add_mime_type()).

After you've created and set up the filter to match only the items you want, you can apply a filter to a chooser widget with the FileChooser::add_filter() function.

21. Keyboard Events

X events differ in some ways from other signals. These differences are described in the X Event signals section in the appendix. Here we will use keyboard events to show how X events can be used in a program.

21.1. Overview

Whenever you press or release a key, an event is emitted. You can connect a signal handler to handle such events.

The event signal handler will receive an argument that depends on the type of event. For keyboard events it's a GdkEventKey*. As discribed in the appendix, the event signal handler returns a bool value, to indicate that the signal is fully handled (true) or allow event propagation (false).

To determine which key was pressed or released, you read the value of GdkEventKey::keyval and compare it with a constant in the <gdk/gdkkeysyms.h> header file. The states of modifier keys (shift, ctrl, etc.) are available as bit-flags in GdkEventKey::state.

Here's a simple example:

bool on_key_press_or_release_event(GdkEventKey* event)
{
  if (event->type == GDK_KEY_PRESS &&
    event->keyval == GDK_KEY_1 &&
    (event->state & (GDK_SHIFT_MASK | GDK_CONTROL_MASK | GDK_MOD1_MASK)) == GDK_MOD1_MASK)
  {
    handle_alt_1_press(); // GDK_MOD1_MASK is normally the Alt key
    return true;
  }
  return false;
}

Gtk::Entry m_entry; // in a class definition

// in the class constructor
m_entry.signal_key_press_event().connect( sigc::ptr_fun(&on_key_press_or_release_event) );
m_entry.signal_key_release_event().connect( sigc::ptr_fun(&on_key_press_or_release_event) );

21.1.1. Example

In this example there are three keyboard shortcuts: Alt+1 selects the first radio button, Alt+2 selects the second one, and the Esc key hides (closes) the window. The default event signal handler is overridden, as described in the Overriding default signal handlers section in the appendix.

Figure 21-1Keyboard Events - Simple

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:

  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

private:
  // Signal handler:
  bool on_window_key_pressed(guint keyval, guint keycode, Gdk::ModifierType state);

  Gtk::Grid m_container;
  Gtk::RadioButton m_first;
  Gtk::RadioButton m_second;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
{
  set_title("Keyboard Events");
  m_container.set_margin(10);
  add(m_container);

  // Radio buttons:
  m_first.set_label("First");
  m_second.set_label("Second");

  m_second.join_group(m_first);
  m_first.set_active();

  // Main Container:
  m_container.add(m_first);
  m_container.add(m_second);

  // Events.
  auto controller = Gtk::EventControllerKey::create();
  controller->signal_key_pressed().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_window_key_pressed), false);
  add_controller(controller);
}

bool ExampleWindow::on_window_key_pressed(guint keyval, guint, Gdk::ModifierType state)
{
  //Gdk::ModifierType::MOD1_MASK -> the 'Alt' key(mask)
  //GDK_KEY_1 -> the '1' key
  //GDK_KEY_2 -> the '2' key

  //select the first radio button, when we press alt + 1
  if((keyval == GDK_KEY_1) &&
    (state & (Gdk::ModifierType::SHIFT_MASK | Gdk::ModifierType::CONTROL_MASK | Gdk::ModifierType::MOD1_MASK)) == Gdk::ModifierType::MOD1_MASK)
  {
    m_first.set_active();
    //returning true, cancels the propagation of the event
    return true;
  }
  else if((keyval == GDK_KEY_2) &&
    (state & (Gdk::ModifierType::SHIFT_MASK | Gdk::ModifierType::CONTROL_MASK | Gdk::ModifierType::MOD1_MASK)) == Gdk::ModifierType::MOD1_MASK)
  {
    //and the second radio button, when we press alt + 2
    m_second.set_active();
    return true;
  }
  else if(keyval == GDK_KEY_Escape)
  {
    //close the window, when the 'esc' key is pressed
    hide();
    return true;
  }

  //the event has not been handled
  return false;
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

21.2. Event Propagation

Event propagation means that, when an event is emitted on a particular widget, it can be passed to its parent widget (and that widget can pass it to its parent, and so on) and, if the parent has an event handler, that handler will be called.

Contrary to other events, keyboard events are first sent to the toplevel window (Gtk::Window), where it will be checked for any keyboard shortcuts that may be set (accelerator keys and mnemonics, used for selecting menu items from the keyboard). After this (and assuming the event wasn't handled), it is sent to the widget which has focus, and the propagation begins from there.

The event will propagate until it reaches the top-level widget, or until you stop the propagation by returning true from an event handler.

Notice, that after canceling an event, no other function will be called (even if it is from the same widget).

21.2.1. Example

In this example there are three event handlers that are called after Gtk::Window's default event handler, one in the Gtk::Entry, one in the Gtk::Grid and one in the Gtk::Window.

In the Gtk::Window, we have also the default handler overridden (on_key_release_event()), and another handler being called before the default handler (windowKeyReleaseBefore()).

The purpose of this example is to show the steps the event takes when it is emitted.

When you write in the entry, a key release event will be emitted, which will go first to the toplevel window (Gtk::Window), since we have one event handler set to be called before, that's what is called first (windowKeyReleaseBefore()). Then the default handler is called (which we have overridden), and after that the event is sent to the widget that has focus, the Entry in our example and, depending on whether we let it propagate, it can reach the Grid's and the Window's event handlers. If it propagates, the text you're writing will appear in the Label above the Entry.

Figure 21-2Keyboard Events - Event Propagation

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EVENT_PROPAGATION_H
#define GTKMM_EVENT_PROPAGATION_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:

  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

private:
  // Signal handlers:
  bool label2_key_pressed(guint keyval, guint keycode, Gdk::ModifierType state, const Glib::ustring& phase);
  bool grid_key_pressed(guint keyval, guint keycode, Gdk::ModifierType state, const Glib::ustring& phase);
  bool window_key_pressed(guint keyval, guint keycode, Gdk::ModifierType state, const Glib::ustring& phase);

  bool m_first = true;
  Gtk::Grid m_container;
  Gtk::Frame m_frame;
  Gtk::Label m_label1;
  Gtk::Label m_label2;
  Gtk::CheckButton m_checkbutton_can_propagate_down;
  Gtk::CheckButton m_checkbutton_can_propagate_up;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EVENT_PROPAGATION_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
:
m_label1("A label"),
m_label2("Write here"),
m_checkbutton_can_propagate_down("Can propagate down"),
m_checkbutton_can_propagate_up("Can propagate up")
{
  set_title("Event Propagation");
  m_container.set_margin(10);
  add(m_container);

  m_frame.add(m_label2);
  m_label2.set_selectable();
  m_checkbutton_can_propagate_down.set_active();
  m_checkbutton_can_propagate_up.set_active();

  // Main container
  m_container.set_orientation(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL);
  m_container.add(m_label1);
  m_container.add(m_frame);
  m_container.add(m_checkbutton_can_propagate_down);
  m_container.add(m_checkbutton_can_propagate_up);

  // Events
  const bool after = false; // Run before or after the default signal handlers.

  // Called in the capture phase of the event handling.
  auto controller = Gtk::EventControllerKey::create();
  controller->set_propagation_phase(Gtk::PropagationPhase::CAPTURE);
  controller->signal_key_pressed().connect(
    sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::label2_key_pressed), "capture"), after);
  m_label2.add_controller(controller);

  controller = Gtk::EventControllerKey::create();
  controller->set_propagation_phase(Gtk::PropagationPhase::CAPTURE);
  controller->signal_key_pressed().connect(
    sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::grid_key_pressed), "capture"), after);
  m_container.add_controller(controller);

  controller = Gtk::EventControllerKey::create();
  controller->set_propagation_phase(Gtk::PropagationPhase::CAPTURE);
  controller->signal_key_pressed().connect(
    sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::window_key_pressed), "capture"), after);
  add_controller(controller);

  // Called in the target phase of the event handling.
  controller = Gtk::EventControllerKey::create();
  controller->set_propagation_phase(Gtk::PropagationPhase::TARGET);
  controller->signal_key_pressed().connect(
    sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::label2_key_pressed), "target"), after);
  m_label2.add_controller(controller);

  controller = Gtk::EventControllerKey::create();
  controller->set_propagation_phase(Gtk::PropagationPhase::TARGET);
  controller->signal_key_pressed().connect(
    sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::grid_key_pressed), "target"), after);
  m_container.add_controller(controller);

  controller = Gtk::EventControllerKey::create();
  controller->set_propagation_phase(Gtk::PropagationPhase::TARGET);
  controller->signal_key_pressed().connect(
    sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::window_key_pressed), "target"), after);
  add_controller(controller);

  // Called in the bubble phase of the event handling.
  // This is the default, if set_propagation_phase() is not called.
  controller = Gtk::EventControllerKey::create();
  controller->set_propagation_phase(Gtk::PropagationPhase::BUBBLE);
  controller->signal_key_pressed().connect(
    sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::label2_key_pressed), "bubble"), after);
  m_label2.add_controller(controller);

  controller = Gtk::EventControllerKey::create();
  controller->set_propagation_phase(Gtk::PropagationPhase::BUBBLE);
  controller->signal_key_pressed().connect(
    sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::grid_key_pressed), "bubble"), after);
  m_container.add_controller(controller);

  controller = Gtk::EventControllerKey::create();
  controller->set_propagation_phase(Gtk::PropagationPhase::BUBBLE);
  controller->signal_key_pressed().connect(
    sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::window_key_pressed), "bubble"), after);
  add_controller(controller);
}

// By changing the return value we allow, or don't allow, the event to propagate to other elements.
bool ExampleWindow::label2_key_pressed(guint keyval, guint, Gdk::ModifierType, const Glib::ustring& phase)
{
  std::cout << "Label,  " << phase << " phase" << std::endl;

  if (phase == "bubble")
  {
    const gunichar unichar = gdk_keyval_to_unicode(keyval);
    if (unichar != 0)
    {
      if (m_first)
      {
        m_label2.set_label("");
        m_first = false;
      }
      if (unichar == '\b')
        m_label2.set_label("");
      else
      {
        const Glib::ustring newchar(1, unichar);
        m_label2.set_label(m_label2.get_label() + newchar);
      }
    }

    if (!m_checkbutton_can_propagate_up.get_active())
      return true; // Don't propagate
  }
  return false;
}

bool ExampleWindow::grid_key_pressed(guint, guint, Gdk::ModifierType, const Glib::ustring& phase)
{
  std::cout << "Grid,   " << phase << " phase" << std::endl;

  // Let it propagate
  return false;
}

// This will set the second label's text in the first label every time a key is pressed.
bool ExampleWindow::window_key_pressed(guint, guint, Gdk::ModifierType, const Glib::ustring& phase)
{
  if (phase == "capture")
    std::cout << std::endl;
  std::cout << "Window, " << phase << " phase";

  // Checking if the second label is on focus, otherwise the label would get
  // changed by pressing keys on the window (when the label is not on focus),
  // even if m_checkbutton_can_propagate_up wasn't active.
  if (phase == "bubble" && m_label2.has_focus())
  {
    m_label1.set_text(m_label2.get_text());
    std::cout << ", " << m_label2.get_text();
  }
  std::cout << std::endl;

  if (phase == "capture" && !m_checkbutton_can_propagate_down.get_active())
    return true; // Don't propagate
  return false;
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

22. Timeouts, I/O and Idle Functions

22.1. Timeouts

You may be wondering how to make gtkmm do useful work while it's idling along. Happily, you have several options. Using the following methods you can create a timeout method that will be called every few milliseconds.

sigc::connection Glib::SignalTimeout::connect(const sigc::slot<bool()>& slot,
                                      unsigned int interval, int priority = Glib::PRIORITY_DEFAULT);

The first argument is a slot you wish to have called when the timeout occurs. The second argument is the number of milliseconds between calls to that method. You receive a sigc::connection object that can be used to deactivate the connection using its disconnect() method:

my_connection.disconnect();

Another way of destroying the connection is your signal handler. It has to be of the type sigc::slot<bool()>. As you see from the definition your signal handler has to return a value of the type bool. A definition of a sample method might look like this:

bool MyCallback() { std::cout << "Hello World!\n" << std::endl; return true; }

You can stop the timeout method by returning false from your signal handler. Therefore, if you want your method to be called repeatedly, it should return true.

Here's an example of this technique:

Source Code

File: timerexample.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_TIMEREXAMPLE_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_TIMEREXAMPLE_H

#include <gtkmm.h>
#include <iostream>
#include <map>

class TimerExample : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  TimerExample();

protected:
  // signal handlers
  void on_button_add_timer();
  void on_button_delete_timer();
  void on_button_quit();

  // This is the callback function the timeout will call
  bool on_timeout(int timer_number);

  // Member data:

  Gtk::Box m_Box;
  Gtk::Button m_ButtonAddTimer, m_ButtonDeleteTimer, m_ButtonQuit;

  // Keep track of the timers being added:
  int m_timer_number;

  // These two constants are initialized in the constructor's member initializer:
  const int count_value;
  const int timeout_value;

  // STL map for storing our connections
  std::map<int, sigc::connection> m_timers;

  // STL map for storing our timer values.
  // Each timer counts back from COUNT_VALUE to 0 and is removed when it reaches 0
  std::map<int, int> m_counters;
};

#endif // GTKMM_EXAMPLE_TIMEREXAMPLE_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "timerexample.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main (int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  TimerExample example;
  return app->run(example, argc, argv);
}

File: timerexample.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "timerexample.h"

TimerExample::TimerExample() :
  m_Box(Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL, 10),
  m_ButtonAddTimer("_Add", true),
  m_ButtonDeleteTimer("_Remove", true),
  m_ButtonQuit("_Quit", true),
  m_timer_number(0), // start numbering the timers at 0
  count_value(5), // each timer will count down 5 times before disconnecting
  timeout_value(1500) // 1500 ms = 1.5 seconds
{
  m_Box.set_margin(10);
  add(m_Box);
  m_Box.add(m_ButtonAddTimer);
  m_Box.add(m_ButtonDeleteTimer);
  m_Box.add(m_ButtonQuit);
  for (auto child : m_Box.get_children())
    child->set_expand();

  // Connect the three buttons:
  m_ButtonQuit.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &TimerExample::on_button_quit));
  m_ButtonAddTimer.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &TimerExample::on_button_add_timer));
  m_ButtonDeleteTimer.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &TimerExample::on_button_delete_timer));
}

void TimerExample::on_button_quit()
{
  hide();
}

void TimerExample::on_button_add_timer()
{
  // Creation of a new object prevents long lines and shows us a little
  // how slots work.  We have 0 parameters and bool as a return value
  // after calling sigc::bind.
  sigc::slot<bool()> my_slot = sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &TimerExample::on_timeout), m_timer_number);

  // This is where we connect the slot to the Glib::signal_timeout()
  auto conn = Glib::signal_timeout().connect(my_slot,
          timeout_value);

  // Remember the connection:
  m_timers[m_timer_number] = conn;

  // Initialize timer count:
  m_counters[m_timer_number] = count_value + 1;

  // Print some info to the console for the user:
  std::cout << "added timeout " << m_timer_number++ << std::endl;
}

void TimerExample::on_button_delete_timer()
{
  // any timers?
  if(m_timers.empty())
  {
    // no timers left
    std::cout << "Sorry, there are no timers left." << std::endl;
  }
  else
  {
    // get the number of the first timer
    int timer_number = m_timers.begin()->first;

    // Give some info to the user:
    std::cout << "manually disconnecting timer " << timer_number
        << std::endl;

    // Remove the entry in the counter values
    m_counters.erase(timer_number);

    // Diconnect the signal handler:
    m_timers[timer_number].disconnect();

    // Forget the connection:
    m_timers.erase(timer_number);
  }
}

bool TimerExample::on_timeout(int timer_number)
{
  // Print the timer:
  std::cout << "This is timer " << timer_number;

  // decrement and check counter value
  if (--m_counters[timer_number] == 0)
  {
    std::cout << " being disconnected" <<  std::endl;

    // delete the counter entry in the STL MAP
    m_counters.erase(timer_number);

    // delete the connection entry in the STL MAP
    m_timers.erase(timer_number);

    // Note that we do not have to explicitly call disconnect() on the
    // connection since Gtk::Main does this for us when we return false.
    return false;
  }

  // Print the timer value
  std::cout << " - " << m_counters[timer_number] << "/"
      << count_value << std::endl;

 // Keep going (do not disconnect yet):
  return true;
}

22.2. Monitoring I/O

A nifty feature of Glib (one of the libraries underlying gtkmm) is the ability to have it check for data on a file descriptor for you. This is especially useful for networking applications. The following method is used to do this:

sigc::connection Glib::SignalIO::connect(const sigc::slot<bool(Glib::IOCondition)>& slot,
                                 Glib::PollFD::fd_t fd, Glib::IOCondition condition,
                                 int priority = Glib::PRIORITY_DEFAULT);

The first argument is a slot you wish to have called when the specified event (see argument 3) occurs on the file descriptor you specify using argument two. Argument three may be one or more (using |) of:

  • Glib::IO_IN - Call your method when there is data ready for reading on your file descriptor.
  • Glib::IO_OUT - Call your method when the file descriptor is ready for writing.
  • Glib::IO_PRI - Call your method when the file descriptor has urgent data to be read.
  • Glib::IO_ERR - Call your method when an error has occurred on the file descriptor.
  • Glib::IO_HUP - Call your method when hung up (the connection has been broken usually for pipes and sockets).

The return value is a sigc::connection that may be used to stop monitoring this file descriptor using its disconnect() method. The slot signal handler should be declared as follows:

bool input_callback(Glib::IOCondition condition);

where condition is as specified above. As usual the slot is created with sigc::mem_fun() (for a member method of an object), or sigc::ptr_fun() (for a function).

A little example follows. To use the example just execute it from a terminal; it doesn't create a window. It will create a pipe named testfifo in the current directory. Then start another shell and execute echo "Hello" > testfifo. The example will print each line you enter until you execute echo "Q" > testfifo.

Source Code

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include <build/config.h>
#include <gtkmm/application.h>
#include <glibmm/main.h>
#include <glibmm/iochannel.h>
#include <fcntl.h>
#include <iostream>

#include <unistd.h> //The SUN Forte compiler puts F_OK here.

//The SUN Forte compiler needs these for mkfifo:
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/stat.h>

Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Application> app;

int read_fd;
Glib::RefPtr<Glib::IOChannel> iochannel;

/*
  send to the fifo with:
  echo "Hello" > testfifo

  quit the program with:
  echo "Q" > testfifo
*/

// this will be our signal handler for read operations
// it will print out the message sent to the fifo
// and quit the program if the message was 'Q'.
bool MyCallback(Glib::IOCondition io_condition)
{
  if ((io_condition & Glib::IOCondition::IO_IN) != Glib::IOCondition::IO_IN) {
    std::cerr << "Invalid fifo response" << std::endl;
  }
  else {
   Glib::ustring buf;

   iochannel->read_line(buf);
   std::cout << buf;
   if (buf == "Q\n")
     app->quit();

  }
  return true;
}


int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  if (access("testfifo", F_OK) == -1) {
    // fifo doesn't exist - create it
    #ifdef HAVE_MKFIFO
    if (mkfifo("testfifo", 0666) != 0) {
      std::cerr << "error creating fifo" << std::endl;
      return -1;
    }
    #else
      std::cerr << "error creating fifo: This platform does not have mkfifo()"
          << std::endl;
    #endif //HAVE_MKFIFO
  }

  // Although we will only read from the fifo, we open it in read/write mode.
  // Due to a peculiarity with the poll() system call, used deep down in glib,
  // this small program will use all available CPU time, if the fifo is opened
  // as O_RDONLY. See a discussion on the gtkmm-list, e.g.
  // https://mail.gnome.org/archives/gtkmm-list/2015-September/msg00034.html
  // and the link from there to stackoverflow.
  read_fd = open("testfifo", O_RDWR);
  if (read_fd == -1)
  {
    std::cerr << "error opening fifo" << std::endl;
    return -1;
  }

  // connect the signal handler
  Glib::signal_io().connect(sigc::ptr_fun(MyCallback), read_fd, Glib::IOCondition::IO_IN);

  // Creates a iochannel from the file descriptor
  iochannel = Glib::IOChannel::create_from_fd(read_fd);

  // and last but not least - run the application main loop
  app->hold(); // keep the application running without a window
  app->run(argc, argv);

  // now remove the temporary fifo
  if(unlink("testfifo"))
    std::cerr << "error removing fifo" << std::endl;

  return 0;
}

22.3. Idle Functions

If you want to specify a method that gets called when nothing else is happening, use the following:

sigc::connection  Glib::SignalIdle::connect(const sigc::slot<bool()>& slot,
                                    int priority = Glib::PRIORITY_DEFAULT_IDLE);

This causes gtkmm to call the specified method whenever nothing else is happening. You can add a priority (lower numbers are higher priorities). There are two ways to remove the signal handler: calling disconnect() on the sigc::connection object, or returning false in the signal handler, which should be declared as follows:

bool idleFunc();

Since this is very similar to the methods above this explanation should be sufficient to understand what's going on. However, here's a little example:

Source Code

File: idleexample.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_IDLEEXAMPLE_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_IDLEEXAMPLE_H

#include <gtkmm.h>
#include <iostream>

class IdleExample : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  IdleExample();

protected:
  // Signal Handlers:
  bool on_timer();
  bool on_idle();
  void on_button_clicked();

  // Member data:
  Gtk::Box m_Box;
  Gtk::Button m_ButtonQuit;
  Gtk::ProgressBar m_ProgressBar_c;
  Gtk::ProgressBar m_ProgressBar_d;
};

#endif // GTKMM_EXAMPLE_IDLEEXAMPLE_H

File: idleexample.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "idleexample.h"

IdleExample::IdleExample() :
  m_Box(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL, 5),
  m_ButtonQuit("_Quit", true)
{
  m_Box.set_margin(5);

  // Put buttons into container

  // Adding a few widgets:
  add(m_Box);
  m_Box.add(*Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::Label>("Formatting Windows drive C:"));
  m_Box.add(*Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::Label>("100 MB"));
  m_Box.add(m_ProgressBar_c);
  m_ProgressBar_c.set_expand();

  m_Box.add(*Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::Label>(""));

  m_Box.add(*Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::Label>("Formatting Windows drive D:"));
  m_Box.add(*Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::Label>("5000 MB"));
  m_Box.add(m_ProgressBar_d);
  m_ProgressBar_d.set_expand();

  auto hbox = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::Box>(Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL,10);
  m_Box.add(*hbox);
  hbox->add(m_ButtonQuit);
  m_ButtonQuit.set_expand();
  m_ButtonQuit.set_halign(Gtk::Align::END);
  m_ButtonQuit.set_valign(Gtk::Align::END);

  // Connect the signal handlers:
  m_ButtonQuit.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &IdleExample::on_button_clicked) );

  // formatting drive c in timeout signal handler - called once every 50ms
  Glib::signal_timeout().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this, &IdleExample::on_timer),
          50 );

  // formatting drive d in idle signal handler - called as quickly as possible
  Glib::signal_idle().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this, &IdleExample::on_idle) );
}


void IdleExample::on_button_clicked()
{
  hide();
}

// this timer callback function is executed once every 50ms (set in connection
// above).  Use timeouts when speed is not critical. (ie periodically updating
// something).
bool IdleExample::on_timer()
{
  double value = m_ProgressBar_c.get_fraction();

  // Update progressbar 1/500th each time:
  m_ProgressBar_c.set_fraction(value + 0.002);

  return value < 0.99;  // return false when done
}


// This idle callback function is executed as often as possible, hence it is
// ideal for processing intensive tasks.
bool IdleExample::on_idle()
{
  double value = m_ProgressBar_d.get_fraction();

  // Update progressbar 1/5000th each time:
  m_ProgressBar_d.set_fraction(value + 0.0002);

  return value < 0.99;  // return false when done
}

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "idleexample.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main (int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  IdleExample example;
  return app->run(example, argc, argv);
}

This example points out the difference of idle and timeout methods a little. If you need methods that are called periodically, and speed is not very important, then you want timeout methods. If you want methods that are called as often as possible (like calculating a fractal in background), then use idle methods.

Try executing the example and increasing the system load. The upper progress bar will increase steadily; the lower one will slow down.

23. Memory management

23.1. Widgets

23.1.1. Normal C++ memory management

gtkmm allows the programmer to control the lifetime (that is, the construction and destruction) of any widget in the same manner as any other C++ object. This flexibility allows you to use new and delete to create and destroy objects dynamically or to use regular class members (that are destroyed automatically when the class is destroyed) or to use local instances (that are destroyed when the instance goes out of scope). This flexibility is not present in some C++ GUI toolkits, which restrict the programmer to only a subset of C++'s memory management features.

Here are some examples of normal C++ memory management:

23.1.1.1. Class Scope widgets

If a programmer does not need dynamic memory allocation, automatic widgets in class scope may be used. One advantage of automatic widgets in class scope is that memory management is grouped in one place. The programmer does not risk memory leaks from failing to delete a widget.

The primary disadvantage of using class scope widgets is revealing the class implementation rather than the class interface in the class header.

#include <gtkmm/button.h>
#include <gtkmm/window.h>
class Foo : public Gtk::Window
{
private:
  Gtk::Button theButton;
  // will be destroyed when the Foo object is destroyed
};

23.1.1.2. Function scope widgets

If a programmer does not need a class scope widget, a function scope widget may also be used. The advantages to function scope over class scope are the increased data hiding and reduced dependencies.

{
  Gtk::Button aButton;
  aButton.show();
  ...
  app->run();
}

23.1.1.3. Dynamic allocation with new and delete

Usually, the programmer will prefer to allow containers to automatically destroy their children by creating them using Gtk::make_managed() (see below). This is not strictly required, as the new and delete operators may also be used, but modern C++ style discourages those in favour of safer models of memory management, so it is better to create widgets using Gtk::make_managed() and let their parent destroy them, than to manually perform dynamic allocation.

auto pButton = new Gtk::Button("Test");

// do something useful with pButton

delete pButton;
Here, the programmer deletes pButton to prevent a memory leak.

23.1.2. Managed Widgets

Alternatively, you can let a widget's container control when the widget is destroyed. In most cases, you want a widget to last only as long as the container it is in. To delegate the management of a widget's lifetime to its container, create it with Gtk::make_managed() and then pack it into its container with Gtk::Container::add() or a similar method. Now the widget will be destroyed whenever its container is destroyed.

23.1.2.1. Dynamic allocation with make_managed() and add()

gtkmm provides ways including the make_managed() function and Gtk::Container::add() method to simplify creation and destruction of widgets whose lifetime can be managed by a parent.

Every widget except a top-level window must be added to a parent container in order to be displayed. The manage() function marks a widget so that when that widget is added to a parent container, said container becomes responsible for deleting the widget, meaning the user no longer needs to do so. The original way to create widgets whose lifetime is managed by their parent in this way was to call manage(), passing in the result of a new expression that created a dynamically allocated widget.

However, usually, when you create such a widget, you will already know that its parent container should be responsible for destroying it, In addition, modern C++ style discourages use of the new operator, which was required when passing a newly created widget to manage(). Therefore, gtkmm has added make_managed(), which combines creation and marking with manage() into a single step. This avoids you having to write new, which is discouraged in modern C++ style, and more clearly expresses intent to create a managed widget.

MyContainer::MyContainer()
{
  auto pButton = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::Button>("Test");
  add(*pButton); //add *pButton to MyContainer
}
Now, when objects of type MyContainer are destroyed, the button will also be deleted. It is no longer necessary to delete pButton to free the button's memory; its deletion has been delegated to the MyContainer object.

Note that if you never added the widget to any parent container, or you did but later Gtk::Container::remove()d it from said parent, gtkmm restores the widget’s lifetime management to whatever state it had before manage() was called, which typically means that the responsibility for deleteing the widget returns to the user.

Of course, a top-level container will not be added to another container. The programmer is responsible for destroying the top-level container using one of the traditional C++ techniques. For instance, your top-level Window might just be an instance in your main() function.

23.2. Shared resources

Some objects, such as Gdk::Pixbufs and Pango::Fonts, are obtained from a shared store. Therefore you cannot instantiate your own instances. These classes typically inherit from Glib::Object. Rather than requiring you to reference and unreference these objects, gtkmm uses the Glib::RefPtr<> smartpointer. Cairomm has its own smartpointer, Cairo::RefPtr<>.

Objects such as Gdk::Pixbuf can only be instantiated with a create() function. For instance,

auto pixbuf = Gdk::Pixbuf::create_from_file(filename);

You have no way of getting a bare Gdk::Pixbuf. In the example, pixbuf is a smart pointer, so you can do this, much like a normal pointer:

auto width = 0;
if(pixbuf)
{
  width = pixbuf->get_width();
}

When pixbuf goes out of scope an unref() will happen in the background and you don't need to worry about it anymore. There's no new so there's no delete.

If you copy a RefPtr, for instance

auto pixbuf2 = pixbuf;
, or if you pass it as a method argument or a return type, then RefPtr will do any necessary referencing to ensure that the instance will not be destroyed until the last RefPtr has gone out of scope.

See the appendix for detailed information about RefPtr.

If you wish to learn more about smartpointers, you might look in these books:

  • Bjarne Stroustrup, "The C++ Programming Language" Forth Edition - section 34.3
  • Nicolai M. Josuttis, "The C++ Standard Library" - section 4.2

24. Glade and Gtk::Builder

Although you can use C++ code to instantiate and arrange widgets, this can soon become tedious and repetitive. And it requires a recompilation to show changes. The Glade application allows you to layout widgets on screen and then save an XML description of the arrangement. Your application can then use the Gtk::Builder API to load that XML file at runtime and obtain a pointer to specifically named widget instances.

This has the following advantages:

  1. Less C++ code is required.

  2. UI changes can be seen more quickly, so UIs are able to improve.

  3. Designers without programming skills can create and edit UIs.

You still need C++ code to deal with User Interface changes triggered by user actions, but using Gtk::Builder for the widget layout allows you to focus on implementing that functionality.

24.1. Loading the .glade file

Gtk::Builder must be used via a Glib::RefPtr. Like all such classes, you need to use a create() method to instantiate it. For instance,

auto builder = Gtk::Builder::create_from_file("basic.glade");
This will instantiate the windows defined in the .glade file, though they will not be shown immediately unless you have specified that via the Properties window in Glade.

To instantiate just one window, or just one of the child widgets, you can specify the name of a widget as the second parameter. For instance,

auto builder = Gtk::Builder::create_from_file("basic.glade", "treeview_products");

24.2. Accessing widgets

To access a widget, for instance to show() a dialog, use the get_widget() method, providing the widget's name. This name should be specified in the Glade Properties window. If the widget could not be found, or is of the wrong type, then the pointer will be set to nullptr.

Gtk::Dialog* pDialog = nullptr;
builder->get_widget("DialogBasic", pDialog);

Gtk::Builder checks for a null pointer, and checks that the widget is of the expected type, and will show warnings on the command line about these.

Remember that you are not instantiating a widget with get_widget(), you are just obtaining a pointer to one that already exists. You will always receive a pointer to the same instance when you call get_widget() on the same Gtk::Builder, with the same widget name. The widgets are instantiated during Gtk::Builder::create_from_file().

get_widget() returns child widgets that are manage()ed (see the Memory Management chapter), so they will be deleted when their parent container is deleted. So, if you get only a child widget from Gtk::Builder, instead of a whole window, then you must either put it in a Container or delete it. Windows (such as Dialogs) cannot be managed because they have no parent container, so you must delete them at some point.

24.2.1. Example

This simple example shows how to load a Glade file at runtime and access the widgets with Gtk::Builder.

Source Code

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include <gtkmm.h>
#include <iostream>

Gtk::Dialog* pDialog = nullptr;

static
void on_button_clicked()
{
  if(pDialog)
    pDialog->hide(); //hide() will cause main::run() to end.
}

int main (int argc, char **argv)
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  //Load the GtkBuilder file and instantiate its widgets:
  auto refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create();
  try
  {
    refBuilder->add_from_file("basic.glade");
  }
  catch(const Glib::FileError& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "FileError: " << ex.what() << std::endl;
    return 1;
  }
  catch(const Glib::MarkupError& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "MarkupError: " << ex.what() << std::endl;
    return 1;
  }
  catch(const Gtk::BuilderError& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "BuilderError: " << ex.what() << std::endl;
    return 1;
  }

  //Get the GtkBuilder-instantiated Dialog:
  refBuilder->get_widget("DialogBasic", pDialog);
  if(pDialog)
  {
    //Get the GtkBuilder-instantiated Button, and connect a signal handler:
    Gtk::Button* pButton = nullptr;
    refBuilder->get_widget("quit_button", pButton);
    if(pButton)
    {
      pButton->signal_clicked().connect( sigc::ptr_fun(on_button_clicked) );
    }

    app->run(*pDialog, argc, argv);
  }

  delete pDialog;

  return 0;
}

24.3. Using derived widgets

You can use Glade to layout your own custom widgets derived from gtkmm widget classes. This keeps your code organized and encapsulated. Of course you won't see the exact appearance and properties of your derived widget in Glade, but you can specify its location and child widgets and the properties of its gtkmm base class.

Use Gtk::Builder::get_widget_derived() like so:

DerivedDialog* pDialog = nullptr;
builder->get_widget_derived("DialogBasic", pDialog);

Your derived class must have a constructor that takes a pointer to the underlying C type, and the Gtk::Builder instance. All relevant classes of gtkmm typedef their underlying C type as BaseObjectType (Gtk::Dialog typedefs BaseObjectType as GtkDialog, for instance).

You must call the base class's constructor in the initialization list, providing the C pointer. For instance,

DerivedDialog::DerivedDialog(BaseObjectType* cobject, const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& builder)
: Gtk::Dialog(cobject)
{
}

You could then encapsulate the manipulation of the child widgets in the constructor of the derived class, maybe using get_widget() or get_widget_derived() again. For instance,

DerivedDialog::DerivedDialog(BaseObjectType* cobject, const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& builder)
: Gtk::Dialog(cobject),
  m_builder(builder),
  m_pButton(nullptr)
{
  //Get the Glade-instantiated Button, and connect a signal handler:
  m_builder->get_widget("quit_button", m_pButton);
  if(m_pButton)
  {
    m_pButton->signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this, &DerivedDialog::on_button_quit) );
  }
}

It's possible to pass additional arguments from get_widget_derived() to the constructor of the derived widget. For instance, this call to get_widget_derived()

DerivedDialog* pDialog = nullptr;
builder->get_widget_derived("DialogBasic", pDialog, true);
can invoke this constructor
DerivedDialog::DerivedDialog(BaseObjectType* cobject, const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& builder, bool warning)
: Gtk::Dialog(cobject),
  m_builder(builder),
  m_pButton(nullptr)
{
  // ....
}

24.3.1. Example

This example shows how to load a Glade file at runtime and access the widgets via a derived class.

Source Code

File: deriveddialog.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_DERIVED_DIALOG_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_DERIVED_DIALOG_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class DerivedDialog : public Gtk::Dialog
{
public:
  DerivedDialog(BaseObjectType* cobject, const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refGlade);
  DerivedDialog(BaseObjectType* cobject, const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refGlade,
    bool is_glad);
  virtual ~DerivedDialog();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_quit();

  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder> m_refGlade;
  Gtk::Button* m_pButton;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLE_DERIVED_WINDOW_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "deriveddialog.h"
#include <iostream>
#include <cstring>

int main (int argc, char **argv)
{
  bool show_icon = false;
  bool is_glad = true;
  int argc1 = argc;
  if (argc > 1)
  {
    if (std::strcmp(argv[1], "--glad") == 0)
    {
      show_icon = true;
      is_glad = true;
      argc1 = 1; // Don't give the command line arguments to Gtk::Application.
    }
    else if (std::strcmp(argv[1], "--sad") == 0)
    {
      show_icon = true;
      is_glad = false;
      argc1 = 1; // Don't give the command line arguments to Gtk::Application.
    }
  }

  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  //Load the Glade file and instantiate its widgets:
  auto refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create();
  try
  {
    refBuilder->add_from_file("derived.glade");
  }
  catch(const Glib::FileError& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "FileError: " << ex.what() << std::endl;
    return 1;
  }
  catch(const Glib::MarkupError& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "MarkupError: " << ex.what() << std::endl;
    return 1;
  }
  catch(const Gtk::BuilderError& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "BuilderError: " << ex.what() << std::endl;
    return 1;
  }

  //Get the GtkBuilder-instantiated dialog:
  DerivedDialog* pDialog = nullptr;
  if (show_icon)
    // This call to get_widget_derived() requires gtkmm 3.19.7 or higher.
    Gtk::Builder::get_widget_derived(refBuilder, "DialogDerived", pDialog, is_glad);
  else
    Gtk::Builder::get_widget_derived(refBuilder, "DialogDerived", pDialog);
  if(pDialog)
  {
    //Start:
    app->run(*pDialog, argc1, argv);
  }

  delete pDialog;

  return 0;
}

File: deriveddialog.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "deriveddialog.h"

DerivedDialog::DerivedDialog(BaseObjectType* cobject, const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refGlade)
: Gtk::Dialog(cobject),
  m_refGlade(refGlade),
  m_pButton(nullptr)
{
  //Get the Glade-instantiated Button, and connect a signal handler:
  m_refGlade->get_widget("quit_button", m_pButton);
  if(m_pButton)
  {
    m_pButton->signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this, &DerivedDialog::on_button_quit) );
  }
}

// The first two parameters are mandatory in a constructor that will be called
// from Gtk::Builder::get_widget_derived().
// Additional parameters, if any, correspond to additional arguments in the call
// to Gtk::Builder::get_widget_derived().
DerivedDialog::DerivedDialog(BaseObjectType* cobject, const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refGlade,
  bool is_glad)
: DerivedDialog(cobject, refGlade) // Delegate to the other constructor
{
  // Show an icon.
  auto pImage = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::Image>();
  pImage->set_from_icon_name(is_glad ? "face-smile" : "face-sad");
  pImage->set_icon_size(Gtk::IconSize::LARGE);
  pImage->set_expand();
  get_content_area()->add(*pImage);
}

DerivedDialog::~DerivedDialog()
{
}

void DerivedDialog::on_button_quit()
{
  hide(); //hide() will cause Gtk::Application::run() to end.
}

25. Internationalization and Localization

gtkmm applications can easily support multiple languages, including non-European languages such as Chinese and right-to-left languages such as Arabic. An appropriately-written and translated gtkmm application will use the appropriate language at runtime based on the user's environment.

You might not anticipate the need to support additional languages, but you can never rule it out. And it's easier to develop the application properly in the first place rather than retrofitting later.

The process of writing source code that allows for translation is called internationalization, often abbreviated to i18n. The Localization process, sometimes abbreviated as l10n, provides translated text for other languages, based on that source code.

The main activity in the internationalization process is finding strings seen by users and marking them for translation. You do not need to do it all at once - if you set up the necessary project infrastructure correctly then your application will work normally regardless of how many strings you've covered.

String literals should be typed in the source code in English, but surrounded by a macro. The gettext (or intltool) utility can then extract the marked strings for translation, and substitute the translated text at runtime.

25.1. Preparing your project

In the instructions below we will assume that you will not be using gettext directly, but intltool, which was written specifically for GNOME. intltool uses gettext(), which extracts strings from source code, but intltool can also combine strings from other files, for example from desktop menu details, and GUI resource files such as Glade files, into standard gettext .pot/.po files.

We also assume that you are using autotools (e.g. automake and autoconf) to build your project, and that you are using http://git.gnome.org/browse/gnome-common/tree/autogen.sh or a similar autogen.sh file, which, among other things, takes care of some intltool initialization.

An alternative to gnome-common's autogen.sh may look like this:

#! /bin/sh -e
test -n "$srcdir" || srcdir=`dirname "$0"`
test -n "$srcdir" || srcdir=.

autoreconf --force --install --verbose --warnings=all "$srcdir"
echo "Running intltoolize --copy --force --automake"
intltoolize --copy --force --automake
test -n "$NOCONFIGURE" || "$srcdir/configure" "$@"

Create a sub-directory named po in your project's root directory. This directory will eventually contain all of your translations. Within it, create a file named LINGUAS and a file named POTFILES.in. It is common practice to also create a ChangeLog file in the po directory so that translators can keep track of translation changes.

LINGUAS contains an alphabetically sorted list of codes identifying the languages for which your program is translated (comment lines starting with a # are ignored). Each language code listed in the LINGUAS file must have a corresponding .po file. So, if your program has German and Japanese translations, your LINGUAS file would look like this:

# keep this file sorted alphabetically, one language code per line
de
ja

(In addition, you'd have the files ja.po and de.po in your po directory which contain the German and Japanese translations, respectively.)

POTFILES.in is a list of paths to all files which contain strings marked up for translation, starting from the project root directory. So for example, if your project sources were located in a subdirectory named src, and you had two files that contained strings that should be translated, your POTFILES.in file might look like this:

src/main.cc
src/other.cc

If you are using gettext directly, you can only mark strings for translation if they are in source code file. However, if you use intltool, you can mark strings for translation in a variety of other file formats, including Glade UI files, xml, .desktop files and several more. So, if you have designed some of the application UI in Glade then also add your .glade files to the list in POTFILES.in.

Now that there is a place to put your translations, you need to initialize intltool and gettext. Add the following code to your configure.ac, substituting 'programname' with the name of your program:

IT_PROG_INTLTOOL([0.35.0])

GETTEXT_PACKAGE=programname
AC_SUBST(GETTEXT_PACKAGE)
AC_DEFINE_UNQUOTED([GETTEXT_PACKAGE], ["$GETTEXT_PACKAGE"],
                   [The domain to use with gettext])
AM_GNU_GETTEXT([external])
AM_GNU_GETTEXT_VERSION([0.17])

PROGRAMNAME_LOCALEDIR=[${datadir}/locale]
AC_SUBST(PROGRAMNAME_LOCALEDIR)

This PROGRAMNAME_LOCALEDIR variable will be used later in the Makefile.am file, to define a macro that will be used when you initialize gettext in your source code.

AM_GLIB_GNU_GETTEXT has been an alternative to AM_GNU_GETTEXT and AM_GNU_GETTEXT_VERSION, but AM_GLIB_GNU_GETTEXT is now deprecated, and shall not be used in new code.

In the top-level Makefile.am:

  • Add po to the SUBDIRS variable. Without this, your translations won't get built and installed when you build the program
  • Define INTLTOOL_FILES as:
    INTLTOOL_FILES = intltool-extract.in \
                     intltool-merge.in \
                     intltool-update.in
  • Add INTLTOOL_FILES to the EXTRA_DIST list of files. This ensures that when you do a make dist, these files will be included in the source tarball.
  • Update your DISTCLEANFILES:
    DISTCLEANFILES = ... intltool-extract \
                     intltool-merge \
                     intltool-update \
                     po/.intltool-merge-cache
  • Depending on the types of files that contain translatable strings, add code such as
    desktopdir = $(datadir)/applications
    desktop_in_files = programname.desktop.in
    desktop_DATA = $(desktop_in_files:.desktop.in=.desktop)
    @INTLTOOL_DESKTOP_RULE@

In your src/Makefile.am, update your AM_CPPFLAGS to add the following preprocessor macro definition:

AM_CPPFLAGS = ... -DPROGRAMNAME_LOCALEDIR=\"${PROGRAMNAME_LOCALEDIR}\"

This macro will be used when you initialize gettext in your source code.

25.2. Marking strings for translation

String literals should be typed in the source code in English, but they should be surrounded by a call to the gettext() function. These strings will be extracted for translation and the translations may be used at runtime instead of the original English strings.

The GNU gettext package allows you to mark strings in source code, extract those strings for translation, and use the translated strings in your application.

However, Glib defines gettext() support macros which are shorter wrappers in an easy-to-use form. To use these macros, include <glibmm/i18n.h>, and then, for example, substitute:

display_message("Getting ready for i18n.");
with:
display_message(_("Getting ready for i18n."));

For reference, it is possible to generate a file which contains all strings which appear in your code, even if they are not marked for translation, together with file name and line number references. To generate such a file named my-strings, execute the following command, within the source code directory:

xgettext -a -o my-strings --omit-header *.cc *.h

Finally, to let your program use the translation for the current locale, add this code to the beginning of your main.cc file, to initialize gettext.

bindtextdomain(GETTEXT_PACKAGE, PROGRAMNAME_LOCALEDIR);
bind_textdomain_codeset(GETTEXT_PACKAGE, "UTF-8");
textdomain(GETTEXT_PACKAGE);

25.2.1. How gettext works

The intltool-update or xgettext script extracts the strings and puts them in a mypackage.pot file. The translators of your application create their translations by first copying this .pot file to a localename.po file. A locale identifies a language and an encoding for that language, including date and numerical formats. Later, when the text in your source code has changed, the msgmerge or intltool-update script is used to update the localename.po files from the regenerated .pot file.

At install time, the .po files are converted to a binary format (with the extension .mo) and placed in a system-wide directory for locale files, for example /usr/share/locale/.

When the application runs, the gettext library checks the system-wide directory to see if there is a .mo file for the user's locale environment (you can set the locale with, for instance, "export LANG=de_DE.UTF-8" from a bash console). Later, when the program reaches a gettext call, it looks for a translation of a particular string. If none is found, the original string is used.

25.2.2. Testing and adding translations

To convince yourself that you've done well, you may wish to add a translation for a new locale. In order to do that, go to the po subdirectory of your project and execute the following command:

intltool-update --pot

That will create a file named programname.pot. Now copy that file to languagecode.po, such as de.po or hu.po. Also add that language code to LINGUAS. The .po file contains a header and a list of English strings, with space for the translated strings to be entered. Make sure you set the encoding of the .po file (specified in the header, but also as content) to UTF-8.

It's possible that certain strings will be marked as fuzzy in the .po file. These translations will not substitute the original string. To make them appear, simply remove the fuzzy tag.

25.2.3. Resources

More information about what lies behind the internationalization and localization process is presented and demonstrated in:

25.3. Expecting UTF8

A properly internationalized application will not make assumptions about the number of bytes in a character. That means that you shouldn't use pointer arithmetic to step through the characters in a string, and it means you shouldn't use std::string or standard C functions such as strlen() because they make the same assumption.

However, you probably already avoid bare char* arrays and pointer arithmetic by using std::string, so you just need to start using Glib::ustring instead. See the Basics chapter about Glib::ustring.

25.3.1. Glib::ustring and std::iostreams

Unfortunately, the integration with the standard iostreams is not completely foolproof. gtkmm converts Glib::ustrings to a locale-specific encoding (which usually is not UTF-8) if you output them to an ostream with operator<<. Likewise, retrieving Glib::ustrings from istream with operator>> causes a conversion in the opposite direction. But this scheme breaks down if you go through a std::string, e.g. by inputting text from a stream to a std::string and then implicitly converting it to a Glib::ustring. If the string contained non-ASCII characters and the current locale is not UTF-8 encoded, the result is a corrupted Glib::ustring. You can work around this with a manual conversion. For instance, to retrieve the std::string from a ostringstream:

std::locale::global(std::locale("")); // Set the global locale to the user's preferred locale.
                                      // Usually unnecessary here, because Glib::init()
                                      // or Gtk::Application::create() does it for you.
std::ostringstream output;
output << percentage << " % done";
label->set_text(Glib::locale_to_utf8(output.str()));

25.4. Pitfalls

There are a few common mistakes that you would discover eventually yourself. But this section might help you to avoid them.

25.4.1. Same strings, different semantics

Sometimes two English strings are identical but have different meanings in different contexts, so they would probably not be identical when translated. Since the English strings are used as look-up keys, this causes problems.

In these cases, you should add extra characters to the strings. For instance, use "jumps[noun]" and "jumps[verb]" instead of just "jumps" and strip them again outside the gettext call. If you add extra characters you should also add a comment for the translators before the gettext call. Such comments will be shown in the .po files. For instance:

// note to translators: don't translate the "[noun]" part - it is
// just here to distinguish the string from another "jumps" string
text = strip(gettext("jumps[noun]"), "[noun]");

If you use Glib's support macros, it's easier. Use C_() instead of _(). For instance:

GLib::ustring text(C_("noun", "jumps"));

25.4.2. Composition of strings

C programmers use sprintf() to compose and concatenate strings. C++ favours streams, but unfortunately, this approach makes translation difficult, because each fragment of text is translated separately, without allowing the translators to rearrange them according to the grammar of the language.

For instance, this code would be problematic:

std::cout << _("Current amount: ") << amount
          << _(" Future: ") << future << std::endl;

label.set_text(_("Really delete ") + filename + _(" now?"));

So you should either avoid this situation or use Glib::ustring::compose() which supports syntax such as:

std::cout << Glib::ustring::compose(
             _("Current amount: %1 Future: %2"), amount, future) << std::endl;

label.set_text(Glib::ustring::compose(_("Really delete %1 now?"), filename));

25.4.3. Assuming the displayed size of strings

You never know how much space a string will take on screen when translated. It might very possibly be twice the size of the original English string. Luckily, most gtkmm widgets will expand at runtime to the required size.

25.4.4. Unusual words

You should avoid cryptic abbreviations, slang, or jargon. They are usually difficult to translate, and are often difficult for even native speakers to understand. For instance, prefer "application" to "app"

25.4.5. Using non-ASCII characters in strings

Currently, gettext does not support non-ASCII characters (i.e. any characters with a code above 127) in source code. For instance, you cannot use the copyright sign (©).

To work around this, you could write a comment in the source code just before the string, telling the translators to use the special character if it is available in their languages. For English, you could then make an American English en_US.po translation which used that special character.

25.5. Getting help with translations

If your program is free software, there is a whole GNOME subproject devoted to helping you make translations, the GNOME Translation Project.

The way it works is that you upload your source code to a git repository where translators can access it, then contact the gnome-i18n mailing list and ask to have your program added to the list of modules to translate.

Then you make sure you update the file POTFILES.in in the po/ subdirectory (intltool-update -m can help with this) so that the translators always access updated myprogram.pot files, and simply freeze the strings at least a couple of days before you make a new release, announcing it on gnome-i18n. Depending on the number of strings your program contains and how popular it is, the translations will then start to tick in as languagename.po files.

Note that most language teams only consist of 1-3 persons, so if your program contains a lot of strings, it might last a while before anyone has the time to look at it. Also, most translators do not want to waste their time (translating is a very time-consuming task) so if they do not assess your project as being really serious (in the sense that it is polished and being maintained) they may decide to spend their time on some other project.

26. Custom Widgets

gtkmm makes it very easy to derive new widgets by inheriting from an existing widget class, either by deriving from a container and adding child widgets, or by deriving from a single-item widget, and changing its behaviour. But you might occasionally find that no suitable starting point already exists. In this case, you can implement a widget from scratch.

26.1. Custom Containers

When deriving from Gtk::Container, you should override the following virtual methods:

  • get_request_mode_vfunc(): Return what Gtk::SizeRequestMode is preferred by the container.
  • measure_vfunc(): Calculate the minimum and natural width or height of the container.
  • on_size_allocate(): Position the child widgets, given the height and width that the container has actually been given.
  • forall_vfunc(): Call the same callback for each of the children.
  • on_add(): Add a child widget to the container.
  • on_remove(): Remove a child widget from the container.
  • child_type_vfunc(): Return what type of child can be added.

The get_request_mode_vfunc(), measure_vfunc(), and on_size_allocate() virtual methods control the layout of the child widgets. For instance, if your container has 2 child widgets, with one below the other, your get_request_mode_vfunc() might request height-for-width layout. Then your measure_vfunc() might report the maximum of the widths of the child widgets when asked to report width, and it might report the sum of their heights when asked to report height. If you want padding between the child widgets then you would add that to the width and height too. Your widget's container will use this result to ensure that your widget gets enough space, and not less. By examining each widget's parent, and its parent, this logic will eventually decide the size of the top-level window.

You are not guaranteed to get the Gtk::SizeRequestMode that you request. Therefore measure_vfunc() must return sensible values for all reasonable values of its input parameters. For a description of measure_vfunc()'s parameters see also the description of Gtk::Widget::measure(), which may be better documented than measure_vfunc().

on_size_allocate() receives the actual height and width that the parent container has decided to give to your widget. This might be more than the minimum, or even more than the natural size, for instance if the top-level window has been expanded. You might choose to ignore the extra space and leave a blank area, or you might choose to expand your child widgets to fill the space, or you might choose to expand the padding between your widgets. It's your container, so you decide.

Unless your container is a top-level window that derives from Gtk::Window, you should probably also call Gtk::Widget::set_has_surface(false) in your constructor. This means that your container does not create its own Gdk::Surface, but uses its parent's surface. If your container does need its own Gdk::Surface, and does not derive from Gtk::Window, you must also override the on_realize() method as described in the Custom Widgets section.

GTK+ requires that set_has_surface() is called in the instance init function, which is executed before your constructor. If you call it in the constructor, GTK+ may issue a warning message, but at the time of writing (2018-05-07) it works as intended. Adding code to the instance init function is more complicated for a gtkmm programmer. The custom widget example shows how it can be done.

By overriding forall_vfunc() you can allow applications to operate on all of the container's child widgets. For instance, get_children() uses this to find all the child widgets.

Although your container might have its own method to set the child widgets, you should still provide an implementation for the virtual on_add() and on_remove() methods from the base class, so that the add() and remove() methods will do something appropriate if they are called.

Your implementation of the child_type_vfunc() method should report the type of widget that may be added to your container, if it is not yet full. This is usually Gtk::Widget::get_type() to indicate that the container may contain any class derived from Gtk::Widget. If the container may not contain any more widgets, then this method should return G_TYPE_NONE.

26.1.1. Example

This example implements a container with two child widgets, one above the other. Of course, in this case it would be far simpler just to use a vertical Gtk::Box or Gtk::Grid.

Figure 26-1Custom Container

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>
#include "mycontainer.h"

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_quit();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_One;
  Gtk::Label m_Label_Two;
  // A restriction with MyContainer is that it must be deleted before
  // its children, meaning that it must be declared after its children.
  MyContainer m_MyContainer;
  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Quit;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: mycontainer.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_CUSTOM_CONTAINER_MYCONTAINER_H
#define GTKMM_CUSTOM_CONTAINER_MYCONTAINER_H

#include <gtkmm/container.h>

class MyContainer : public Gtk::Container
{
public:
  MyContainer();
  virtual ~MyContainer();

  void set_child_widgets(Gtk::Widget& child_one, Gtk::Widget& child_two);

protected:

  //Overrides:
  Gtk::SizeRequestMode get_request_mode_vfunc() const override;
  void measure_vfunc(Gtk::Orientation orientation, int for_size, int& minimum, int& natural,
    int& minimum_baseline, int& natural_baseline) const override;
  void on_size_allocate(int width, int height, int baseline) override;

  void forall_vfunc(const ForeachSlot& slot) override;

  void on_add(Gtk::Widget* child) override;
  void on_remove(Gtk::Widget* child) override;
  GType child_type_vfunc() const override;

  Gtk::Widget* m_child_one;
  Gtk::Widget* m_child_two;
};

#endif //GTKMM_CUSTOM_CONTAINER_MYCONTAINER_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include <iostream>
#include "examplewindow.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL),
  m_Button_One("Child One"),
  m_Label_Two("Child 2", Gtk::Align::END, Gtk::Align::CENTER),
  m_Button_Quit("Quit")
{
  set_title("Custom Container example");
  set_default_size(400, 200);

  m_VBox.set_margin(6);
  add(m_VBox);

  //Add the child widgets to the custom container:
  m_MyContainer.set_child_widgets(m_Button_One, m_Label_Two);
  m_MyContainer.set_expand();

  m_VBox.add(m_MyContainer);
  m_VBox.add(m_ButtonBox);

  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Quit);
  m_ButtonBox.set_margin(6);
  m_Button_Quit.set_hexpand(true);
  m_Button_Quit.set_halign(Gtk::Align::END);
  m_Button_Quit.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this,
              &ExampleWindow::on_button_quit) );
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_quit()
{
  hide();
}

File: mycontainer.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include <iostream>
#include <algorithm> // std::max
#include "mycontainer.h"

MyContainer::MyContainer()
: m_child_one(nullptr), m_child_two(nullptr)
{
  set_has_surface(false);
}

MyContainer::~MyContainer()
{
  if (m_child_one)
    m_child_one->unparent();

  if (m_child_two)
    m_child_two->unparent();
}

void MyContainer::set_child_widgets(Gtk::Widget& child_one,
        Gtk::Widget& child_two)
{
  m_child_one = &child_one;
  m_child_two = &child_two;

  m_child_one->set_parent(*this);
  m_child_two->set_parent(*this);
}

// This example container is a simplified vertical Box with at most two children.
Gtk::SizeRequestMode MyContainer::get_request_mode_vfunc() const
{
  return Gtk::SizeRequestMode::HEIGHT_FOR_WIDTH;
}

// Discover the total amount of minimum space and natural space needed by
// this container and its children.
void MyContainer::measure_vfunc(Gtk::Orientation orientation, int for_size,
  int& minimum, int& natural, int& minimum_baseline, int& natural_baseline) const
{
  // Don't use baseline alignment.
  minimum_baseline = -1;
  natural_baseline = -1;

  int dummy_minimum_baseline = 0;
  int dummy_natural_baseline = 0;

  if (orientation == Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL)
  {
    int height_per_child = for_size;

    if (for_size >= 0)
    {
      int nvis_children = 0;

      // Get number of visible children.
      if (m_child_one && m_child_one->get_visible())
        ++nvis_children;
      if (m_child_two && m_child_two->get_visible())
        ++nvis_children;

      // Divide the height equally among the visible children.
      if (nvis_children > 0)
        height_per_child = for_size / nvis_children;
    }

    int child_minimum_width[2] = {0, 0};
    int child_natural_width[2] = {0, 0};

    if (m_child_one && m_child_one->get_visible())
      m_child_one->measure(orientation, height_per_child, child_minimum_width[0],
        child_natural_width[0], dummy_minimum_baseline, dummy_natural_baseline);

    if (m_child_two && m_child_two->get_visible())
      m_child_two->measure(orientation, height_per_child, child_minimum_width[1],
        child_natural_width[1], dummy_minimum_baseline, dummy_natural_baseline);

    // Request a width equal to the width of the widest visible child.
    minimum = std::max(child_minimum_width[0], child_minimum_width[1]);
    natural = std::max(child_natural_width[0], child_natural_width[1]);
  }
  else // Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL
  {
    int child_minimum_height[2] = {0, 0};
    int child_natural_height[2] = {0, 0};
    int nvis_children = 0;

    if (m_child_one && m_child_one->get_visible())
    {
      ++nvis_children;
      m_child_one->measure(orientation, for_size, child_minimum_height[0],
        child_natural_height[0], dummy_minimum_baseline, dummy_natural_baseline);
    }

    if (m_child_two && m_child_two->get_visible())
    {
      ++nvis_children;
      m_child_two->measure(orientation, for_size, child_minimum_height[1],
        child_natural_height[1], dummy_minimum_baseline, dummy_natural_baseline);
    }

    // The allocated height will be divided equally among the visible children.
    // Request a height equal to the number of visible children times the height
    // of the highest child.
    minimum = nvis_children * std::max(child_minimum_height[0],
                                       child_minimum_height[1]);
    natural = nvis_children * std::max(child_natural_height[0],
                                       child_natural_height[1]);
  }
}

void MyContainer::on_size_allocate(int width, int height, int  baseline)
{
  //Do something with the space that we have actually been given:
  //(We will not be given heights or widths less than we have requested, though
  //we might get more.)

  //Get number of visible children.
  const bool visible_one = m_child_one && m_child_one->get_visible();
  const bool visible_two = m_child_two && m_child_two->get_visible();
  int nvis_children = 0;
  if (visible_one)
    ++nvis_children;
  if (visible_two)
    ++nvis_children;

  if (nvis_children <= 0)
  {
    // No visible child.
    return;
  }

  //Assign space to the children:
  Gtk::Allocation child_allocation_one;
  Gtk::Allocation child_allocation_two;

  //Place the first child at the top-left:
  child_allocation_one.set_x(0);
  child_allocation_one.set_y(0);

  //Make it take up the full width available:
  child_allocation_one.set_width(width);

  if (visible_one)
  {
    //Divide the height equally among the visible children.
    child_allocation_one.set_height(height / nvis_children);
    m_child_one->size_allocate(child_allocation_one, baseline);
  }
  else
    child_allocation_one.set_height(0);

  //Place the second child below the first child:
  child_allocation_two.set_x(0);
  child_allocation_two.set_y(child_allocation_one.get_height());

  //Make it take up the full width available:
  child_allocation_two.set_width(width);

  //Make it take up the remaining height:
  child_allocation_two.set_height(height - child_allocation_one.get_height());

  if (visible_two)
  {
    m_child_two->size_allocate(child_allocation_two, baseline);
  }
}

void MyContainer::forall_vfunc(const ForeachSlot& slot)
{
  if (m_child_one)
    slot(*m_child_one);

  if (m_child_two)
    slot(*m_child_two);
}

void MyContainer::on_add(Gtk::Widget* child)
{
  if(!m_child_one)
  {
    m_child_one = child;
    m_child_one->set_parent(*this);
  }
  else if(!m_child_two)
  {
    m_child_two = child;
    m_child_two->set_parent(*this);
  }
}

void MyContainer::on_remove(Gtk::Widget* child)
{
  if(child)
  {
    const bool visible = child->get_visible();
    bool found = false;

    if(child == m_child_one)
    {
      m_child_one = nullptr;
      found = true;
    }
    else if(child == m_child_two)
    {
      m_child_two = nullptr;
      found = true;
    }

    if(found)
    {
      child->unparent();

      if(visible)
        queue_resize();
    }
  }
}

GType MyContainer::child_type_vfunc() const
{
  //If there is still space for one widget, then report the type of widget that
  //may be added.
  if(!m_child_one || !m_child_two)
    return Gtk::Widget::get_type();
  else
  {
    //No more widgets may be added.
    return G_TYPE_NONE;
  }
}

26.2. Custom Widgets

By deriving directly from Gtk::Widget you can do all the drawing for your widget directly, instead of just arranging child widgets. For instance, a Gtk::Label draws the text of the label, but does not do this by using other widgets.

When deriving from Gtk::Widget, you should override the following virtual methods. The methods marked (optional) need not be overridden in all custom widgets. The base class's methods may be appropriate.

  • get_request_mode_vfunc(): (optional) Return what Gtk::SizeRequestMode is preferred by the widget.
  • measure_vfunc(): Calculate the minimum and natural width or height of the widget.
  • on_size_allocate(): Position the widget, given the height and width that it has actually been given.
  • on_realize(): Associate a Gdk::Surface with the widget.
  • on_unrealize(): (optional) Break the association with the Gdk::Surface.
  • on_map(): (optional)
  • on_unmap(): (optional)
  • snapshot_vfunc(): Create a render node, e.g. a Cairo::Context node, and draw on it.

The first 3 methods in the previous table are also overridden in custom containers. They are briefly described in the Custom Containers section.

Most custom widgets need their own Gdk::Surface to draw on. Then you can call Gtk::Widget::set_has_surface(true) in your constructor, or (better) call gtk_widget_set_has_surface(widget, true) in the instance init function. If you do not call set_has_surface(false), you must override on_realize() and call Gtk::Widget::set_surface() and the base class's on_realize() from there.

26.2.1. Class Init and Instance Init Functions

Some GTK+ functions, if called at all, must be called from the class init function. Some other GTK+ functions, if called, must be called from the instance init function. If your custom widget must call any of those functions, you can derive a class from Glib::ExtraClassInit and derive your custom class from that class. The following example shows how that's done.

26.2.2. Custom Style Information

Your widget class, whether it's derived directly from Gtk::Widget or from another widget class, can read some style information from a CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) file. The users of your widget, or the users of an application program with your widget, can then modify the style of your widget without modifying the source code. Useful classes are Gtk::StyleContext and Gtk::CssProvider. With the methods of Gtk::StyleContext you can read the values of your widget's style information. CSS files are described in the documentation of GTK+. The following example shows a simple use of Gtk::StyleContext::get_padding().

26.2.3. Example

This example implements a widget which draws Penrose triangles.

Figure 26-2Custom Widget

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>
#include "mywidget.h"

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();
  virtual ~ExampleWindow();

protected:
  //Signal handlers:
  void on_button_quit();

  //Child widgets:
  Gtk::Grid m_Grid;
  MyWidget m_MyWidgetS1;
  MyWidget m_MyWidgetS2;
  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::Button m_Button_Quit;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: mywidget.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_CUSTOM_WIDGET_MYWIDGET_H
#define GTKMM_CUSTOM_WIDGET_MYWIDGET_H

#include <gtkmm/widget.h>
#include <gtkmm/cssprovider.h>
#include "myextrainit.h"

class MyWidget
:
public MyExtraInit,
public Gtk::Widget
{
public:
  MyWidget();
  virtual ~MyWidget();

protected:

  //Overrides:
  Gtk::SizeRequestMode get_request_mode_vfunc() const override;
  void measure_vfunc(Gtk::Orientation orientation, int for_size, int& minimum, int& natural,
    int& minimum_baseline, int& natural_baseline) const override;
  void on_size_allocate(int width, int height, int baseline) override;
  void on_map() override;
  void on_unmap() override;
  void on_realize() override;
  void on_unrealize() override;
  void snapshot_vfunc(const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Snapshot>& snapshot) override;

  //Signal handler:
  void on_parsing_error(const Glib::RefPtr<const Gtk::CssSection>& section, const Glib::Error& error);

  Gtk::Border m_padding;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gdk::Surface> m_refGdkSurface;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::CssProvider> m_refCssProvider;
};

#endif //GTKMM_CUSTOM_WIDGET_MYWIDGET_H

File: myextrainit.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_CUSTOM_WIDGET_MYEXTRAINIT_H
#define GTKMM_CUSTOM_WIDGET_MYEXTRAINIT_H

#include <glibmm/extraclassinit.h>
#include <glibmm/ustring.h>

// Calls gtk_widget_class_set_css_name() in the class init function
// and gtk_set_has_window() in the instance init function.
class MyExtraInit : public Glib::ExtraClassInit
{
public:
  MyExtraInit(const Glib::ustring& css_name);

private:
  Glib::ustring m_css_name;
};

#endif //GTKMM_CUSTOM_WIDGET_MYEXTRAINIT_H

File: mywidget.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "mywidget.h"
#include <gdkmm/general.h>  // for cairo helper functions
#include <gtkmm/container.h>
#include <gtkmm/snapshot.h>
#include <iostream>
//#include <gtk/gtkwidget.h> //For GTK_IS_WIDGET()
#include <cstring>


MyWidget::MyWidget() :
  //The GType name will actually be gtkmm__CustomObject_MyWidget
  Glib::ObjectBase("MyWidget"),
  MyExtraInit("my-widget"), // CSS node name, which must be used in the CSS file.
  Gtk::Widget(),
  m_padding()
{
  // Expand, if there is extra space.
  set_hexpand(true);
  set_vexpand(true);

  //This shows the GType name.
  std::cout << "GType name: " << G_OBJECT_TYPE_NAME(gobj()) << std::endl;

  //This shows that the GType still derives from GtkWidget:
  //std::cout << "Gtype is a GtkWidget?:" << GTK_IS_WIDGET(gobj()) << std::endl;

  // The CSS name can be set either
  // - for a GType (in this case for your custom class) with gtk_widget_class_set_css_name(), or
  // - for a widget instance with gtk_widget_set_name() (Gtk::Widget::set_name()).
  //
  // gtk_widget_class_set_css_name(), if used, must be called in the class init function.
  // It has not been wrapped in a C++ function.
  // Gtk::Widget::set_name() can be called in a C++ constructor.
  //
  // Another alternative: The custom widget inherits the CSS name "widget" from
  // GtkWidget. That name can be used in the CSS file. This is not a very good
  // alternative. GtkWidget's CSS name is not documented. It can probably be
  // changed or removed in the future.

  m_refCssProvider = Gtk::CssProvider::create();
  auto refStyleContext = get_style_context();
  refStyleContext->add_provider(m_refCssProvider,
    GTK_STYLE_PROVIDER_PRIORITY_APPLICATION);
  m_refCssProvider->signal_parsing_error().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &MyWidget::on_parsing_error));

  m_refCssProvider->load_from_path("custom_gtk.css");
}

MyWidget::~MyWidget()
{
}

Gtk::SizeRequestMode MyWidget::get_request_mode_vfunc() const
{
  //Accept the default value supplied by the base class.
  return Gtk::Widget::get_request_mode_vfunc();
}

//Discover the total amount of minimum space and natural space needed by
//this widget.
//Let's make this simple example widget always need minimum 60 by 50 and
//natural 100 by 70.
void MyWidget::measure_vfunc(Gtk::Orientation orientation, int /* for_size */,
  int& minimum, int& natural, int& minimum_baseline, int& natural_baseline) const
{
  if (orientation == Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL)
  {
    minimum = 60;
    natural = 100;
  }
  else
  {
    minimum = 50;
    natural = 70;
  }

  // Don't use baseline alignment.
  minimum_baseline = -1;
  natural_baseline = -1;
}

void MyWidget::on_size_allocate(int width, int height, int /* baseline */)
{
  //Do something with the space that we have actually been given:
  //(We will not be given heights or widths less than we have requested, though
  //we might get more)

  if(m_refGdkSurface)
  {
    m_refGdkSurface->move_resize(0, 0, width, height);
  }
}

void MyWidget::on_map()
{
  //Call base class:
  Gtk::Widget::on_map();
}

void MyWidget::on_unmap()
{
  //Call base class:
  Gtk::Widget::on_unmap();
}

void MyWidget::on_realize()
{
  //Get the themed padding from the CSS file:
  m_padding = get_style_context()->get_padding();
  std::cout << "m_padding from the theme/css-file is"
    << ": top=" << m_padding.get_top()
    << ", right=" << m_padding.get_right()
    << ", bottom=" << m_padding.get_bottom()
    << ", left=" << m_padding.get_left() << std::endl;

  if(!m_refGdkSurface)
  {
    //Create the GdkSurface:
    m_refGdkSurface = Gdk::Surface::create_child(get_parent()->get_surface(), get_allocation());
    set_surface(m_refGdkSurface);

    // Make the widget receive expose events
    register_surface(m_refGdkSurface);
  }

  //Call base class:
  Gtk::Widget::on_realize();
}

void MyWidget::on_unrealize()
{
  m_refGdkSurface.reset();

  //Call base class:
  Gtk::Widget::on_unrealize();
}

void MyWidget::snapshot_vfunc(const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Snapshot>& snapshot)
{
  const auto allocation = get_allocation();
  const Gdk::Rectangle rect(0, 0, allocation.get_width(), allocation.get_height());
  auto refStyleContext = get_style_context();

  // Create a cairo context to draw on.
  auto cr = snapshot->append_cairo(rect);

  // paint the background
  refStyleContext->render_background(cr,
    -m_padding.get_left(), -m_padding.get_top(), allocation.get_width(), allocation.get_height());

  // draw the foreground
  const double scale_x = 0.001 * (allocation.get_width() - m_padding.get_left() - m_padding.get_right());
  const double scale_y = 0.001 * (allocation.get_height() - m_padding.get_top() - m_padding.get_bottom());
  Gdk::Cairo::set_source_rgba(cr, refStyleContext->get_color());
  cr->rectangle(0.0, 0.0, 1000.0*scale_x, 1000.0*scale_y);
  cr->move_to(155.*scale_x, 165.*scale_y);
  cr->line_to(155.*scale_x, 838.*scale_y);
  cr->line_to(265.*scale_x, 900.*scale_y);
  cr->line_to(849.*scale_x, 564.*scale_y);
  cr->line_to(849.*scale_x, 438.*scale_y);
  cr->line_to(265.*scale_x, 100.*scale_y);
  cr->line_to(155.*scale_x, 165.*scale_y);
  cr->move_to(265.*scale_x, 100.*scale_y);
  cr->line_to(265.*scale_x, 652.*scale_y);
  cr->line_to(526.*scale_x, 502.*scale_y);
  cr->move_to(369.*scale_x, 411.*scale_y);
  cr->line_to(633.*scale_x, 564.*scale_y);
  cr->move_to(369.*scale_x, 286.*scale_y);
  cr->line_to(369.*scale_x, 592.*scale_y);
  cr->move_to(369.*scale_x, 286.*scale_y);
  cr->line_to(849.*scale_x, 564.*scale_y);
  cr->move_to(633.*scale_x, 564.*scale_y);
  cr->line_to(155.*scale_x, 838.*scale_y);
  cr->stroke();
}

void MyWidget::on_parsing_error(const Glib::RefPtr<const Gtk::CssSection>& section, const Glib::Error& error)
{
  std::cerr << "on_parsing_error(): " << error.what() << std::endl;
  if (section)
  {
    const auto file = section->get_file();
    if (file)
    {
      std::cerr << "  URI = " << file->get_uri() << std::endl;
    }

    auto start_location = section->get_start_location();
    auto end_location = section->get_end_location();
    std::cerr << "  start_line = " << start_location.get_lines()+1
              << ", end_line = " << end_location.get_lines()+1 << std::endl;
    std::cerr << "  start_position = " << start_location.get_line_chars()
              << ", end_position = " << end_location.get_line_chars() << std::endl;
  }
}

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: myextrainit.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "myextrainit.h"
#include <gtkmm/widget.h>
#include <gtk/gtk.h>

namespace
{
using BaseObjectType = GtkWidget;
using BaseClassType = GtkWidgetClass;

// Extra class init function.
void class_init_function(void* g_class, void* class_data)
{
  g_return_if_fail(GTK_IS_WIDGET_CLASS(g_class));

  const auto klass = static_cast<BaseClassType*>(g_class);
  const auto css_name = static_cast<Glib::ustring*>(class_data);

  gtk_widget_class_set_css_name(klass, css_name->c_str());
}

// Extra instance init function.
void instance_init_function(GTypeInstance* instance, void* /* g_class */)
{
  g_return_if_fail(GTK_IS_WIDGET(instance));

  gtk_widget_set_has_surface(GTK_WIDGET(instance), true);
}

} // anonymous namespace

MyExtraInit::MyExtraInit(const Glib::ustring& css_name)
:
Glib::ExtraClassInit(class_init_function, &m_css_name, instance_init_function),
m_css_name(css_name)
{
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow()
: m_Button_Quit("Quit")
{
  set_title("Custom Widget example");
  set_default_size(600, 400);

  m_Grid.set_margin(6);
  m_Grid.set_row_spacing(10);
  m_Grid.set_column_spacing(10);

  add(m_Grid);

  m_Grid.attach(m_MyWidgetS1, 0, 0);
  m_Grid.attach(m_MyWidgetS2, 1, 1);

  m_Grid.attach(m_ButtonBox, 0, 2, 2, 1);

  m_ButtonBox.add(m_Button_Quit);
  m_ButtonBox.set_margin(6);
  m_Button_Quit.set_hexpand(true);
  m_Button_Quit.set_halign(Gtk::Align::END);
  m_Button_Quit.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_button_quit) );
}

ExampleWindow::~ExampleWindow()
{
}

void ExampleWindow::on_button_quit()
{
  hide();
}

File: custom_gtk.css (For use with gtkmm 4)

/* Example of a CSS style sheet. */

my-widget {
  background-color: rgb(255,0,0);
  color:            rgb(0,0,255);
  padding:          10px 15px 20px 5px; /* top right bottom left */
}

27. Multi-threaded programs

27.1. The constraints

Care is required when writing programs based on gtkmm using multiple threads of execution, arising from the fact that libsigc++, and in particular sigc::trackable, are not thread-safe. That's because none of the complex interactions that occur behind the scenes when using libsigc++ are protected by a mutex or other means of synchronization. 1

27.1.1. The rules

This requires a number of rules to be observed when writing multi-threaded programs using gtkmm. These are set out below, but one point to note is that extra care is required when deriving classes from sigc::trackable, because the effects are unintuitive (see particularly points 4 and 5 below).

  1. Use Glib::Dispatcher to invoke gtkmm functions from worker threads (this is dealt with in more detail in the next section).

  2. A sigc::signal object should be regarded as owned by the thread which created it. Only that thread should connect a sigc::slot object to the signal object, and only that thread should emit() or call operator()() on the signal, or null any connected sigc::slot object. It follows (amongst other things) that any signal object provided by a gtkmm widget should only be operated on in the main GUI thread and any object deriving from sigc::trackable having its non-static methods referenced by slots connected to the signal object should only be destroyed in that thread.

  3. Any sigc::connection object should be regarded as owned by the thread in which the method returning the sigc::connection object was called. Only that thread should call sigc::connection methods on the object.

  4. A sigc::slot object created by a call to sigc::mem_fun() which references a method of a class deriving from sigc::trackable should never be copied to another thread, nor destroyed by a different thread than the one which created it.

  5. If a particular class object derives from sigc::trackable, only one thread should create sigc::slot objects representing any of the class's non-static methods by calling sigc::mem_fun(). The first thread to create such a slot should be regarded as owning the relevant object for the purpose of creating further slots referencing any of its non-static methods using that function, or nulling those slots by disconnecting them or destroying the trackable object.

  6. Although glib is itself thread-safe, any glibmm wrappers which use libsigc++ will not be. So for example, only the thread in which a main loop runs should call Glib::SignalIdle::connect(), Glib::SignalIO::connect(), Glib::SignalTimeout::connect(), Glib::SignalTimeout::connect_seconds for that main loop, or manipulate any sigc::connection object returned by them.

    The connect*_once() variants, Glib::SignalIdle::connect_once(), Glib::SignalTimeout::connect_once(), Glib::SignalTimeout::connect_seconds_once(), are thread-safe for any case where the slot is not created by a call to sigc::mem_fun() which represents a method of a class deriving from sigc::trackable.

27.2. Using Glib::Dispatcher

The slots connected to sigc::signal objects execute in the thread which calls emit() or operator()() on the signal. Glib::Dispatcher does not behave this way: instead its connected slots execute in the thread in which the Glib::Dispatcher object was constructed (which must have a glib main loop). If a Glib::Dispatcher object is constructed in the main GUI thread (which will therefore be the receiver thread), any worker thread can emit on it and have the connected slots safely execute gtkmm functions.

Some thread safety rules on the use of Glib::Dispatcher still apply. As mentioned, a Glib::Dispatcher object must be constructed in the receiver thread (the thread in whose main loop it will execute its connected slots). By default this is the main program thread, although there is a Glib::Dispatcher constructor which can take the Glib::MainContext object of any thread which has a main loop. Only the receiver thread should call connect() on the Glib::Dispatcher object, or manipulate any related sigc::connection object, unless additional synchronization is employed. However, any worker thread can safely emit on the Glib::Dispatcher object without any locking once the receiver thread has connected the slots, provided that it is constructed before the worker thread is started (if it is constructed after the thread has started, additional synchronization will normally be required to ensure visibility).

Aside from the fact that connected slots always execute in the receiver thread, Glib::Dispatcher objects are similar to sigc::signal<void()> objects. They therefore cannot pass unbound arguments nor return a value. The best way to pass unbound arguments is with a thread-safe (asynchronous) queue. At the time of writing glibmm does not have one, although most people writing multi-threaded code will have one available to them (they are relatively easy to write although there are subtleties in combining thread safety with strong exception safety).

A Glib::Dispatcher object can be emitted on by the receiver thread as well as by a worker thread, although this should be done within reasonable bounds. On unix-like systems Glib::Dispatcher objects share a single common pipe, which could in theory at least fill up on a very heavily loaded system running a program with a very large number of Dispatcher objects in use. Were the pipe to fill up before the receiver thread's main loop has had an opportunity to read from it to empty it, and the receiver thread attempt to emit and so write to it when it is in that condition, the receiver thread would block on the write, so deadlocking. Where the receiver thread is to emit, a normal sigc::signal<void()> object could of course be used instead.

27.3. Example

This is an example program with two threads, one GUI thread, like in all gtkmm programs, and one worker thread. The worker thread is created when you press the Start work button. It is deleted when the work is finished, when you press the Stop work button, or when you press the Quit button.

A Glib::Dispatcher is used for sending notifications from the worker thread to the GUI thread. The ExampleWorker class contains data which is accessed by both threads. This data is protected by a std::mutex. Only the GUI thread updates the GUI.

Figure 27-1Multi-Threaded Program

Source Code

File: examplewindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

#include <gtkmm.h>
#include "exampleworker.h"

class ExampleWindow : public Gtk::Window
{
public:
  ExampleWindow();

  // Called from the worker thread.
  void notify();

private:
  // Signal handlers.
  void on_start_button_clicked();
  void on_stop_button_clicked();
  void on_quit_button_clicked();

  void update_start_stop_buttons();
  void update_widgets();

  // Dispatcher handler.
  void on_notification_from_worker_thread();

  // Member data.
  Gtk::Box m_VBox;
  Gtk::Box m_ButtonBox;
  Gtk::Button m_ButtonStart;
  Gtk::Button m_ButtonStop;
  Gtk::Button m_ButtonQuit;
  Gtk::ProgressBar m_ProgressBar;
  Gtk::ScrolledWindow m_ScrolledWindow;
  Gtk::TextView m_TextView;

  Glib::Dispatcher m_Dispatcher;
  ExampleWorker m_Worker;
  std::thread* m_WorkerThread;
};

#endif // GTKMM_EXAMPLEWINDOW_H

File: exampleworker.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEWORKER_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEWORKER_H

#include <gtkmm.h>
#include <thread>
#include <mutex>

class ExampleWindow;

class ExampleWorker
{
public:
  ExampleWorker();

  // Thread function.
  void do_work(ExampleWindow* caller);

  void get_data(double* fraction_done, Glib::ustring* message) const;
  void stop_work();
  bool has_stopped() const;

private:
  // Synchronizes access to member data.
  mutable std::mutex m_Mutex;

  // Data used by both GUI thread and worker thread.
  bool m_shall_stop;
  bool m_has_stopped;
  double m_fraction_done;
  Glib::ustring m_message;
};

#endif // GTKMM_EXAMPLEWORKER_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <gtkmm/application.h>

int main (int argc, char* argv[])
{
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.example");

  ExampleWindow window;

  //Shows the window and returns when it is closed.
  return app->run(window, argc, argv);
}

File: examplewindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <iostream>

ExampleWindow::ExampleWindow() :
  m_VBox(Gtk::Orientation::VERTICAL, 5),
  m_ButtonBox(Gtk::Orientation::HORIZONTAL),
  m_ButtonStart("Start work"),
  m_ButtonStop("Stop work"),
  m_ButtonQuit("_Quit", /* mnemonic= */ true),
  m_ProgressBar(),
  m_ScrolledWindow(),
  m_TextView(),
  m_Dispatcher(),
  m_Worker(),
  m_WorkerThread(nullptr)
{
  set_title("Multi-threaded example");
  set_default_size(300, 300);

  m_VBox.set_margin(5);
  add(m_VBox);

  // Add the ProgressBar.
  m_VBox.add(m_ProgressBar);

  m_ProgressBar.set_text("Fraction done");
  m_ProgressBar.set_show_text();

  // Add the TextView, inside a ScrolledWindow.
  m_ScrolledWindow.add(m_TextView);

  // Only show the scrollbars when they are necessary.
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_policy(Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC, Gtk::PolicyType::AUTOMATIC);
  m_ScrolledWindow.set_expand();

  m_VBox.add(m_ScrolledWindow);

  m_TextView.set_editable(false);

  // Add the buttons to the ButtonBox.
  m_VBox.add(m_ButtonBox);

  m_ButtonBox.add(m_ButtonStart);
  m_ButtonBox.add(m_ButtonStop);
  m_ButtonBox.add(m_ButtonQuit);
  m_ButtonBox.set_margin(5);
  m_ButtonBox.set_spacing(5);
  m_ButtonStart.set_hexpand(true);
  m_ButtonStart.set_halign(Gtk::Align::END);

  // Connect the signal handlers to the buttons.
  m_ButtonStart.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_start_button_clicked));
  m_ButtonStop.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_stop_button_clicked));
  m_ButtonQuit.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_quit_button_clicked));

  // Connect the handler to the dispatcher.
  m_Dispatcher.connect(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleWindow::on_notification_from_worker_thread));

  // Create a text buffer mark for use in update_widgets().
  auto buffer = m_TextView.get_buffer();
  buffer->create_mark("last_line", buffer->end(), /* left_gravity= */ true);

  update_start_stop_buttons();
}

void ExampleWindow::on_start_button_clicked()
{
  if (m_WorkerThread)
  {
    std::cout << "Can't start a worker thread while another one is running." << std::endl;
  }
  else
  {
    // Start a new worker thread.
    m_WorkerThread = new std::thread(
      [this]
      {
        m_Worker.do_work(this);
      });
  }
  update_start_stop_buttons();
}

void ExampleWindow::on_stop_button_clicked()
{
  if (!m_WorkerThread)
  {
    std::cout << "Can't stop a worker thread. None is running." << std::endl;
  }
  else
  {
   // Order the worker thread to stop.
    m_Worker.stop_work();
    m_ButtonStop.set_sensitive(false);
  }
}

void ExampleWindow::update_start_stop_buttons()
{
  const bool thread_is_running = m_WorkerThread != nullptr;

  m_ButtonStart.set_sensitive(!thread_is_running);
  m_ButtonStop.set_sensitive(thread_is_running);
}

void ExampleWindow::update_widgets()
{
  double fraction_done;
  Glib::ustring message_from_worker_thread;
  m_Worker.get_data(&fraction_done, &message_from_worker_thread);

  m_ProgressBar.set_fraction(fraction_done);

  if (message_from_worker_thread != m_TextView.get_buffer()->get_text())
  {
    auto buffer = m_TextView.get_buffer();
    buffer->set_text(message_from_worker_thread);

    // Scroll the last inserted line into view. That's somewhat complicated.
    auto iter = buffer->end();
    iter.set_line_offset(0); // Beginning of last line
    auto mark = buffer->get_mark("last_line");
    buffer->move_mark(mark, iter);
    m_TextView.scroll_to(mark);
    // TextView::scroll_to(iter) is not perfect.
    // We do need a TextMark to always get the last line into view.
  }
}

void ExampleWindow::on_quit_button_clicked()
{
  if (m_WorkerThread)
  {
    // Order the worker thread to stop and wait for it to stop.
    m_Worker.stop_work();
    if (m_WorkerThread->joinable())
      m_WorkerThread->join();
  }
  hide();
}

// notify() is called from ExampleWorker::do_work(). It is executed in the worker
// thread. It triggers a call to on_notification_from_worker_thread(), which is
// executed in the GUI thread.
void ExampleWindow::notify()
{
  m_Dispatcher.emit();
}

void ExampleWindow::on_notification_from_worker_thread()
{
  if (m_WorkerThread && m_Worker.has_stopped())
  {
    // Work is done.
    if (m_WorkerThread->joinable())
      m_WorkerThread->join();
    delete m_WorkerThread;
    m_WorkerThread = nullptr;
    update_start_stop_buttons();
  }
  update_widgets();
}

File: exampleworker.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleworker.h"
#include "examplewindow.h"
#include <sstream>
#include <chrono>

ExampleWorker::ExampleWorker() :
  m_Mutex(),
  m_shall_stop(false),
  m_has_stopped(false),
  m_fraction_done(0.0),
  m_message()
{
}

// Accesses to these data are synchronized by a mutex.
// Some microseconds can be saved by getting all data at once, instead of having
// separate get_fraction_done() and get_message() methods.
void ExampleWorker::get_data(double* fraction_done, Glib::ustring* message) const
{
  std::lock_guard<std::mutex> lock(m_Mutex);

  if (fraction_done)
    *fraction_done = m_fraction_done;

  if (message)
    *message = m_message;
}

void ExampleWorker::stop_work()
{
  std::lock_guard<std::mutex> lock(m_Mutex);
  m_shall_stop = true;
}

bool ExampleWorker::has_stopped() const
{
  std::lock_guard<std::mutex> lock(m_Mutex);
  return m_has_stopped;
}

void ExampleWorker::do_work(ExampleWindow* caller)
{
  {
    std::lock_guard<std::mutex> lock(m_Mutex);
    m_has_stopped = false;
    m_fraction_done = 0.0;
    m_message = "";
  } // The mutex is unlocked here by lock's destructor.

  // Simulate a long calculation.
  for (int i = 0; ; ++i) // do until break
  {
    std::this_thread::sleep_for(std::chrono::milliseconds(250));

    {
      std::lock_guard<std::mutex> lock(m_Mutex);

      m_fraction_done += 0.01;

      if (i % 4 == 3)
      {
        std::ostringstream ostr;
        ostr << (m_fraction_done * 100.0) << "% done\n";
        m_message += ostr.str();
      }

      if (m_fraction_done >= 1.0)
      {
        m_message += "Finished";
        break;
      }
      if (m_shall_stop)
      {
        m_message += "Stopped";
        break;
      }
    }

    caller->notify();
  }

  {
    std::lock_guard<std::mutex> lock(m_Mutex);
    m_shall_stop = false;
    m_has_stopped = true;
  }

  caller->notify();
}

28. Recommended Techniques

This section is simply a gathering of wisdom, general style guidelines and hints for creating gtkmm applications.

Use GNU autoconf and automake! They are your friends :) Automake examines C files, determines how they depend on each other, and generates a Makefile so the files can be compiled in the correct order. Autoconf permits automatic configuration of software installation, handling a large number of system quirks to increase portability.

Subclass Widgets to better organize your code. You should probably subclass your main Window at least. Then you can make your child Widgets and signal handlers members of that class.

Create your own signals instead of passing pointers around. Objects can communicate with each other via signals and signal handlers. This is much simpler than objects holding pointers to each other and calling each other's methods. gtkmm's classes uses special versions of sigc::signal, but you should use normal sigc::signals, as described in the libsigc++ documentation.

28.1. Application Lifetime

Most applications will have only one Window, or only one main window. These applications can use the Gtk::Application::run(Gtk::Window& window) or Gtk::Application::run(Gtk::Window& window, int argc, char** argv) overloads. They show the window and return when the window has been hidden. This might happen when the user closes the window, or when your code decides to hide() the window. You can prevent the user from closing the window (for instance, if there are unsaved changes) by overriding Gtk::Window::on_delete_event().

Most of our examples use this technique.

28.2. Using a gtkmm widget

Our examples all tend to have the same structure. They follow these steps for using a Widget:

  1. Declare a variable of the type of Widget you wish to use, generally as member variable of a derived container class. You could also declare a pointer to the widget type, and then create it with new in your code. Even when using the widget via a pointer, it's still probably best to make that pointer a member variable of a container class so that you can access it later.
  2. Set the attributes of the widget. If the widget has no default constructor, then you will need to initialize the widget in the initalizer list of your container class's constructor.
  3. Connect any signals you wish to use to the appropriate handlers.
  4. Pack the widget into a container using the appropriate call, e.g. Gtk::Container::add().

If you don't want all widgets to be shown, call Gtk::Widget::hide() on the widgets that you don't want to show. If a container widget is hidden, all of its child widgets are also hidden, even if hide() is not called on the child widgets.

29. Building applications

This chapter is similar to the "Building applications" chapter in the GTK+ 4 Reference Manual. The same application is built, but gtkmm is used instead of GTK+.

An application consists of a number of files:

The binary file

This gets installed in /usr/bin.

A desktop file

The desktop file provides important information about the application to the desktop shell, such as its name, icon, D-Bus name, commandline to launch it, etc. It is installed in /usr/share/applications.

An icon

The icon gets installed in /usr/share/icons/hicolor/48x48/apps, where it will be found regardless of the current theme.

A settings schema

If the application uses Gio::Settings, it will install its schema in /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas, so that tools like dconf-editor can find it.

Other resources

Other files, such as Gtk::Builder ui files, are best loaded from resources stored in the application binary itself. This eliminates the need for most of the files that would traditionally be installed in an application-specific location in /usr/share.

gtkmm includes application support that is built on top of Gio::Application. In this chapter we'll build a simple application by starting from scratch, adding more and more pieces over time. Along the way, we'll learn about Gtk::Application, Gtk::Builder, resources, application menus, settings, Gtk::HeaderBar, Gtk::Stack, Gtk::SearchBar, Gtk::ListBox, and more.

The full, buildable sources for these examples can be found in the examples/book/buildapp directory of the gtkmm-documentation source distribution, or online in the gtkmm-documentation git repository. You can build each example separately by using make with the Makefile.example file. For more information, see the README included in the buildapp directory.

29.1. A trivial application

When using Gtk::Application, the main() function can be very simple. We just call Gtk::Application::run() on an instance of our application class.

All the application logic is in the application class, which is a subclass of Gtk::Application. Our example does not yet have any interesting functionality. All it does is open a window when it is activated without arguments, and open the files it is given, if it is started with arguments. (Or rather, our application class tries to open the files, but our subclassed application window does not yet do what it's told to do.)

To handle these two cases, we override signal_activate()'s default handler, which gets called when the application is launched without commandline arguments, and signal_open()'s default handler, which gets called when the application is launched with commandline arguments.

Gio::Application Reference

Gtk::Application Reference

Another important class that is part of the application support in gtkmm is Gtk::ApplicationWindow. It is typically subclassed as well. Our subclass does not do anything yet, so we will just get an empty window.

As part of the initial setup of our application, we also create an icon and a desktop file. Note that @bindir@ in the desktop file needs to be replaced with the actual path to the binary before this desktop file can be used.

Here is what we've achieved so far:

Figure 29-1A trivial application

This does not look very impressive yet, but our application is already presenting itself on the session bus, it has single-instance semantics, and it accepts files as commandline arguments.

Source Code

File: exampleappwindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H_
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H_

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleAppWindow : public Gtk::ApplicationWindow
{
public:
  ExampleAppWindow();

  void open_file_view(const Glib::RefPtr<Gio::File>& file);
};

#endif /* GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H */

File: exampleapplication.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPLICATION_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPLICATION_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleAppWindow;

class ExampleApplication: public Gtk::Application
{
protected:
  ExampleApplication();

public:
  static Glib::RefPtr<ExampleApplication> create();

protected:
  // Override default signal handlers:
  void on_activate() override;
  void on_open(const Gio::Application::type_vec_files& files,
    const Glib::ustring& hint) override;

private:
  ExampleAppWindow* create_appwindow();
  void on_hide_window(Gtk::Window* window);
};

#endif /* GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPLICATION_H */

File: exampleapplication.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleapplication.h"
#include "exampleappwindow.h"

ExampleApplication::ExampleApplication()
: Gtk::Application("org.gtkmm.examples.application", Gio::Application::Flags::HANDLES_OPEN)
{
}

Glib::RefPtr<ExampleApplication> ExampleApplication::create()
{
  return Glib::RefPtr<ExampleApplication>(new ExampleApplication());
}

ExampleAppWindow* ExampleApplication::create_appwindow()
{
  auto appwindow = new ExampleAppWindow();

  // Make sure that the application runs for as long this window is still open.
  add_window(*appwindow);

  // Gtk::Application::add_window() connects a signal handler to the window's
  // signal_hide(). That handler removes the window from the application.
  // If it's the last window to be removed, the application stops running.
  // Gtk::Window::set_application() does not connect a signal handler, but is
  // otherwise equivalent to Gtk::Application::add_window().

  // Delete the window when it is hidden.
  appwindow->signal_hide().connect(sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleApplication::on_hide_window), appwindow));

  return appwindow;
}

void ExampleApplication::on_activate()
{
  // The application has been started, so let's show a window.
  auto appwindow = create_appwindow();
  appwindow->present();
}

void ExampleApplication::on_open(const Gio::Application::type_vec_files& files,
  const Glib::ustring& /* hint */)
{
  // The application has been asked to open some files,
  // so let's open a new view for each one.
  ExampleAppWindow* appwindow = nullptr;
  auto windows = get_windows();
  if (windows.size() > 0)
    appwindow = dynamic_cast<ExampleAppWindow*>(windows[0]);

  if (!appwindow)
    appwindow = create_appwindow();

  for (const auto& file : files)
    appwindow->open_file_view(file);

  appwindow->present();
}

void ExampleApplication::on_hide_window(Gtk::Window* window)
{
  delete window;
}

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleapplication.h"

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
  auto application = ExampleApplication::create();

  // Start the application, showing the initial window,
  // and opening extra views for any files that it is asked to open,
  // for instance as a command-line parameter.
  // run() will return when the last window has been closed.
  return application->run(argc, argv);
}

File: exampleappwindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleappwindow.h"

ExampleAppWindow::ExampleAppWindow()
: Gtk::ApplicationWindow()
{
}

void ExampleAppWindow::open_file_view(const Glib::RefPtr<Gio::File>& /* file */)
{
}

File: exampleapp.desktop (For use with gtkmm 4)

[Desktop Entry]
Type=Application
Name=Gtkmm example
GenericName=Example
Comment=From the "Programming with gtkmm 4" tutorial
Icon=exampleapp
StartupNotify=true
Exec=@bindir@/exampleapp %U
Categories=GNOME;GTK;Utility

29.2. Populating the window

In this step, we use a Gtk::Builder instance to associate a Gtk::Builder ui file with our application window class.

Our simple ui file puts a Gtk::HeaderBar on top of a Gtk::Stack widget. The header bar contains a Gtk::StackSwitcher, which is a standalone widget to show a row of 'tabs' for the pages of a Gtk::Stack.

To make use of this file in our application, we revisit our Gtk::ApplicationWindow subclass, and call Gtk::Builder::create_from_resource() and Gtk::Builder::get_widget_derived() from the ExampleAppWindow::create() method to get an instance of our subclassed Gtk::ApplicationWindow. See the Using derived widgets section for more information about get_widget_derived().

You may have noticed that we use the _from_resource() variant of the method that reads the ui file. Now we need to use GLib's resource functionality to include the ui file in the binary. This is commonly done by listing all resources in a .gresource.xml file. This file has to be converted into a C source file that will be compiled and linked into the application together with the other source files. To do so, we use the glib-compile-resources utility:

$ glib-compile-resources --target=resources.c --generate-source exampleapp.gresource.xml
The Gio::Resource and glib-compile-resources section contains more information about resource files.

Our application now looks like this:

Figure 29-2Populating the window

Source Code

File: exampleappwindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H_
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H_

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleAppWindow : public Gtk::ApplicationWindow
{
public:
  ExampleAppWindow(BaseObjectType* cobject,
    const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refBuilder);

  static ExampleAppWindow* create();

  void open_file_view(const Glib::RefPtr<Gio::File>& file);

protected:
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder> m_refBuilder;
};

#endif /* GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H */

File: exampleapplication.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step1/exampleapplication.h"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step1

File: exampleapplication.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleapplication.h"
#include "exampleappwindow.h"
#include <iostream>
#include <exception>

ExampleApplication::ExampleApplication()
: Gtk::Application("org.gtkmm.examples.application", Gio::Application::Flags::HANDLES_OPEN)
{
}

Glib::RefPtr<ExampleApplication> ExampleApplication::create()
{
  return Glib::RefPtr<ExampleApplication>(new ExampleApplication());
}

ExampleAppWindow* ExampleApplication::create_appwindow()
{
  auto appwindow = ExampleAppWindow::create();

  // Make sure that the application runs for as long this window is still open.
  add_window(*appwindow);

  // Gtk::Application::add_window() connects a signal handler to the window's
  // signal_hide(). That handler removes the window from the application.
  // If it's the last window to be removed, the application stops running.
  // Gtk::Window::set_application() does not connect a signal handler, but is
  // otherwise equivalent to Gtk::Application::add_window().

  // Delete the window when it is hidden.
  appwindow->signal_hide().connect(sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleApplication::on_hide_window), appwindow));

  return appwindow;
}

void ExampleApplication::on_activate()
{
  try
  {
    // The application has been started, so let's show a window.
    auto appwindow = create_appwindow();
    appwindow->present();
  }
  // If create_appwindow() throws an exception (perhaps from Gtk::Builder),
  // no window has been created, no window has been added to the application,
  // and therefore the application will stop running.
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_activate(): " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
  catch (const std::exception& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_activate(): " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
}

void ExampleApplication::on_open(const Gio::Application::type_vec_files& files,
  const Glib::ustring& /* hint */)
{
  // The application has been asked to open some files,
  // so let's open a new view for each one.
  ExampleAppWindow* appwindow = nullptr;
  auto windows = get_windows();
  if (windows.size() > 0)
    appwindow = dynamic_cast<ExampleAppWindow*>(windows[0]);

  try
  {
    if (!appwindow)
      appwindow = create_appwindow();

    for (const auto& file : files)
      appwindow->open_file_view(file);

    appwindow->present();
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_open(): " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
  catch (const std::exception& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_open(): " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
}

void ExampleApplication::on_hide_window(Gtk::Window* window)
{
  delete window;
}

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step1/main.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step1

File: exampleappwindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleappwindow.h"
#include <stdexcept>

ExampleAppWindow::ExampleAppWindow(BaseObjectType* cobject,
  const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refBuilder)
: Gtk::ApplicationWindow(cobject),
  m_refBuilder(refBuilder)
{
}

//static
ExampleAppWindow* ExampleAppWindow::create()
{
  // Load the Builder file and instantiate its widgets.
  auto refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create_from_resource("/org/gtkmm/exampleapp/window.ui");

  ExampleAppWindow* window = nullptr;
  Gtk::Builder::get_widget_derived(refBuilder, "app_window", window);
  if (!window)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"app_window\" object in window.ui");

  return window;
}

void ExampleAppWindow::open_file_view(const Glib::RefPtr<Gio::File>& /* file */)
{
}

File: exampleapp.gresource.xml (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<gresources>
  <gresource prefix="/org/gtkmm/exampleapp">
    <file preprocess="xml-stripblanks">window.ui</file>
  </gresource>
</gresources>

File: window.ui (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<interface>
  <object class="GtkApplicationWindow" id="app_window">
    <property name="title" translatable="yes">Example Application</property>
    <property name="default-width">600</property>
    <property name="default-height">400</property>
    <child>
      <object class="GtkBox" id="content_box">
        <property name="orientation">vertical</property>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkHeaderBar" id="header">
            <child type="title">
              <object class="GtkStackSwitcher" id="tabs">
                <property name="stack">stack</property>
              </object>
            </child>
          </object>
        </child>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkStack" id="stack"/>
        </child>
      </object>
    </child>
  </object>
</interface>

29.3. Opening files

In this step, we make our application show the contents of all the files that it is given on the commandline.

To this end, we add a data member to our application window and keep a pointer to the Gtk::Stack there. We get the pointer with a call to Gtk::Builder::get_widget() in the application window's constructor.

Now we revisit the ExampleAppWindow::open_file_view() method that is called for each commandline argument, and construct a Gtk::TextView that we then add as a page to the stack.

Note that we do not have to touch the stack switcher at all. It gets all its information from the stack that it belongs to. Here, we are passing the label to show for each file as the last argument to the Gtk::Stack::add() method.

Our application is beginning to take shape:

Figure 29-3Opening files

Source Code

File: exampleappwindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H_
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H_

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleAppWindow : public Gtk::ApplicationWindow
{
public:
  ExampleAppWindow(BaseObjectType* cobject,
    const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refBuilder);

  static ExampleAppWindow* create();

  void open_file_view(const Glib::RefPtr<Gio::File>& file);

protected:
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder> m_refBuilder;
  Gtk::Stack* m_stack;
};

#endif /* GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H */

File: exampleapplication.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step1/exampleapplication.h"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step1

File: exampleapplication.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step2/exampleapplication.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step2

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step1/main.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step1

File: exampleappwindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleappwindow.h"
#include <iostream>
#include <stdexcept>

ExampleAppWindow::ExampleAppWindow(BaseObjectType* cobject,
  const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refBuilder)
: Gtk::ApplicationWindow(cobject),
  m_refBuilder(refBuilder),
  m_stack(nullptr)
{
  m_refBuilder->get_widget("stack", m_stack);
  if (!m_stack)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"stack\" object in window.ui");
}

//static
ExampleAppWindow* ExampleAppWindow::create()
{
  // Load the Builder file and instantiate its widgets.
  auto refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create_from_resource("/org/gtkmm/exampleapp/window.ui");

  ExampleAppWindow* window = nullptr;
  Gtk::Builder::get_widget_derived(refBuilder, "app_window", window);
  if (!window)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"app_window\" object in window.ui");

  return window;
}

void ExampleAppWindow::open_file_view(const Glib::RefPtr<Gio::File>& file)
{
  const auto basename = file->get_basename();

  auto scrolled = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::ScrolledWindow>();
  scrolled->set_hexpand(true);
  scrolled->set_vexpand(true);
  scrolled->show();
  auto view = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::TextView>();
  view->set_editable(false);
  view->set_cursor_visible(false);
  view->show();
  scrolled->add(*view);
  m_stack->add(*scrolled, basename, basename);

  try
  {
    char* contents = nullptr;
    gsize length = 0;
    
    file->load_contents(contents, length);
    view->get_buffer()->set_text(contents, contents+length);
    g_free(contents);
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::open_file_view(\"" << file->get_parse_name()
      << "\"):\n  " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
}

29.4. An application menu

An application menu is shown by GNOME shell at the top of the screen. It is meant to collect infrequently used actions that affect the whole application. The application menu is shown either at the top of the screen, or at the top of the application's window, depending on which desktop shell you use.

Just like the application window, we specify our application menu in a ui file, and add it as a resource to our binary.

To associate the app menu with the application, we have to call Gtk::Application::set_app_menu(). Since app menus work by activating Gio::Actions, we also have to add a suitable set of actions to our application.

Both of these tasks are best done in the on_startup() default signal handler, which is guaranteed to be called once for each primary application instance.

Our preferences menu item does not do anything yet, but the Quit menu item is fully functional. It can also be activated by the usual Ctrl-Q shortcut. The shortcut is added with Gtk::Application::set_accel_for_action().

The application menu looks like this:

Figure 29-4An application menu

Source Code

File: exampleappwindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step3/exampleappwindow.h"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step3

File: exampleapplication.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPLICATION_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPLICATION_H

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleAppWindow;

class ExampleApplication: public Gtk::Application
{
protected:
  ExampleApplication();

public:
  static Glib::RefPtr<ExampleApplication> create();

protected:
  // Override default signal handlers:
  void on_startup() override;
  void on_activate() override;
  void on_open(const Gio::Application::type_vec_files& files,
    const Glib::ustring& hint) override;

private:
  ExampleAppWindow* create_appwindow();
  void on_hide_window(Gtk::Window* window);
  void on_action_preferences();
  void on_action_quit();
};

#endif /* GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPLICATION_H */

File: exampleapplication.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleapplication.h"
#include "exampleappwindow.h"
#include <iostream>
#include <exception>

ExampleApplication::ExampleApplication()
: Gtk::Application("org.gtkmm.examples.application", Gio::Application::Flags::HANDLES_OPEN)
{
}

Glib::RefPtr<ExampleApplication> ExampleApplication::create()
{
  return Glib::RefPtr<ExampleApplication>(new ExampleApplication());
}

ExampleAppWindow* ExampleApplication::create_appwindow()
{
  auto appwindow = ExampleAppWindow::create();

  // Make sure that the application runs for as long this window is still open.
  add_window(*appwindow);

  // Gtk::Application::add_window() connects a signal handler to the window's
  // signal_hide(). That handler removes the window from the application.
  // If it's the last window to be removed, the application stops running.
  // Gtk::Window::set_application() does not connect a signal handler, but is
  // otherwise equivalent to Gtk::Application::add_window().

  // Delete the window when it is hidden.
  appwindow->signal_hide().connect(sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleApplication::on_hide_window), appwindow));

  return appwindow;
}

void ExampleApplication::on_startup()
{
  // Call the base class's implementation.
  Gtk::Application::on_startup();

  // Add actions and keyboard accelerators for the application menu.
  add_action("preferences", sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleApplication::on_action_preferences));
  add_action("quit", sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleApplication::on_action_quit));
  set_accel_for_action("app.quit", "<Ctrl>Q");

  auto refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create();
  try
  {
    refBuilder->add_from_resource("/org/gtkmm/exampleapp/app_menu.ui");
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_startup(): " << ex.what() << std::endl;
    return;
  }

  auto object = refBuilder->get_object("appmenu");
  auto app_menu = std::dynamic_pointer_cast<Gio::MenuModel>(object);
  if (app_menu)
    set_app_menu(app_menu);
  else
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_startup(): No \"appmenu\" object in app_menu.ui"
              << std::endl;
}

void ExampleApplication::on_activate()
{
  try
  {
    // The application has been started, so let's show a window.
    auto appwindow = create_appwindow();
    appwindow->present();
  }
  // If create_appwindow() throws an exception (perhaps from Gtk::Builder),
  // no window has been created, no window has been added to the application,
  // and therefore the application will stop running.
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_activate(): " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
  catch (const std::exception& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_activate(): " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
}

void ExampleApplication::on_open(const Gio::Application::type_vec_files& files,
  const Glib::ustring& /* hint */)
{
  // The application has been asked to open some files,
  // so let's open a new view for each one.
  ExampleAppWindow* appwindow = nullptr;
  auto windows = get_windows();
  if (windows.size() > 0)
    appwindow = dynamic_cast<ExampleAppWindow*>(windows[0]);

  try
  {
    if (!appwindow)
      appwindow = create_appwindow();

    for (const auto& file : files)
      appwindow->open_file_view(file);

    appwindow->present();
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_open(): " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
  catch (const std::exception& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_open(): " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
}

void ExampleApplication::on_hide_window(Gtk::Window* window)
{
  delete window;
}

void ExampleApplication::on_action_preferences()
{

}

void ExampleApplication::on_action_quit()
{
  // Gio::Application::quit() will make Gio::Application::run() return,
  // but it's a crude way of ending the program. The window is not removed
  // from the application. Neither the window's nor the application's
  // destructors will be called, because there will be remaining reference
  // counts in both of them. If we want the destructors to be called, we
  // must remove the window from the application. One way of doing this
  // is to hide the window. See comment in create_appwindow().
  auto windows = get_windows();
  for (auto window : windows)
    window->hide();

  // Not really necessary, when Gtk::Widget::hide() is called, unless
  // Gio::Application::hold() has been called without a corresponding call
  // to Gio::Application::release().
  quit();
}

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step1/main.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step1

File: exampleappwindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step3/exampleappwindow.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step3

File: exampleapp.gresource.xml (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<gresources>
  <gresource prefix="/org/gtkmm/exampleapp">
    <file preprocess="xml-stripblanks">window.ui</file>
    <file preprocess="xml-stripblanks">app_menu.ui</file>
  </gresource>
</gresources>

File: app_menu.ui (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<interface>
  <!-- interface-requires gtk+ 3.0 -->
  <menu id="appmenu">
    <section>
      <item>
        <attribute name="label" translatable="yes">_Preferences</attribute>
        <attribute name="action">app.preferences</attribute>
      </item>
    </section>
    <section>
      <item>
        <attribute name="label" translatable="yes">_Quit</attribute>
        <attribute name="action">app.quit</attribute>
      </item>
    </section>
  </menu>
</interface>

29.5. A preference dialog

A typical application will have some preferences that should be remembered from one run to the next. Even for our simple example application, we may want to change the font that is used for the content.

We are going to use Gio::Settings to store our preferences. Gio::Settings requires a schema that describes our settings, in our case the org.gtkmm.exampleapp.gschema.xml file.

Before we can make use of this schema in our application, we need to compile it into the binary form that Gio::Settings expects. GIO provides macros to do this in autotools-based projects. See the description of GSettings.

Next, we need to connect our settings to the widgets that they are supposed to control. One convenient way to do this is to use Gio::Settings::bind() to bind settings keys to object properties, as we do for the transition setting in ExampleAppWindow's constructor.

m_settings = Gio::Settings::create("org.gtkmm.exampleapp");
m_settings->bind("transition", m_stack->property_transition_type());

The code to connect the font setting is a little more involved, since it corresponds to an object property in a Gtk::TextTag that we must first create. The code is in ExampleAppWindow::open_file_view().

auto tag = buffer->create_tag();
m_settings->bind("font", tag->property_font());
buffer->apply_tag(tag, buffer->begin(), buffer->end());

At this point, the application will already react if you change one of the settings, e.g. using the gsettings commandline tool. Of course, we expect the application to provide a preference dialog for these. So lets do that now. Our preference dialog will be a subclass of Gtk::Dialog, and we'll use the same techniques that we've already seen in ExampleAppWindow: a Gtk::Builder ui file and settings bindings.

When we've created the prefs.ui file and the ExampleAppPrefs class, we revisit the ExampleApplication::on_action_preferences() method in our application class, and make it open a new preference dialog.

auto prefs_dialog = ExampleAppPrefs::create(*get_active_window());
prefs_dialog->present();

After all this work, our application can now show a preference dialog like this:

Figure 29-5An preference dialog

Source Code

File: exampleappwindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H_
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H_

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleAppWindow : public Gtk::ApplicationWindow
{
public:
  ExampleAppWindow(BaseObjectType* cobject,
    const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refBuilder);

  static ExampleAppWindow* create();

  void open_file_view(const Glib::RefPtr<Gio::File>& file);

protected:
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder> m_refBuilder;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gio::Settings> m_settings;
  Gtk::Stack* m_stack;
};

#endif /* GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H */

File: exampleapplication.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step4/exampleapplication.h"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step4

File: exampleappprefs.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPPREFS_H_
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPPREFS_H_

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleAppPrefs : public Gtk::Dialog
{
public:
  ExampleAppPrefs(BaseObjectType* cobject,
    const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refBuilder);

  static ExampleAppPrefs* create(Gtk::Window& parent);

protected:
  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder> m_refBuilder;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gio::Settings> m_settings;
  Gtk::FontButton* m_font;
  Gtk::ComboBoxText* m_transition;
};

#endif /* GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPPREFS_H_ */

File: exampleappprefs.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleappprefs.h"
#include "exampleappwindow.h"
#include <stdexcept>

ExampleAppPrefs::ExampleAppPrefs(BaseObjectType* cobject,
  const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refBuilder)
: Gtk::Dialog(cobject),
  m_refBuilder(refBuilder),
  m_settings(),
  m_font(nullptr),
  m_transition(nullptr)
{
  m_refBuilder->get_widget("font", m_font);
  if (!m_font)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"font\" object in prefs.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("transition", m_transition);
  if (!m_transition)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"transition\" object in prefs.ui");

  m_settings = Gio::Settings::create("org.gtkmm.exampleapp");
  m_settings->bind("font", m_font->property_font());
  m_settings->bind("transition", m_transition->property_active_id());
}

//static
ExampleAppPrefs* ExampleAppPrefs::create(Gtk::Window& parent)
{
  // Load the Builder file and instantiate its widgets.
  auto refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create_from_resource("/org/gtkmm/exampleapp/prefs.ui");

  ExampleAppPrefs* dialog = nullptr;
  Gtk::Builder::get_widget_derived(refBuilder, "prefs_dialog", dialog);
  if (!dialog)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"prefs_dialog\" object in prefs.ui");

  dialog->set_transient_for(parent);

  return dialog;
}

File: exampleapplication.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleapplication.h"
#include "exampleappwindow.h"
#include "exampleappprefs.h"
#include <iostream>
#include <exception>

ExampleApplication::ExampleApplication()
: Gtk::Application("org.gtkmm.examples.application", Gio::Application::Flags::HANDLES_OPEN)
{
}

Glib::RefPtr<ExampleApplication> ExampleApplication::create()
{
  return Glib::RefPtr<ExampleApplication>(new ExampleApplication());
}

ExampleAppWindow* ExampleApplication::create_appwindow()
{
  auto appwindow = ExampleAppWindow::create();

  // Make sure that the application runs for as long this window is still open.
  add_window(*appwindow);

  // Gtk::Application::add_window() connects a signal handler to the window's
  // signal_hide(). That handler removes the window from the application.
  // If it's the last window to be removed, the application stops running.
  // Gtk::Window::set_application() does not connect a signal handler, but is
  // otherwise equivalent to Gtk::Application::add_window().

  // Delete the window when it is hidden.
  appwindow->signal_hide().connect(sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
    &ExampleApplication::on_hide_window), appwindow));

  return appwindow;
}

void ExampleApplication::on_startup()
{
  // Call the base class's implementation.
  Gtk::Application::on_startup();

  // Add actions and keyboard accelerators for the application menu.
  add_action("preferences", sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleApplication::on_action_preferences));
  add_action("quit", sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleApplication::on_action_quit));
  set_accel_for_action("app.quit", "<Ctrl>Q");

  auto refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create();
  try
  {
    refBuilder->add_from_resource("/org/gtkmm/exampleapp/app_menu.ui");
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_startup(): " << ex.what() << std::endl;
    return;
  }

  auto object = refBuilder->get_object("appmenu");
  auto app_menu = std::dynamic_pointer_cast<Gio::MenuModel>(object);
  if (app_menu)
    set_app_menu(app_menu);
  else
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_startup(): No \"appmenu\" object in app_menu.ui"
              << std::endl;
}

void ExampleApplication::on_activate()
{
  try
  {
    // The application has been started, so let's show a window.
    auto appwindow = create_appwindow();
    appwindow->present();
  }
  // If create_appwindow() throws an exception (perhaps from Gtk::Builder),
  // no window has been created, no window has been added to the application,
  // and therefore the application will stop running.
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_activate(): " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
  catch (const std::exception& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_activate(): " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
}

void ExampleApplication::on_open(const Gio::Application::type_vec_files& files,
  const Glib::ustring& /* hint */)
{
  // The application has been asked to open some files,
  // so let's open a new view for each one.
  ExampleAppWindow* appwindow = nullptr;
  auto windows = get_windows();
  if (windows.size() > 0)
    appwindow = dynamic_cast<ExampleAppWindow*>(windows[0]);

  try
  {
    if (!appwindow)
      appwindow = create_appwindow();

    for (const auto& file : files)
      appwindow->open_file_view(file);

    appwindow->present();
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_open(): " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
  catch (const std::exception& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_open(): " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
}

void ExampleApplication::on_hide_window(Gtk::Window* window)
{
  delete window;
}

void ExampleApplication::on_action_preferences()
{
  try
  {
    auto prefs_dialog = ExampleAppPrefs::create(*get_active_window());
    prefs_dialog->present();

    // Delete the dialog when it is hidden.
    prefs_dialog->signal_hide().connect(sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
      &ExampleApplication::on_hide_window), prefs_dialog));
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_action_preferences(): " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
  catch (const std::exception& ex)
  {
    std::cerr << "ExampleApplication::on_action_preferences(): " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }
}

void ExampleApplication::on_action_quit()
{
  // Gio::Application::quit() will make Gio::Application::run() return,
  // but it's a crude way of ending the program. The window is not removed
  // from the application. Neither the window's nor the application's
  // destructors will be called, because there will be remaining reference
  // counts in both of them. If we want the destructors to be called, we
  // must remove the window from the application. One way of doing this
  // is to hide the window. See comment in create_appwindow().
  auto windows = get_windows();
  for (auto window : windows)
    window->hide();

  // Not really necessary, when Gtk::Widget::hide() is called, unless
  // Gio::Application::hold() has been called without a corresponding call
  // to Gio::Application::release().
  quit();
}

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleapplication.h"

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
  // Since this example is running uninstalled, we have to help it find its
  // schema. This is *not* necessary in a properly installed application.
  Glib::setenv ("GSETTINGS_SCHEMA_DIR", ".", false);

  auto application = ExampleApplication::create();

  // Start the application, showing the initial window,
  // and opening extra views for any files that it is asked to open,
  // for instance as a command-line parameter.
  // run() will return when the last window has been closed.
  return application->run(argc, argv);
}

File: exampleappwindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleappwindow.h"
#include <iostream>
#include <stdexcept>

ExampleAppWindow::ExampleAppWindow(BaseObjectType* cobject,
  const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refBuilder)
: Gtk::ApplicationWindow(cobject),
  m_refBuilder(refBuilder),
  m_settings(),
  m_stack(nullptr)
{
  m_refBuilder->get_widget("stack", m_stack);
  if (!m_stack)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"stack\" object in window.ui");

  m_settings = Gio::Settings::create("org.gtkmm.exampleapp");
  m_settings->bind("transition", m_stack->property_transition_type());
}

//static
ExampleAppWindow* ExampleAppWindow::create()
{
  // Load the Builder file and instantiate its widgets.
  auto refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create_from_resource("/org/gtkmm/exampleapp/window.ui");

  ExampleAppWindow* window = nullptr;
  Gtk::Builder::get_widget_derived(refBuilder, "app_window", window);
  if (!window)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"app_window\" object in window.ui");

  return window;
}

void ExampleAppWindow::open_file_view(const Glib::RefPtr<Gio::File>& file)
{
  const auto basename = file->get_basename();

  auto scrolled = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::ScrolledWindow>();
  scrolled->set_hexpand(true);
  scrolled->set_vexpand(true);
  scrolled->show();
  auto view = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::TextView>();
  view->set_editable(false);
  view->set_cursor_visible(false);
  view->show();
  scrolled->add(*view);
  m_stack->add(*scrolled, basename, basename);

  auto buffer = view->get_buffer();
  try
  {
    char* contents = nullptr;
    gsize length = 0;
    
    file->load_contents(contents, length);
    buffer->set_text(contents, contents+length);
    g_free(contents);
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::open_file_view(\"" << file->get_parse_name()
      << "\"):\n  " << ex.what() << std::endl;
  }

  auto tag = buffer->create_tag();
  m_settings->bind("font", tag->property_font());
  buffer->apply_tag(tag, buffer->begin(), buffer->end());
}

File: exampleapp.gresource.xml (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<gresources>
  <gresource prefix="/org/gtkmm/exampleapp">
    <file preprocess="xml-stripblanks">window.ui</file>
    <file preprocess="xml-stripblanks">app_menu.ui</file>
    <file preprocess="xml-stripblanks">prefs.ui</file>
  </gresource>
</gresources>

File: prefs.ui (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<interface>
  <object class="GtkDialog" id="prefs_dialog">
    <property name="title" translatable="yes">Preferences</property>
    <property name="resizable">False</property>
    <property name="modal">True</property>
    <property name="use-header-bar">1</property>
    <child internal-child="content_area">
      <object class="GtkBox" id="content_area">
        <child>
          <object class="GtkGrid" id="grid">
            <property name="margin">6</property>
            <property name="row-spacing">12</property>
            <property name="column-spacing">6</property>
            <child>
              <object class="GtkLabel" id="fontlabel">
                <property name="label">_Font:</property>
                <property name="use-underline">True</property>
                <property name="mnemonic-widget">font</property>
                <property name="xalign">1</property>
                <layout>
                  <property name="left-attach">0</property>
                  <property name="top-attach">0</property>
                </layout>
              </object>
            </child>
            <child>
              <object class="GtkFontButton" id="font">
                <layout>
                  <property name="left-attach">1</property>
                  <property name="top-attach">0</property>
                </layout>
              </object>
            </child>
            <child>
              <object class="GtkLabel" id="transitionlabel">
                <property name="label">_Transition:</property>
                <property name="use-underline">True</property>
                <property name="mnemonic-widget">transition</property>
                <property name="xalign">1</property>
                <layout>
                  <property name="left-attach">0</property>
                  <property name="top-attach">1</property>
                </layout>
              </object>
            </child>
            <child>
              <object class="GtkComboBoxText" id="transition">
                <items>
                  <item translatable="yes" id="none">None</item>
                  <item translatable="yes" id="crossfade">Fade</item>
                  <item translatable="yes" id="slide-left-right">Slide</item>
                </items>
                <layout>
                  <property name="left-attach">1</property>
                  <property name="top-attach">1</property>
                </layout>
              </object>
            </child>
          </object>
        </child>
      </object>
    </child>
  </object>
</interface>

File: org.gtkmm.exampleapp.gschema.xml (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<schemalist>
  <schema path="/org/gtkmm/exampleapp/" id="org.gtkmm.exampleapp">
    <key name="font" type="s">
      <default>'Monospace 12'</default>
      <summary>Font</summary>
      <description>The font to be used for content.</description>
    </key>
    <key name="transition" type="s">
      <choices>
        <choice value='none'/>
        <choice value='crossfade'/>
        <choice value='slide-left-right'/>
      </choices>
      <default>'none'</default>
      <summary>Transition</summary>
      <description>The transition to use when switching tabs.</description>
    </key>
  </schema>
</schemalist>

29.6. Adding a search bar

We continue to flesh out the functionality of our application. For now, we add search. gtkmm supports this with Gtk::SearchEntry and Gtk::SearchBar. The search bar is a widget that can slide in from the top to present a search entry.

We add a toggle button to the header bar, which can be used to slide out the search bar below the header bar. The new widgets are added in the window.ui file.

Implementing the search needs quite a few code changes that we are not going to completely go over here. The central piece of the search implementation is a signal handler that listens for text changes in the search entry, shown here without error handling.

void ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed()
{
  const auto text = m_searchentry->get_text();
  auto tab = dynamic_cast<Gtk::ScrolledWindow*>(m_stack->get_visible_child());
  auto view = dynamic_cast<Gtk::TextView*>(tab->get_child());

  // Very simple-minded search implementation.
  auto buffer = view->get_buffer();
  Gtk::TextIter match_start;
  Gtk::TextIter match_end;
  if (buffer->begin().forward_search(text, Gtk::TEXT_SEARCH_CASE_INSENSITIVE,
      match_start, match_end))
  {
    buffer->select_range(match_start, match_end);
    view->scroll_to(match_start);
  }
}

With the search bar, our application now looks like this:

Figure 29-6Adding a search bar

Source Code

File: exampleappwindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H_
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H_

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleAppWindow : public Gtk::ApplicationWindow
{
public:
  ExampleAppWindow(BaseObjectType* cobject,
    const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refBuilder);

  static ExampleAppWindow* create();

  void open_file_view(const Glib::RefPtr<Gio::File>& file);

protected:
  // Signal handlers
  void on_search_text_changed();
  void on_visible_child_changed();

  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder> m_refBuilder;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gio::Settings> m_settings;
  Gtk::Stack* m_stack;
  Gtk::ToggleButton* m_search;
  Gtk::SearchBar* m_searchbar;
  Gtk::SearchEntry* m_searchentry;
  Glib::RefPtr<Glib::Binding> m_prop_binding;
};

#endif /* GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H */

File: exampleapplication.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step4/exampleapplication.h"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step4

File: exampleappprefs.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step5/exampleappprefs.h"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step5

File: exampleappprefs.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step5/exampleappprefs.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step5

File: exampleapplication.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step5/exampleapplication.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step5

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step5/main.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step5

File: exampleappwindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleappwindow.h"
#include <iostream>
#include <stdexcept>

ExampleAppWindow::ExampleAppWindow(BaseObjectType* cobject,
  const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refBuilder)
: Gtk::ApplicationWindow(cobject),
  m_refBuilder(refBuilder),
  m_settings(),
  m_stack(nullptr),
  m_search(nullptr),
  m_searchbar(nullptr),
  m_searchentry(nullptr),
  m_prop_binding()
{
  m_refBuilder->get_widget("stack", m_stack);
  if (!m_stack)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"stack\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("search", m_search);
  if (!m_search)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"search\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("searchbar", m_searchbar);
  if (!m_searchbar)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"searchbar\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("searchentry", m_searchentry);
  if (!m_searchentry)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"searchentry\" object in window.ui");

  m_settings = Gio::Settings::create("org.gtkmm.exampleapp");
  m_settings->bind("transition", m_stack->property_transition_type());

  m_prop_binding = Glib::Binding::bind_property(m_search->property_active(),
    m_searchbar->property_search_mode_enabled(), Glib::Binding::Flags::BIDIRECTIONAL);

  // Connect signal handlers.
  m_searchentry->signal_search_changed().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed));
  m_stack->property_visible_child().signal_changed().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleAppWindow::on_visible_child_changed));
}

//static
ExampleAppWindow* ExampleAppWindow::create()
{
  // Load the Builder file and instantiate its widgets.
  auto refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create_from_resource("/org/gtkmm/exampleapp/window.ui");

  ExampleAppWindow* window = nullptr;
  Gtk::Builder::get_widget_derived(refBuilder, "app_window", window);
  if (!window)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"app_window\" object in window.ui");

  return window;
}

void ExampleAppWindow::open_file_view(const Glib::RefPtr<Gio::File>& file)
{
  const auto basename = file->get_basename();

  auto scrolled = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::ScrolledWindow>();
  scrolled->set_hexpand(true);
  scrolled->set_vexpand(true);
  scrolled->show();
  auto view = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::TextView>();
  view->set_editable(false);
  view->set_cursor_visible(false);
  view->show();
  scrolled->add(*view);
  m_stack->add(*scrolled, basename, basename);

  auto buffer = view->get_buffer();
  try
  {
    char* contents = nullptr;
    gsize length = 0;
    
    file->load_contents(contents, length);
    buffer->set_text(contents, contents+length);
    g_free(contents);
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::open_file_view(\"" << file->get_parse_name()
      << "\"):\n  " << ex.what() << std::endl;
    return;
  }

  auto tag = buffer->create_tag();
  m_settings->bind("font", tag->property_font());
  buffer->apply_tag(tag, buffer->begin(), buffer->end());

  m_search->set_sensitive(true);
}

void ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed()
{
  const auto text = m_searchentry->get_text();
  if (text.empty())
    return;

  auto tab = dynamic_cast<Gtk::ScrolledWindow*>(m_stack->get_visible_child());
  if (!tab)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed(): No visible child." << std::endl;
    return;
  }

  auto view = dynamic_cast<Gtk::TextView*>(tab->get_child());
  if (!view)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed(): No visible text view." << std::endl;
    return;
  }

  // Very simple-minded search implementation.
  auto buffer = view->get_buffer();
  Gtk::TextIter match_start;
  Gtk::TextIter match_end;
  if (buffer->begin().forward_search(text, Gtk::TextSearchFlags::CASE_INSENSITIVE,
      match_start, match_end))
  {
    buffer->select_range(match_start, match_end);
    view->scroll_to(match_start);
  }
}

void ExampleAppWindow::on_visible_child_changed()
{
  m_searchbar->set_search_mode(false);
}

File: window.ui (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<interface>
  <object class="GtkApplicationWindow" id="app_window">
    <property name="title" translatable="yes">Example Application</property>
    <property name="default-width">600</property>
    <property name="default-height">400</property>
    <child>
      <object class="GtkBox" id="content_box">
        <property name="orientation">vertical</property>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkHeaderBar" id="header">
            <child type="title">
              <object class="GtkStackSwitcher" id="tabs">
                <property name="stack">stack</property>
              </object>
            </child>
            <child type="end">
              <object class="GtkToggleButton" id="search">
                <property name="sensitive">False</property>
                <property name="icon-name">edit-find-symbolic</property>
              </object>
            </child>
          </object>
        </child>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkSearchBar" id="searchbar">
            <child>
              <object class="GtkSearchEntry" id="searchentry">
              </object>
            </child>
          </object>
        </child>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkStack" id="stack">
            <property name="transition-duration">500</property>
          </object>
        </child>
      </object>
    </child>
  </object>
</interface>

29.7. Adding a side bar

As another piece of functionality, we are adding a sidebar, which demonstrates Gtk::MenuButton, Gtk::Revealer and Gtk::ListBox. The new widgets are added in the window.ui file.

The code to populate the sidebar with buttons for the words found in each file is a little too involved to go into here. But we'll look at the code to add the gears menu. As expected by now, the gears menu is specified in a Gtk::Builder ui file, gears_menu.ui

To connect the menu item to the new show-words setting, we use a Gio::Action corresponding to the given Gio::Settings key. In ExampleAppWindow's constructor:

// Connect the menu to the MenuButton m_gears, and bind the show-words setting
// to the win.show-words action and the "Words" menu item.
// (The connection between action and menu item is specified in gears_menu.ui.)
auto menu_builder = Gtk::Builder::create_from_resource("/org/gtkmm/exampleapp/gears_menu.ui");
auto object = menu_builder->get_object("menu");
auto menu = Glib::RefPtr<Gio::MenuModel>::cast_dynamic(object);
m_gears->set_menu_model(menu);
add_action(m_settings->create_action("show-words"));

What our application looks like now:

Figure 29-7Adding a side bar

Source Code

File: exampleappwindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H_
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H_

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleAppWindow : public Gtk::ApplicationWindow
{
public:
  ExampleAppWindow(BaseObjectType* cobject,
    const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refBuilder);

  static ExampleAppWindow* create();

  void open_file_view(const Glib::RefPtr<Gio::File>& file);

protected:
  // Signal handlers
  void on_search_text_changed();
  void on_visible_child_changed();
  void on_find_word(const Gtk::Button* button);
  void on_reveal_child_changed();

  void update_words();

  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder> m_refBuilder;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gio::Settings> m_settings;
  Gtk::Stack* m_stack;
  Gtk::ToggleButton* m_search;
  Gtk::SearchBar* m_searchbar;
  Gtk::SearchEntry* m_searchentry;
  Gtk::MenuButton* m_gears;
  Gtk::Revealer* m_sidebar;
  Gtk::ListBox* m_words;
  Glib::RefPtr<Glib::Binding> m_prop_binding;
};

#endif /* GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H */

File: exampleapplication.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step4/exampleapplication.h"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step4

File: exampleappprefs.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step5/exampleappprefs.h"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step5

File: exampleappprefs.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step5/exampleappprefs.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step5

File: exampleapplication.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step5/exampleapplication.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step5

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step5/main.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step5

File: exampleappwindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleappwindow.h"
#include <iostream>
#include <stdexcept>
#include <set>

ExampleAppWindow::ExampleAppWindow(BaseObjectType* cobject,
  const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refBuilder)
: Gtk::ApplicationWindow(cobject),
  m_refBuilder(refBuilder),
  m_settings(),
  m_stack(nullptr),
  m_search(nullptr),
  m_searchbar(nullptr),
  m_searchentry(nullptr),
  m_gears(nullptr),
  m_sidebar(nullptr),
  m_words(nullptr),
  m_prop_binding()
{
  // Get widgets from the Gtk::Builder file.
  m_refBuilder->get_widget("stack", m_stack);
  if (!m_stack)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"stack\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("search", m_search);
  if (!m_search)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"search\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("searchbar", m_searchbar);
  if (!m_searchbar)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"searchbar\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("searchentry", m_searchentry);
  if (!m_searchentry)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"searchentry\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("gears", m_gears);
  if (!m_gears)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"gears\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("sidebar", m_sidebar);
  if (!m_sidebar)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"sidebar\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("words", m_words);
  if (!m_words)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"words\" object in window.ui");

  // Bind settings.
  m_settings = Gio::Settings::create("org.gtkmm.exampleapp");
  m_settings->bind("transition", m_stack->property_transition_type());
  m_settings->bind("show-words", m_sidebar->property_reveal_child());

  // Bind properties.
  m_prop_binding = Glib::Binding::bind_property(m_search->property_active(),
    m_searchbar->property_search_mode_enabled(), Glib::Binding::Flags::BIDIRECTIONAL);

  // Connect signal handlers.
  m_searchentry->signal_search_changed().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed));
  m_stack->property_visible_child().signal_changed().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleAppWindow::on_visible_child_changed));
  m_sidebar->property_reveal_child().signal_changed().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleAppWindow::on_reveal_child_changed));

  // Connect the menu to the MenuButton m_gears, and bind the show-words setting
  // to the win.show-words action and the "Words" menu item.
  // (The connection between action and menu item is specified in gears_menu.ui.)
  auto menu_builder = Gtk::Builder::create_from_resource("/org/gtkmm/exampleapp/gears_menu.ui");
  auto object = menu_builder->get_object("menu");
  auto menu = std::dynamic_pointer_cast<Gio::MenuModel>(object);
  if (!menu)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"menu\" object in gears_menu.ui");

  m_gears->set_menu_model(menu);
  add_action(m_settings->create_action("show-words"));
}

//static
ExampleAppWindow* ExampleAppWindow::create()
{
  // Load the Builder file and instantiate its widgets.
  auto refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create_from_resource("/org/gtkmm/exampleapp/window.ui");

  ExampleAppWindow* window = nullptr;
  Gtk::Builder::get_widget_derived(refBuilder, "app_window", window);
  if (!window)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"app_window\" object in window.ui");

  return window;
}

void ExampleAppWindow::open_file_view(const Glib::RefPtr<Gio::File>& file)
{
  const auto basename = file->get_basename();

  auto scrolled = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::ScrolledWindow>();
  scrolled->set_hexpand(true);
  scrolled->set_vexpand(true);
  scrolled->show();
  auto view = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::TextView>();
  view->set_editable(false);
  view->set_cursor_visible(false);
  view->show();
  scrolled->add(*view);
  m_stack->add(*scrolled, basename, basename);

  auto buffer = view->get_buffer();
  try
  {
    char* contents = nullptr;
    gsize length = 0;
    
    file->load_contents(contents, length);
    buffer->set_text(contents, contents+length);
    g_free(contents);
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::open_file_view(\"" << file->get_parse_name()
      << "\"):\n  " << ex.what() << std::endl;
    return;
  }

  auto tag = buffer->create_tag();
  m_settings->bind("font", tag->property_font());
  buffer->apply_tag(tag, buffer->begin(), buffer->end());

  m_search->set_sensitive(true);
  update_words();
}

void ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed()
{
  const auto text = m_searchentry->get_text();
  if (text.empty())
    return;

  auto tab = dynamic_cast<Gtk::ScrolledWindow*>(m_stack->get_visible_child());
  if (!tab)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed(): No visible child." << std::endl;
    return;
  }

  auto view = dynamic_cast<Gtk::TextView*>(tab->get_child());
  if (!view)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed(): No visible text view." << std::endl;
    return;
  }

  // Very simple-minded search implementation.
  auto buffer = view->get_buffer();
  Gtk::TextIter match_start;
  Gtk::TextIter match_end;
  if (buffer->begin().forward_search(text, Gtk::TextSearchFlags::CASE_INSENSITIVE,
      match_start, match_end))
  {
    buffer->select_range(match_start, match_end);
    view->scroll_to(match_start);
  }
}

void ExampleAppWindow::on_visible_child_changed()
{
  m_searchbar->set_search_mode(false);
  update_words();
}

void ExampleAppWindow::on_find_word(const Gtk::Button* button)
{
  m_searchentry->set_text(button->get_label());
}

void ExampleAppWindow::on_reveal_child_changed()
{
  update_words();
}

void ExampleAppWindow::update_words()
{
  auto tab = dynamic_cast<Gtk::ScrolledWindow*>(m_stack->get_visible_child());
  if (!tab)
    return;

  auto view = dynamic_cast<Gtk::TextView*>(tab->get_child());
  if (!view)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::update_words(): No visible text view." << std::endl;
    return;
  }
  auto buffer = view->get_buffer();

  // Find all words in the text buffer.
  std::set<Glib::ustring> words;
  auto start = buffer->begin();
  Gtk::TextIter end;
  while (start)
  {
    while (start && !start.starts_word())
      ++start;

    if (!start)
      break;

    end = start;
    end.forward_word_end();
    if (start == end)
      break;

    auto word = buffer->get_text(start, end, false);
    words.insert(word.lowercase());
    start = end;
  }

  // Remove old children from the ListBox.
  auto old_children = m_words->get_children();
  for (auto child : old_children)
  {
    m_words->remove(*child);
    delete child;
  }

  // Add new child buttons, one per unique word.
  for (const auto& word : words)
  {
    auto row = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::Button>(word);
    row->signal_clicked().connect(sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
      &ExampleAppWindow::on_find_word), row));
    row->show();
    m_words->add(*row);
  }
}

File: exampleapp.gresource.xml (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<gresources>
  <gresource prefix="/org/gtkmm/exampleapp">
    <file preprocess="xml-stripblanks">window.ui</file>
    <file preprocess="xml-stripblanks">app_menu.ui</file>
    <file preprocess="xml-stripblanks">gears_menu.ui</file>
    <file preprocess="xml-stripblanks">prefs.ui</file>
  </gresource>
</gresources>

File: gears_menu.ui (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<interface>
  <!-- interface-requires gtk+ 3.0 -->
  <menu id="menu">
    <section>
      <item>
        <attribute name="label" translatable="yes">_Words</attribute>
        <attribute name="action">win.show-words</attribute>
      </item>
    </section>
  </menu>
</interface>

File: window.ui (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<interface>
  <object class="GtkApplicationWindow" id="app_window">
    <property name="title" translatable="yes">Example Application</property>
    <property name="default-width">600</property>
    <property name="default-height">400</property>
    <child>
      <object class="GtkBox" id="content_box">
        <property name="orientation">vertical</property>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkHeaderBar" id="header">
            <child type="title">
              <object class="GtkStackSwitcher" id="tabs">
                <property name="stack">stack</property>
              </object>
            </child>
            <child type="end">
              <object class="GtkToggleButton" id="search">
                <property name="sensitive">False</property>
                <property name="icon-name">edit-find-symbolic</property>
              </object>
            </child>
            <child type="end">
              <object class="GtkMenuButton" id="gears">
                <property name="direction">none</property>
                <property name="use-popover">True</property>
                <style>
                  <class name="image-button"/>
                </style>
              </object>
            </child>
          </object>
        </child>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkSearchBar" id="searchbar">
            <child>
              <object class="GtkSearchEntry" id="searchentry">
              </object>
            </child>
          </object>
        </child>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkBox" id="hbox">
            <child>
              <object class="GtkRevealer" id="sidebar">
                <property name="transition-type">slide-right</property>
                <child>
                 <object class="GtkScrolledWindow" id="sidebar-sw">
                   <property name="hscrollbar-policy">never</property>
                   <property name="vscrollbar-policy">automatic</property>
                   <child>
                     <object class="GtkListBox" id="words">
                       <property name="selection-mode">none</property>
                     </object>
                   </child>
                 </object>
                </child>
              </object>
            </child>
            <child>
              <object class="GtkStack" id="stack">
                <property name="transition-duration">500</property>
              </object>
            </child>
          </object>
        </child>
      </object>
    </child>
  </object>
</interface>

File: org.gtkmm.exampleapp.gschema.xml (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<schemalist>
  <schema path="/org/gtkmm/exampleapp/" id="org.gtkmm.exampleapp">
    <key name="font" type="s">
      <default>'Monospace 12'</default>
      <summary>Font</summary>
      <description>The font to be used for content.</description>
    </key>
    <key name="transition" type="s">
      <choices>
        <choice value='none'/>
        <choice value='crossfade'/>
        <choice value='slide-left-right'/>
      </choices>
      <default>'none'</default>
      <summary>Transition</summary>
      <description>The transition to use when switching tabs.</description>
    </key>
    <key name="show-words" type="b">
      <default>false</default>
      <summary>Show words</summary>
      <description>Whether to show a word list in the sidebar.</description>
    </key>
  </schema>
</schemalist>

29.8. Properties

Widgets and other objects have many useful properties. Here we show some ways to use them in new and flexible ways, by wrapping them in actions with Gio::PropertyAction or by binding them with Glib::Binding.

To set this up, we add two labels to the header bar in our window.ui file, named lines_label and lines, and get pointers to them in the application window's constructor, as we've seen a couple of times by now. We add a new "Lines" menu item to the gears menu, which triggers the show-lines action.

To make this menu item do something, we create a property action for the visible property of the lines label, and add it to the actions of the window. The effect of this is that the visibility of the label gets toggled every time the action is activated. Since we want both labels to appear and disappear together, we bind the visible property of the lines_label widget to the same property of the lines widget. In ExampleAppWindow's constructor:

add_action(Gio::PropertyAction::create("show-lines", m_lines->property_visible()));
m_binding_lines_visible = Glib::Binding::bind_property(m_lines->property_visible(),
  m_lines_label->property_visible());

We also need a function that counts the lines of the currently active tab, and updates the lines label. See the full source if you are interested in the details.

This brings our example application to this appearance:

Figure 29-8Properties

Source Code

File: exampleappwindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H_
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H_

#include <gtkmm.h>

class ExampleAppWindow : public Gtk::ApplicationWindow
{
public:
  ExampleAppWindow(BaseObjectType* cobject,
    const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refBuilder);

  static ExampleAppWindow* create();

  void open_file_view(const Glib::RefPtr<Gio::File>& file);

protected:
  // Signal handlers
  void on_search_text_changed();
  void on_visible_child_changed();
  void on_find_word(const Gtk::Button* button);
  void on_reveal_child_changed();

  void update_words();
  void update_lines();

  Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder> m_refBuilder;
  Glib::RefPtr<Gio::Settings> m_settings;
  Gtk::Stack* m_stack;
  Gtk::ToggleButton* m_search;
  Gtk::SearchBar* m_searchbar;
  Gtk::SearchEntry* m_searchentry;
  Gtk::MenuButton* m_gears;
  Gtk::Revealer* m_sidebar;
  Gtk::ListBox* m_words;
  Gtk::Label* m_lines;
  Gtk::Label* m_lines_label;
  Glib::RefPtr<Glib::Binding> m_binding_search_enabled;
  Glib::RefPtr<Glib::Binding> m_binding_lines_visible;
};

#endif /* GTKMM_EXAMPLEAPPWINDOW_H */

File: exampleapplication.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step4/exampleapplication.h"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step4

File: exampleappprefs.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step5/exampleappprefs.h"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step5

File: exampleappprefs.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step5/exampleappprefs.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step5

File: exampleapplication.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step5/exampleapplication.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step5

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step5/main.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step5

File: exampleappwindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleappwindow.h"
#include <iostream>
#include <stdexcept>
#include <set>

ExampleAppWindow::ExampleAppWindow(BaseObjectType* cobject,
  const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refBuilder)
: Gtk::ApplicationWindow(cobject),
  m_refBuilder(refBuilder),
  m_settings(),
  m_stack(nullptr),
  m_search(nullptr),
  m_searchbar(nullptr),
  m_searchentry(nullptr),
  m_gears(nullptr),
  m_sidebar(nullptr),
  m_words(nullptr),
  m_lines(nullptr),
  m_lines_label(nullptr),
  m_binding_search_enabled(),
  m_binding_lines_visible()
{
  // Get widgets from the Gtk::Builder file.
  m_refBuilder->get_widget("stack", m_stack);
  if (!m_stack)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"stack\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("search", m_search);
  if (!m_search)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"search\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("searchbar", m_searchbar);
  if (!m_searchbar)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"searchbar\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("searchentry", m_searchentry);
  if (!m_searchentry)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"searchentry\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("gears", m_gears);
  if (!m_gears)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"gears\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("sidebar", m_sidebar);
  if (!m_sidebar)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"sidebar\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("words", m_words);
  if (!m_words)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"words\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("lines", m_lines);
  if (!m_lines)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"lines\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("lines_label", m_lines_label);
  if (!m_lines_label)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"lines_label\" object in window.ui");

  // Bind settings.
  m_settings = Gio::Settings::create("org.gtkmm.exampleapp");
  m_settings->bind("transition", m_stack->property_transition_type());
  m_settings->bind("show-words", m_sidebar->property_reveal_child());

  // Bind properties of the search button to the search bar.
  m_binding_search_enabled = Glib::Binding::bind_property(m_search->property_active(),
    m_searchbar->property_search_mode_enabled(), Glib::Binding::Flags::BIDIRECTIONAL);

  // Connect signal handlers.
  m_searchentry->signal_search_changed().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed));
  m_stack->property_visible_child().signal_changed().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleAppWindow::on_visible_child_changed));
  m_sidebar->property_reveal_child().signal_changed().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleAppWindow::on_reveal_child_changed));

  // Connect the menu to the MenuButton m_gears, and bind the show-words setting
  // to the win.show-words action and the "Words" menu item.
  // (The connection between action and menu item is specified in gears_menu.ui.)
  auto menu_builder = Gtk::Builder::create_from_resource("/org/gtkmm/exampleapp/gears_menu.ui");
  auto object = menu_builder->get_object("menu");
  auto menu = std::dynamic_pointer_cast<Gio::MenuModel>(object);
  if (!menu)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"menu\" object in gears_menu.ui");

  m_gears->set_menu_model(menu);
  add_action(m_settings->create_action("show-words"));

  // Bind the "visible" property of m_lines to the win.show-lines action, to
  // the "Lines" menu item and to the "visible" property of m_lines_label.
  add_action(Gio::PropertyAction::create("show-lines", m_lines->property_visible()));
  m_binding_lines_visible = Glib::Binding::bind_property(m_lines->property_visible(),
    m_lines_label->property_visible());
}

//static
ExampleAppWindow* ExampleAppWindow::create()
{
  // Load the Builder file and instantiate its widgets.
  auto refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create_from_resource("/org/gtkmm/exampleapp/window.ui");

  ExampleAppWindow* window = nullptr;
  Gtk::Builder::get_widget_derived(refBuilder, "app_window", window);
  if (!window)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"app_window\" object in window.ui");

  return window;
}

void ExampleAppWindow::open_file_view(const Glib::RefPtr<Gio::File>& file)
{
  const auto basename = file->get_basename();

  auto scrolled = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::ScrolledWindow>();
  scrolled->set_hexpand(true);
  scrolled->set_vexpand(true);
  scrolled->show();
  auto view = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::TextView>();
  view->set_editable(false);
  view->set_cursor_visible(false);
  view->show();
  scrolled->add(*view);
  m_stack->add(*scrolled, basename, basename);

  auto buffer = view->get_buffer();
  try
  {
    char* contents = nullptr;
    gsize length = 0;
    
    file->load_contents(contents, length);
    buffer->set_text(contents, contents+length);
    g_free(contents);
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::open_file_view(\"" << file->get_parse_name()
      << "\"):\n  " << ex.what() << std::endl;
    return;
  }

  auto tag = buffer->create_tag();
  m_settings->bind("font", tag->property_font());
  buffer->apply_tag(tag, buffer->begin(), buffer->end());

  m_search->set_sensitive(true);
  update_words();
  update_lines();
}

void ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed()
{
  const auto text = m_searchentry->get_text();
  if (text.empty())
    return;

  auto tab = dynamic_cast<Gtk::ScrolledWindow*>(m_stack->get_visible_child());
  if (!tab)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed(): No visible child." << std::endl;
    return;
  }

  auto view = dynamic_cast<Gtk::TextView*>(tab->get_child());
  if (!view)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed(): No visible text view." << std::endl;
    return;
  }

  // Very simple-minded search implementation.
  auto buffer = view->get_buffer();
  Gtk::TextIter match_start;
  Gtk::TextIter match_end;
  if (buffer->begin().forward_search(text, Gtk::TextSearchFlags::CASE_INSENSITIVE,
      match_start, match_end))
  {
    buffer->select_range(match_start, match_end);
    view->scroll_to(match_start);
  }
}

void ExampleAppWindow::on_visible_child_changed()
{
  m_searchbar->set_search_mode(false);
  update_words();
  update_lines();  
}

void ExampleAppWindow::on_find_word(const Gtk::Button* button)
{
  m_searchentry->set_text(button->get_label());
}

void ExampleAppWindow::on_reveal_child_changed()
{
  update_words();
}

void ExampleAppWindow::update_words()
{
  auto tab = dynamic_cast<Gtk::ScrolledWindow*>(m_stack->get_visible_child());
  if (!tab)
    return;

  auto view = dynamic_cast<Gtk::TextView*>(tab->get_child());
  if (!view)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::update_words(): No visible text view." << std::endl;
    return;
  }
  auto buffer = view->get_buffer();

  // Find all words in the text buffer.
  std::set<Glib::ustring> words;
  auto start = buffer->begin();
  Gtk::TextIter end;
  while (start)
  {
    while (start && !start.starts_word())
      ++start;

    if (!start)
      break;

    end = start;
    end.forward_word_end();
    if (start == end)
      break;

    auto word = buffer->get_text(start, end, false);
    words.insert(word.lowercase());
    start = end;
  }

  // Remove old children from the ListBox.
  auto old_children = m_words->get_children();
  for (auto child : old_children)
  {
    m_words->remove(*child);
    delete child;
  }

  // Add new child buttons, one per unique word.
  for (const auto& word : words)
  {
    auto row = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::Button>(word);
    row->signal_clicked().connect(sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
      &ExampleAppWindow::on_find_word), row));
    row->show();
    m_words->add(*row);
  }
}

void ExampleAppWindow::update_lines()
{
  auto tab = dynamic_cast<Gtk::ScrolledWindow*>(m_stack->get_visible_child());
  if (!tab)
    return;

  auto view = dynamic_cast<Gtk::TextView*>(tab->get_child());
  if (!view)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::update_lines(): No visible text view." << std::endl;
    return;
  }
  auto buffer = view->get_buffer();

  int count = 0;
  auto iter = buffer->begin();
  while (iter)
  {
    ++count;
    if (!iter.forward_line())
      break;
  }
  m_lines->set_text(Glib::ustring::format(count));
}

File: gears_menu.ui (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<interface>
  <!-- interface-requires gtk+ 3.0 -->
  <menu id="menu">
    <section>
      <item>
        <attribute name="label" translatable="yes">_Words</attribute>
        <attribute name="action">win.show-words</attribute>
      </item>
      <item>
        <attribute name="label" translatable="yes">_Lines</attribute>
        <attribute name="action">win.show-lines</attribute>
      </item>
    </section>
  </menu>
</interface>

File: window.ui (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<interface>
  <object class="GtkApplicationWindow" id="app_window">
    <property name="title" translatable="yes">Example Application</property>
    <property name="default-width">600</property>
    <property name="default-height">400</property>
    <child>
      <object class="GtkBox" id="content_box">
        <property name="orientation">vertical</property>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkHeaderBar" id="header">
            <child>
              <object class="GtkLabel" id="lines_label">
                <property name="visible">False</property>
                <property name="label" translatable="yes">Lines:</property>
              </object>
            </child>
            <child>
              <object class="GtkLabel" id="lines">
                <property name="visible">False</property>
              </object>
            </child>
            <child type="title">
              <object class="GtkStackSwitcher" id="tabs">
                <property name="stack">stack</property>
              </object>
            </child>
            <child type="end">
              <object class="GtkToggleButton" id="search">
                <property name="sensitive">False</property>
                <property name="icon-name">edit-find-symbolic</property>
              </object>
            </child>
            <child type="end">
              <object class="GtkMenuButton" id="gears">
                <property name="direction">none</property>
                <property name="use-popover">True</property>
                <style>
                  <class name="image-button"/>
                </style>
              </object>
            </child>
          </object>
        </child>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkSearchBar" id="searchbar">
            <child>
              <object class="GtkSearchEntry" id="searchentry">
              </object>
            </child>
          </object>
        </child>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkBox" id="hbox">
            <child>
              <object class="GtkRevealer" id="sidebar">
                <property name="transition-type">slide-right</property>
                <child>
                 <object class="GtkScrolledWindow" id="sidebar-sw">
                   <property name="hscrollbar-policy">never</property>
                   <property name="vscrollbar-policy">automatic</property>
                   <child>
                     <object class="GtkListBox" id="words">
                       <property name="selection-mode">none</property>
                     </object>
                   </child>
                 </object>
                </child>
              </object>
            </child>
            <child>
              <object class="GtkStack" id="stack">
                <property name="transition-duration">500</property>
              </object>
            </child>
          </object>
        </child>
      </object>
    </child>
  </object>
</interface>

29.9. Header bar

Our application already uses a Gtk::HeaderBar, but so far it still gets a 'normal' window titlebar on top of that. This is a bit redundant, and we will now tell gtkmm to use the header bar as replacement for the titlebar. To do so, we move it around to be a direct child of the window, and set its type to be titlebar. This is done in the window.ui file.

A small extra bonus of using a header bar is that we get a fallback application menu button for free. We include an icon in the resource file, and set up this icon as the window icon. Then it is displayed in the menu button.

Here is how the application now looks, if the fallback menu is used:

Figure 29-9Header bar

The window.ui file sets a header bar title, but this title is not shown. That's because the stack switcher is a child of type title. The stack switcher becomes a custom title that hides the title label, as if it had been set with Gtk::HeaderBar::set_custom_title().

Source Code

File: exampleappwindow.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step8/exampleappwindow.h"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step8

File: exampleapplication.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step4/exampleapplication.h"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step4

File: exampleappprefs.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step5/exampleappprefs.h"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step5

File: exampleappprefs.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step5/exampleappprefs.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step5

File: exampleapplication.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step5/exampleapplication.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step5

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "../step5/main.cc"
// Equal to the corresponding file in step5

File: exampleappwindow.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "exampleappwindow.h"
#include <iostream>
#include <stdexcept>
#include <set>

ExampleAppWindow::ExampleAppWindow(BaseObjectType* cobject,
  const Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::Builder>& refBuilder)
: Gtk::ApplicationWindow(cobject),
  m_refBuilder(refBuilder),
  m_settings(),
  m_stack(nullptr),
  m_search(nullptr),
  m_searchbar(nullptr),
  m_searchentry(nullptr),
  m_gears(nullptr),
  m_sidebar(nullptr),
  m_words(nullptr),
  m_lines(nullptr),
  m_lines_label(nullptr),
  m_binding_search_enabled(),
  m_binding_lines_visible()
{
  // Get widgets from the Gtk::Builder file.
  m_refBuilder->get_widget("stack", m_stack);
  if (!m_stack)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"stack\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("search", m_search);
  if (!m_search)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"search\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("searchbar", m_searchbar);
  if (!m_searchbar)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"searchbar\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("searchentry", m_searchentry);
  if (!m_searchentry)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"searchentry\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("gears", m_gears);
  if (!m_gears)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"gears\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("sidebar", m_sidebar);
  if (!m_sidebar)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"sidebar\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("words", m_words);
  if (!m_words)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"words\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("lines", m_lines);
  if (!m_lines)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"lines\" object in window.ui");

  m_refBuilder->get_widget("lines_label", m_lines_label);
  if (!m_lines_label)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"lines_label\" object in window.ui");

  // Bind settings.
  m_settings = Gio::Settings::create("org.gtkmm.exampleapp");
  m_settings->bind("transition", m_stack->property_transition_type());
  m_settings->bind("show-words", m_sidebar->property_reveal_child());

  // Bind properties of the search button to the search bar.
  m_binding_search_enabled = Glib::Binding::bind_property(m_search->property_active(),
    m_searchbar->property_search_mode_enabled(), Glib::Binding::Flags::BIDIRECTIONAL);

  // Connect signal handlers.
  m_searchentry->signal_search_changed().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed));
  m_stack->property_visible_child().signal_changed().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleAppWindow::on_visible_child_changed));
  m_sidebar->property_reveal_child().signal_changed().connect(
    sigc::mem_fun(*this, &ExampleAppWindow::on_reveal_child_changed));

  // Connect the menu to the MenuButton m_gears, and bind the show-words setting
  // to the win.show-words action and the "Words" menu item.
  // (The connection between action and menu item is specified in gears_menu.ui.)
  auto menu_builder = Gtk::Builder::create_from_resource("/org/gtkmm/exampleapp/gears_menu.ui");
  auto object = menu_builder->get_object("menu");
  auto menu = std::dynamic_pointer_cast<Gio::MenuModel>(object);
  if (!menu)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"menu\" object in gears_menu.ui");

  m_gears->set_menu_model(menu);
  add_action(m_settings->create_action("show-words"));

  // Bind the "visible" property of m_lines to the win.show-lines action, to
  // the "Lines" menu item and to the "visible" property of m_lines_label.
  add_action(Gio::PropertyAction::create("show-lines", m_lines->property_visible()));
  m_binding_lines_visible = Glib::Binding::bind_property(m_lines->property_visible(),
    m_lines_label->property_visible());

  // Display the application menu in the application, not in the desktop environment.
  auto gtk_settings = Gtk::Settings::get_default();
  if (gtk_settings)
    gtk_settings->property_gtk_shell_shows_app_menu() = false;
  set_show_menubar(true);

  // Set the window icon.
  Gtk::IconTheme::get_default()->add_resource_path("/org/gtkmm/exampleapp");
  set_icon_name("exampleapp");
}

//static
ExampleAppWindow* ExampleAppWindow::create()
{
  // Load the Builder file and instantiate its widgets.
  auto refBuilder = Gtk::Builder::create_from_resource("/org/gtkmm/exampleapp/window.ui");

  ExampleAppWindow* window = nullptr;
  Gtk::Builder::get_widget_derived(refBuilder, "app_window", window);
  if (!window)
    throw std::runtime_error("No \"app_window\" object in window.ui");

  return window;
}

void ExampleAppWindow::open_file_view(const Glib::RefPtr<Gio::File>& file)
{
  const auto basename = file->get_basename();

  auto scrolled = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::ScrolledWindow>();
  scrolled->set_hexpand(true);
  scrolled->set_vexpand(true);
  scrolled->show();
  auto view = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::TextView>();
  view->set_editable(false);
  view->set_cursor_visible(false);
  view->show();
  scrolled->add(*view);
  m_stack->add(*scrolled, basename, basename);

  auto buffer = view->get_buffer();
  try
  {
    char* contents = nullptr;
    gsize length = 0;
    
    file->load_contents(contents, length);
    buffer->set_text(contents, contents+length);
    g_free(contents);
  }
  catch (const Glib::Error& ex)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::open_file_view(\"" << file->get_parse_name()
      << "\"):\n  " << ex.what() << std::endl;
    return;
  }

  auto tag = buffer->create_tag();
  m_settings->bind("font", tag->property_font());
  buffer->apply_tag(tag, buffer->begin(), buffer->end());

  m_search->set_sensitive(true);
  update_words();
  update_lines();
}

void ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed()
{
  const auto text = m_searchentry->get_text();
  if (text.empty())
    return;

  auto tab = dynamic_cast<Gtk::ScrolledWindow*>(m_stack->get_visible_child());
  if (!tab)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed(): No visible child." << std::endl;
    return;
  }

  auto view = dynamic_cast<Gtk::TextView*>(tab->get_child());
  if (!view)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::on_search_text_changed(): No visible text view." << std::endl;
    return;
  }

  // Very simple-minded search implementation.
  auto buffer = view->get_buffer();
  Gtk::TextIter match_start;
  Gtk::TextIter match_end;
  if (buffer->begin().forward_search(text, Gtk::TextSearchFlags::CASE_INSENSITIVE,
      match_start, match_end))
  {
    buffer->select_range(match_start, match_end);
    view->scroll_to(match_start);
  }
}

void ExampleAppWindow::on_visible_child_changed()
{
  m_searchbar->set_search_mode(false);
  update_words();
  update_lines();  
}

void ExampleAppWindow::on_find_word(const Gtk::Button* button)
{
  m_searchentry->set_text(button->get_label());
}

void ExampleAppWindow::on_reveal_child_changed()
{
  update_words();
}

void ExampleAppWindow::update_words()
{
  auto tab = dynamic_cast<Gtk::ScrolledWindow*>(m_stack->get_visible_child());
  if (!tab)
    return;

  auto view = dynamic_cast<Gtk::TextView*>(tab->get_child());
  if (!view)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::update_words(): No visible text view." << std::endl;
    return;
  }
  auto buffer = view->get_buffer();

  // Find all words in the text buffer.
  std::set<Glib::ustring> words;
  auto start = buffer->begin();
  Gtk::TextIter end;
  while (start)
  {
    while (start && !start.starts_word())
      ++start;

    if (!start)
      break;

    end = start;
    end.forward_word_end();
    if (start == end)
      break;

    auto word = buffer->get_text(start, end, false);
    words.insert(word.lowercase());
    start = end;
  }

  // Remove old children from the ListBox.
  auto old_children = m_words->get_children();
  for (auto child : old_children)
  {
    m_words->remove(*child);
    delete child;
  }

  // Add new child buttons, one per unique word.
  for (const auto& word : words)
  {
    auto row = Gtk::make_managed<Gtk::Button>(word);
    row->signal_clicked().connect(sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this,
      &ExampleAppWindow::on_find_word), row));
    row->show();
    m_words->add(*row);
  }
}

void ExampleAppWindow::update_lines()
{
  auto tab = dynamic_cast<Gtk::ScrolledWindow*>(m_stack->get_visible_child());
  if (!tab)
    return;

  auto view = dynamic_cast<Gtk::TextView*>(tab->get_child());
  if (!view)
  {
    std::cout << "ExampleAppWindow::update_lines(): No visible text view." << std::endl;
    return;
  }
  auto buffer = view->get_buffer();

  int count = 0;
  auto iter = buffer->begin();
  while (iter)
  {
    ++count;
    if (!iter.forward_line())
      break;
  }
  m_lines->set_text(Glib::ustring::format(count));
}

File: exampleapp.gresource.xml (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<gresources>
  <gresource prefix="/org/gtkmm/exampleapp">
    <file preprocess="xml-stripblanks">window.ui</file>
    <file preprocess="xml-stripblanks">app_menu.ui</file>
    <file preprocess="xml-stripblanks">gears_menu.ui</file>
    <file preprocess="xml-stripblanks">prefs.ui</file>
    <file>exampleapp.png</file>
  </gresource>
</gresources>

File: window.ui (For use with gtkmm 4)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<interface>
  <object class="GtkApplicationWindow" id="app_window">
    <property name="default-width">600</property>
    <property name="default-height">400</property>
    <child type="titlebar">
      <object class="GtkHeaderBar" id="header">
        <property name="title" translatable="yes">Example Application</property>
        <property name="show-title-buttons">True</property>
        <property name="decoration-layout">menu:close</property>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkLabel" id="lines_label">
            <property name="visible">False</property>
            <property name="label" translatable="yes">Lines:</property>
          </object>
        </child>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkLabel" id="lines">
            <property name="visible">False</property>
          </object>
        </child>
        <child type="title">
          <object class="GtkStackSwitcher" id="tabs">
            <property name="stack">stack</property>
          </object>
        </child>
        <child type="end">
          <object class="GtkToggleButton" id="search">
            <property name="sensitive">False</property>
            <property name="icon-name">edit-find-symbolic</property>
          </object>
        </child>
        <child type="end">
          <object class="GtkMenuButton" id="gears">
            <property name="direction">none</property>
            <property name="use-popover">True</property>
            <style>
              <class name="image-button"/>
            </style>
          </object>
        </child>
      </object>
    </child>
    <child>
      <object class="GtkBox" id="content_box">
        <property name="orientation">vertical</property>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkSearchBar" id="searchbar">
            <child>
              <object class="GtkSearchEntry" id="searchentry">
              </object>
            </child>
          </object>
        </child>
        <child>
          <object class="GtkBox" id="hbox">
            <child>
              <object class="GtkRevealer" id="sidebar">
                <property name="transition-type">slide-right</property>
                <child>
                  <object class="GtkScrolledWindow" id="sidebar-sw">
                    <property name="hscrollbar-policy">never</property>
                    <property name="vscrollbar-policy">automatic</property>
                    <child>
                      <object class="GtkListBox" id="words">
                        <property name="selection-mode">none</property>
                      </object>
                    </child>
                  </object>
                </child>
              </object>
            </child>
            <child>
              <object class="GtkStack" id="stack">
                <property name="transition-duration">500</property>
              </object>
            </child>
          </object>
        </child>
      </object>
    </child>
  </object>
</interface>

30. Contributing

This document, like so much other great software out there, was created for free by volunteers. If you are at all knowledgeable about any aspect of gtkmm that does not already have documentation, please consider contributing to this document.

Ideally, we would like you to provide a patch to the docs/tutorial/C/index-in.docbook file. This file is currently in the gtkmm-documentation module in GNOME git.

If you do decide to contribute, please post your contribution to the gtkmm mailing list at <gtkmm-list@gnome.org>. Also, be aware that the entirety of this document is free, and any addition you provide must also be free. That is, people must be able to use any portion of your examples in their programs, and copies of this document (including your contribution) may be distributed freely.

A. The RefPtr smartpointer

Glib::RefPtr is a smartpointer. Specifically, it is a reference-counting smartpointer. You might be familiar with std::unique_ptr<> and std::shared_ptr<>, which are also smartpointers. In gtkmm-4.0 Glib::RefPtr<> is an alias for std::shared_ptr<>, which is reference-counting. Glib::RefPtr<> was introduced long before there was a reference-counting smartpointer in the C++ Standard Library.

Reference

A smartpointer acts much like a normal pointer. Here are a few examples.

A.1. Copying

You can copy RefPtrs, just like normal pointers. But unlike normal pointers, you don't need to worry about deleting the underlying instance.

auto refPixbuf = Gdk::Pixbuf::create_from_file(filename);
auto refPixbuf2 = refPixbuf;

Of course this means that you can store RefPtrs in standard containers, such as std::vector or std::list.

std::list<Glib::RefPtr<Gdk::Pixbuf>> listPixbufs;
auto refPixbuf = Gdk::Pixbuf::create_from_file(filename);
listPixbufs.push_back(refPixbuf);

A.2. Dereferencing

You can dereference a smartpointer with the -> operator, to call the methods of the underlying instance, just like a normal pointer.

auto refPixbuf = Gdk::Pixbuf::create_from_file(filename);
auto width = refPixbuf->get_width();

You can also use the * operator and the get() method to access the underlying instance, but it's usually a bad idea to do so. Unless you are careful, you can end up with a pointer or a reference which is not included in the reference count.

auto refPixbuf = Gdk::Pixbuf::create_from_file(filename);
auto& underlying = *refPixbuf; // Possible, but not recommended

A.3. Casting

You can cast RefPtrs to base types, just like normal pointers.

auto refStore = Gtk::TreeStore::create(columns);
Glib::RefPtr<Gtk::TreeModel> refModel = refStore;

This means that any method which takes a const Glib::RefPtr<BaseType>& argument can also take a const Glib::RefPtr<DerivedType>&. The cast is implicit, just as it would be for a normal pointer.

You can also cast to a derived type, but the syntax is a little different than with a normal pointer.

auto refStore = std::dynamic_pointer_cast<Gtk::TreeStore>(refModel);
auto refStore2 = std::static_pointer_cast<Gtk::TreeStore>(refModel);

A.4. Checking for nullptr

Just like normal pointers, you can check whether a RefPtr points to anything.

auto refModel = m_TreeView.get_model();
if (refModel)
{
  auto cols_count = refModel->get_n_columns();
  ...
}

But unlike normal pointers, RefPtrs are automatically initialized to nullptr so you don't need to remember to do that yourself.

A.5. Constness

The use of the const keyword in C++ is not always clear. You might not realise that const Something* declares a pointer to a const Something. The pointer can be changed, but not the Something that it points to.

Therefore, the RefPtr equivalent of Something* for a method parameter is const Glib::RefPtr<Something>&, and the equivalent of const Something* is const Glib::RefPtr<const Something>&.

The const ... & around both is just for efficiency, like using const std::string& instead of std::string for a method parameter to avoid unnecessary copying.

B. Signals

B.1. Connecting signal handlers

gtkmm widget classes have signal accessor methods, such as Gtk::Button::signal_clicked(), which allow you to connect your signal handler. Thanks to the flexibility of libsigc++, the callback library used by gtkmm, the signal handler can be almost any kind of function, but you will probably want to use a class method. Among GTK+ C coders, these signal handlers are often named callbacks.

Here's an example of a signal handler being connected to a signal:

#include <gtkmm/button.h>

void on_button_clicked()
{
    std::cout << "Hello World" << std::endl;
}

int main()
{
    Gtk::Button button("Hello World");
    button.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::ptr_fun(&on_button_clicked));
}

There's rather a lot to think about in this (non-functional) code. First let's identify the parties involved:

  • The signal handler is on_button_clicked().
  • We're hooking it up to the Gtk::Button object called button.
  • When the Button emits its clicked signal, on_button_clicked() will be called.

Now let's look at the connection again:

    ...
    button.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::ptr_fun(&on_button_clicked));
    ...

Note that we don't pass a pointer to on_button_clicked() directly to the signal's connect() method. Instead, we call sigc::ptr_fun(), and pass the result to connect().

sigc::ptr_fun() generates a sigc::slot. A slot is an object which looks and feels like a function, but is actually an object. These are also known as function objects, or functors. sigc::ptr_fun() generates a slot for a standalone function or static method. sigc::mem_fun() generates a slot for a member method of a particular instance.

Here's a slightly larger example of slots in action:

void on_button_clicked();

class some_class
{
    void on_button_clicked();
};

some_class some_object;

int main()
{
    Gtk::Button button;
    button.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::ptr_fun(&on_button_clicked) );
    button.signal_clicked().connect( sigc::mem_fun(some_object, &some_class::on_button_clicked) );
}

The first call to connect() is just like the one we saw last time; nothing new here.

The next is more interesting. sigc::mem_fun() is called with two arguments. The first argument is some_object, which is the object that our new slot will be pointing at. The second argument is a pointer to one of its methods. This particular version of sigc::mem_fun() creates a slot which will, when "called", call the pointed-to method of the specified object, in this case some_object.on_button_clicked().

Another thing to note about this example is that we made the call to connect() twice for the same signal object. This is perfectly fine - when the button is clicked, both signal handlers will be called.

We just told you that the button's clicked signal is expecting to call a method with no arguments. All signals have requirements like this - you can't hook a function with two arguments to a signal expecting none (unless you use an adapter, such as sigc::bind(), of course). Therefore, it's important to know what type of signal handler you'll be expected to connect to a given signal.

B.2. Writing signal handlers

To find out what type of signal handler you can connect to a signal, you can look it up in the reference documentation or the header file. Here's an example of a signal declaration you might see in the gtkmm headers:

Glib::SignalProxy<bool(Gtk::DirectionType)> signal_focus()

Other than the signal's name (focus), the template arguments are important to note here. The first argument, bool, is the type that the signal handler should return; and the type within parentheses, Gtk::DirectionType, is the type of this signal's first, and only, argument. By looking at the reference documentation, you can see the names of the arguments too.

The same principles apply for signals which have more arguments. Here's one with three (taken from <gtkmm/textbuffer.h>):

Glib::SignalProxy<void(TextBuffer::iterator&, const Glib::ustrin&, int)> signal_insert();

It follows the same form. The first type is void, so that should be our signal handler's return type. The following three types are the argument types, in order. Our signal handler's prototype could look like this:

void on_insert(TextBuffer::iterator& pos, const Glib::ustring& text, int bytes)

B.3. Disconnecting signal handlers

Let's take another look at a Signal's connect method:

sigc::connection signal<void(int)>::connect(const sigc::slot<void(int)>&);

The returned sigc::connection can be used to control the connection. By keeping a connection object you can disconnect its associated signal handler using the sigc::connection::disconnect() method.

B.4. Overriding default signal handlers

So far we've told you to perform actions in response to button-presses and the like by handling signals. That's certainly a good way to do things, but it's not the only way.

Instead of laboriously connecting signal handlers to signals, you can simply make a new class which inherits from a widget - say, a Button - and then override the default signal handler, such as Button::on_clicked(). This can be a lot simpler than hooking up signal handlers for everything.

Subclassing isn't always the best way to accomplish things. It is only useful when you want the widget to handle its own signal by itself. If you want some other class to handle the signal then you'll need to connect a separate handler. This is even more true if you want several objects to handle the same signal, or if you want one signal handler to respond to the same signal from different objects.

gtkmm classes are designed with overriding in mind; they contain virtual member methods specifically intended to be overridden.

Let's look at an example of overriding:

#include <gtkmm/button.h>

class OverriddenButton : public Gtk::Button
{
protected:
  void on_clicked() override;
}

void OverriddenButton::on_clicked()
{
  std::cout << "Hello World" << std::endl;

  // call the base class's version of the method:
  Gtk::Button::on_clicked();
}

Here we define a new class called OverriddenButton, which inherits from Gtk::Button. The only thing we change is the on_clicked() method, which is called whenever Gtk::Button emits the clicked signal. This method prints "Hello World" to stdout, and then calls the original, overridden method, to let Gtk::Button do what it would have done had we not overridden.

You don't always need to call the parent's method; there are times when you might not want to. Note that we called the parent method after writing "Hello World", but we could have called it before. In this simple example, it hardly matters much, but there are times when it will. With connected signal handlers, it's not quite so easy to change details like this, and you can do something here which you can't do at all with connected signal handlers: you can call the parent method in the middle of your custom code.

B.5. Binding extra arguments

If you use one signal handler to catch the same signal from several widgets, you might like that signal handler to receive some extra information. For instance, you might want to know which button was clicked. You can do this with sigc::bind(). Here's some code from the helloworld2 example.

m_button1.signal_clicked().connect(sigc::bind(sigc::mem_fun(*this, &HelloWorld::on_button_clicked), "button 1"));
This says that we want the signal to send an extra Glib::ustring argument to the signal handler, and that the value of that argument should be "button 1". Of course we will need to add that extra argument to the declaration of our signal handler:
void on_button_clicked(const Glib::ustring& data);
Of course, a normal "clicked" signal handler would have no arguments.

sigc::bind() is not commonly used, but you might find it helpful sometimes. If you are familiar with GTK+ programming then you have probably noticed that this is similar to the extra gpointer data arguments which all GTK+ callbacks have. This is generally overused in GTK+ to pass information that should be stored as member data in a derived widget, but widget derivation is very difficult in C. We have far less need of this hack in gtkmm.

B.6. X Event signals

The Widget class has some special signals which correspond to the underlying X-Windows events. These are suffixed by _event; for instance, Widget::signal_button_press_event().

You might occasionally find it useful to handle X events when there's something you can't accomplish with normal signals. Gtk::Button, for example, does not send mouse-pointer coordinates with its clicked signal, but you could handle button_press_event if you needed this information. X events are also often used to handle key-presses.

These signals behave slightly differently. The value returned from the signal handler indicates whether it has fully "handled" the event. If the value is false then gtkmm will pass the event on to the next signal handler. If the value is true then no other signal handlers will need to be called.

Handling an X event doesn't affect the Widget's other signals. If you handle button_press_event for Gtk::Button, you'll still be able to get the clicked signal. They are emitted at (nearly) the same time.

Here's a simple example:

bool on_button_press(GdkEventButton* event);
Gtk::Button button("label");
button.signal_button_press_event().connect( sigc::ptr_fun(&on_button_press) );

When the mouse is over the button and a mouse button is pressed, on_button_press() will be called.

GdkEventButton is a structure containing the event's parameters, such as the coordinates of the mouse pointer at the time the button was pressed. There are several different types of GdkEvent structures for the various events.

B.6.1. Signal Handler sequence

By default, your signal handlers are called after any previously-connected signal handlers. However, this can be a problem with the X Event signals. For instance, the existing signal handlers, or the default signal handler, might return true to stop other signal handlers from being called. To specify that your signal handler should be called before the other signal handlers, so that it will always be called, you can specify false for the optional after parameter. For instance,

button.signal_button_press_event().connect( sigc::ptr_fun(&on_mywindow_button_press), false );

The event is delivered first to the widget the event occurred in. If all signal handlers in that widget return false (indicating that the event has not been handled), then the signal will be propagated to the parent widget and emitted there. This continues all the way up to the top-level widget if no one handles the event.

B.7. Exceptions in signal handlers

When a program is aborted because of an unhandled C++ exception, it's sometimes possible to use a debugger to find the location where the exception was thrown. This is more difficult than usual if the exception was thrown from a signal handler.

This section describes primarily what you can expect on a Linux system, when you use the gdb debugger.

First, let's look at a simple example where an exception is thrown from a normal function (no signal handler).

// without_signal.cc
#include <gtkmm.h>

bool throwSomething()
{
  throw "Something";
  return true;
}

int main(int argc, char** argv)
{
  throwSomething();
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.without_signal");
  return app->run();
}

Here is an excerpt from a gdb session. Only the most interesting parts of the output are shown.

> gdb without_signal
(gdb) run
terminate called after throwing an instance of 'char const*'

Program received signal SIGABRT, Aborted.
(gdb) backtrace
#7  0x08048864 in throwSomething () at without_signal.cc:6
#8  0x0804887d in main (argc=1, argv=0xbfffecd4) at without_signal.cc:12
You can see that the exception was thrown from without_signal.cc, line 6 (throw "Something";).

Now let's see what happens when an exception is thrown from a signal handler. Here's the source code.

// with_signal.cc
#include <gtkmm.h>

bool throwSomething()
{
  throw "Something";
  return true;
}

int main(int argc, char** argv)
{
  Glib::signal_timeout().connect(sigc::ptr_fun(throwSomething), 500);
  auto app = Gtk::Application::create("org.gtkmm.with_signal");
  app->hold();
  return app->run();
}

And here's an excerpt from a gdb session.

> gdb with_signal
(gdb) run
(with_signal:2703): glibmm-ERROR **:
unhandled exception (type unknown) in signal handler

Program received signal SIGTRAP, Trace/breakpoint trap.
(gdb) backtrace
#2  0x0063c6ab in glibmm_unexpected_exception () at exceptionhandler.cc:77
#3  Glib::exception_handlers_invoke () at exceptionhandler.cc:150
#4  0x0063d370 in glibmm_source_callback (data=0x804d620) at main.cc:212
#13 0x002e1b31 in Gtk::Application::run (this=0x804f300) at application.cc:178
#14 0x08048ccc in main (argc=1, argv=0xbfffecd4) at with_signal.cc:16
The exception is caught in glibmm, and the program ends with a call to g_error(). Other exceptions may result in different behaviour, but in any case the exception from a signal handler is caught in glibmm or gtkmm, and gdb can't see where it was thrown.

To see where the exception is thrown, you can use the gdb command catch throw.

> gdb with_signal
(gdb) catch throw
Catchpoint 1 (throw)
(gdb) run
Catchpoint 1 (exception thrown), 0x00714ff0 in __cxa_throw ()
(gdb) backtrace
#0  0x00714ff0 in __cxa_throw () from /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libstdc++.so.6
#1  0x08048bd4 in throwSomething () at with_signal.cc:6
(gdb) continue
Continuing.
(with_signal:2375): glibmm-ERROR **
unhandled exception (type unknown) in signal handler

Program received signal SIGTRAP, Trace/breakpoint trap.

If there are many caught exceptions before the interesting uncaught one, this method can be tedious. It can be automated with the following gdb commands.

(gdb) catch throw
(gdb) commands
(gdb)   backtrace
(gdb)   continue
(gdb)   end
(gdb) set pagination off
(gdb) run
These commands will print a backtrace from each throw and continue. The backtrace from the last (or possibly the last but one) throw before the program stops, is the interesting one.

C. Creating your own signals

Now that you've seen signals and signal handlers in gtkmm, you might like to use the same technique to allow interaction between your own classes. That's actually very simple by using the libsigc++ library directly.

This isn't purely a gtkmm or GUI issue. gtkmm uses libsigc++ to implement its proxy wrappers for the GTK+ signal system, but for new, non-GTK+ signals, you can create pure C++ signals, using the sigc::signal<> template.

For instance, to create a signal that sends 2 parameters, a bool and an int, just declare a sigc::signal, like so:

sigc::signal<void(bool, int)> signal_something;

You could just declare that signal as a public member variable, but some people find that distasteful and prefer to make it available via an accessor method, like so:

class Server
{
public:
  //signal accessor:
  using type_signal_something = sigc::signal<void(bool, int)>;
  type_signal_something signal_something();

protected:
  type_signal_something m_signal_something;
};

Server::type_signal_something Server::signal_something()
{
  return m_signal_something;
}

You can then connect to the signal using the same syntax used when connecting to gtkmm signals. For instance,

server.signal_something().connect(
  sigc::mem_fun(client, &Client::on_server_something) );

C.1. Example

This is a full working example that defines and uses custom signals.

Source Code

File: server.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_SERVER_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_SERVER_H

#include <sigc++/sigc++.h>

class Server
{
public:
  Server();
  virtual ~Server();

  void do_something();

  //signal accessor:
  using type_signal_something = sigc::signal<void(bool, int)>;
  type_signal_something signal_something();

protected:
  type_signal_something m_signal_something;
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLE_SERVER_H

File: client.h (For use with gtkmm 4)

#ifndef GTKMM_EXAMPLE_CLIENT_H
#define GTKMM_EXAMPLE_CLIENT_H

#include <sigc++/sigc++.h>

//Client must inherit from sigc::trackable.
//because libsigc++ needs to keep track of the lifetime of signal handlers.
class Client : public sigc::trackable
{
public:
  Client();
  virtual ~Client();

  //Signal handler:
  void on_server_something(bool a, int b);
};

#endif //GTKMM_EXAMPLE_CLIENT_H

File: main.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "server.h"
#include "client.h"
#include <iostream>

int main(int, char**)
{
  Server server;
  Client client;

  //Connect a Server signal to the signal handler in Client.
  server.signal_something().connect(sigc::mem_fun(client,
              &Client::on_server_something) );

  std::cout << "Before Server::do_something()" << std::endl;

  //Tell the server to do something that will eventually cause it to emit the
  //"something" signal.
  server.do_something();    // Client::on_server_something() will run before
                            // Server::do_something() has completed.

  std::cout << "After Server::do_something()" << std::endl;

  return 0;
}

File: server.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "server.h"
#include <iostream>

Server::Server()
{
}

Server::~Server()
{
}

Server::type_signal_something Server::signal_something()
{
  return m_signal_something;
}

void Server::do_something()
{
  m_signal_something.emit(false, 5);
}

File: client.cc (For use with gtkmm 4)

#include "client.h"
#include <iostream>

Client::Client()
{
}

Client::~Client()
{
}

void Client::on_server_something(bool a, int b)
{
  std::cout << "Client::on_server_something() called with these parameters: "
      << a << ", " << b << std::endl;
}

D. Comparison with other signalling systems

(An aside: GTK+ calls this scheme "signalling"; the sharp-eyed reader with GUI toolkit experience will note that this same design is often seen under the name of "broadcaster-listener" (e.g., in Metrowerks' PowerPlant framework for the Macintosh). It works in much the same way: one sets up broadcasters, and then connects listeners to them; the broadcaster keeps a list of the objects listening to it, and when someone gives the broadcaster a message, it calls all of its objects in its list with the message. In gtkmm, signal objects play the role of broadcasters, and slots play the role of listeners - sort of. More on this later.)

gtkmm signal handlers are strongly-typed, whereas GTK+ C code allows you to connect a callback with the wrong number and type of arguments, leading to a segfault at runtime. And, unlike Qt, gtkmm achieves this without modifying the C++ language.

Re. Overriding signal handlers: You can do this in the straight-C world of GTK+ too; that's what GTK's object system is for. But in GTK+, you have to go through some complicated procedures to get object-oriented features like inheritance and overloading. In C++, it's simple, since those features are supported in the language itself; you can let the compiler do the dirty work.

This is one of the places where the beauty of C++ really comes out. One wouldn't think of subclassing a GTK+ widget simply to override its action method; it's just too much trouble. In GTK+, you almost always use signals to get things done, unless you're writing a new widget. But because overriding methods is so easy in C++, it's entirely practical - and sensible - to subclass a button for that purpose.

E. gtkmm and Win32

One of the major advantages of gtkmm is that it is crossplatform. gtkmm programs written on other platforms such as GNU/Linux can generally be transferred to Windows (and vice versa) with few modifications to the source.

gtkmm currently works with the MingW/GCC compiler with a compiler version that supports C++14, such as gcc 6.2. It also works with Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 or later (including the freely available express editions) on the Windows platform. There is an installer available for gtkmm on Microsoft Windows, but as of this writing (February 2017) it has not been updated for a long time.

Refer to https://wiki.gnome.org/Projects/gtkmm/MSWindows for instructions on how to build gtkmm on Windows.

F. Working with gtkmm's Source Code

If you are interested in helping out with the development of gtkmm, or fixing a bug in gtkmm, you'll probably need to build the development version of gtkmm. However, you should not install a development version over your stable version. Instead, you should install it alongside your existing gtkmm installation, in a separate path.

The easiest way to do this is using jhbuild. jhbuild is a program that makes building GNOME software much easier by calculating dependencies and building things in the correct order. This section will give a brief explanation of how to set up jhbuild to build and install gtkmm from the source repository (git). For up-to-date information on jhbuild, please refer to the jhbuild manual. If you need assistance using jhbuild, you should ask for help on the gnome-love mailing list.

Note that to build gtkmm from git, you'll often need to build many of its dependencies from git as well. jhbuild makes this easier than it would normally be, but it will take quite a while to build and install them all. You will probably encounter build problems, though these will usually be corrected quickly if you report them.

F.1. Setting up jhbuild

To set up jhbuild, follow the basic installation instructions from the jhbuild manual. After you have installed jhbuild, you should copy the sample jhbuild configuration file into your home directory by executing the following command from the jhbuild directory:

$ cp examples/sample.jhbuildrc ~/.config/jhbuildrc

The gtkmm module is defined in the gnome-suites-core-deps-x.y.modules moduleset, but if you are interested in the latest version, it's easier to let jhbuild read from gnome-world.modules. It always includes the latest version of other .modules files. So edit your jhbuildrc file and set your moduleset setting like so:

moduleset = 'gnome-world'

After setting the correct moduleset, you need to tell jhbuild which module or modules to build. To build gtkmm and all of its dependencies, set modules like so:

modules = [ 'gtkmm' ]

You can build several modules by setting the modules variable to a meta-package, e.g. meta-gnome-core, or listing more than one module name. The modules variable specifies which modules will be built when you don't explicitly specify anything on the command line. You can always build a different moduleset later by specifying it on the commandline (e.g. jhbuild build gtkmm).

Setting a prefix

By default, jhbuild's configuration is configured to install all software built with jhbuild under the /opt/gnome prefix. You can choose a different prefix, but it is recommended that you keep this prefix different from other software that you've installed (don't set it to /usr!) If you've followed the jhbuild instructions then this prefix belongs to your user, so you don't need to run jhbuild as root.

When you downloaded jhbuild from the git repository, you got a number of .modules files, specifying dependencies between modules. By default jhbuild does not use the downloaded versions of these files, but reads the latest versions in the git repository. This is usually what you want. If you don't want it, use the use_local_modulesets variable in .jhbuildrc.

F.2. Installing and Using the git version of gtkmm

Once you've configured jhbuild as described above, building gtkmm should be relatively straightforward. The first time you run jhbuild, you should run the following sequence of commands to ensure that jhbuild has the required tools and verify that it is set up correctly:

$ jhbuild bootstrap
$ jhbuild sanitycheck

F.2.1. Installing gtkmm with jhbuild

If everything worked correctly, you should be able to build gtkmm and all of its dependencies from git by executing jhbuild build (or, if you didn't specify gtkmm in the modules variable, with the command jhbuild build gtkmm).

This command will build and install a series of modules and will probably take quite a long time the first time through. After the first time, however, it should go quite a bit faster since it only needs to rebuild files that changed since the last build. Alternatively, after you've built and installed gtkmm the first time, you can rebuild gtkmm by itself (without rebuilding all of its dependencies) with the command jhbuild buildone gtkmm.

F.2.2. Using the git version of gtkmm

After you've installed the git version of gtkmm, you're ready to start using and experimenting with it. In order to use the new version of gtkmm you've just installed, you need to set some environment variables so that your configure script knows where to find the new libraries. Fortunately, jhbuild offers an easy solution to this problem. Executing the command jhbuild shell will start a new shell with all of the correct environment variables set. Now if you re-configure and build your project just as you usually do, it should link against the newly installed libraries. To return to your previous environment, simply exit the jhbuild shell.

Once you've built your software, you'll need to run your program within the jhbuild environment as well. To do this, you can again use the jhbuild shell command to start a new shell with the jhbuild environment set up. Alternatively, you can execute a one-off command in the jhbuild environment using the following command: jhbuild run command-name. In this case, the command will be run with the correct environment variables set, but will return to your previous environment after the program exits.

G. Wrapping C Libraries with gmmproc

gtkmm uses the gmmproc tool to generate most of its source code, using .defs files that define the APIs of GObject-based libraries. So it's quite easy to create additional gtkmm-style wrappers of other glib/GObject-based libraries.

This involves a variety of tools, some of them crufty, but at least they work, and has been used successfully by several projects.

G.1. The build structure

Generation of the source code for a gtkmm-style wrapper API requires use of tools such as gmmproc and generate_wrap_init.pl. In theory you could write your own build files to use these appropriately, but a much better option is to make use of the build infrastructure provided by the mm-common module. To get started, it helps a lot to pick an existing binding module as an example to look at.

For instance, let's pretend that we are wrapping a C library called libsomething. It provides a GObject-based API with types named, for instance, SomeWidget and SomeStuff.

G.1.1. Copying the skeleton project

Typically our wrapper library would be called libsomethingmm. We can start by copying the skeleton source tree from the mm-common module.

  $ git clone git://git.gnome.org/mm-common
  $ cp -a mm-common/skeletonmm libsomethingmm

This provides a directory structure for the source .hg and .ccg files and the generated .h and .cc files, with filelist.am Automake include files that can specify the various files in use, in terms of generic Automake variables. The directory structure usually looks like this, after we have renamed the directories appropriately:

  • libsomethingmm: The top-level directory.

    • libsomething: Contains the main include file and the pkg-config .pc file.

      • src: Contains .hg and .ccg source files.

      • libsomethingmm: Contains generated and hand-written .h and .cc files.

        • private: Contains generated *_p.h files.

As well as renaming the directories, we should rename some of the source files. For instance:

$ for f in $(find libsomethingmm -depth -name '*skeleton*'); do \
    d="${f%/*}"; b="${f##*/}"; mv "$f" "$d/${b//skeleton/libsomething}"; \
  done
A number of the skeleton files must still be filled in with project-specific content later.

Note that files ending in .in will be used to generate files with the same name but without the .in suffix, by replacing some variables with actual values during the configure stage.

G.1.2. Modifying build files

Now we edit the files to adapt them to our needs. You might prefer to use a multiple-file search-replace utility for this, such as regexxer. Note that nearly all of the files provided with the skeleton source tree contain placeholder text. Thus, the substitutions should be performed globally, and not be limited to the Automake and Autoconf files.

All mentions of skeleton should be replaced by the correct name of the C library you are wrapping, such as "something" or "libsomething". In the same manner, all instances of SKELETON should be replaced by "SOMETHING" or "LIBSOMETHING", and all occurrences of Skeleton changed to "Something".

Likewise, replace all instances of Joe Hacker by the name of the intended copyright holder, which is probably you. Do the same for the joe@example.com email address.

G.1.2.1. configure.ac

In configure.ac,

  • The AC_CONFIG_SRCDIR() line must mention a file in our source tree. We can edit this later if we don't yet know the names of any of the files that we will create.
  • It is common for binding modules to track the version number of the library they are wrapping. So, for instance, if the C library is at version 1.23.4, then the initial version of the binding module would be 1.23.0. However, avoid starting with an even minor version number as that usually indicates a stable release.
  • The AC_CONFIG_HEADERS() line is used to generate two or more configuration header files. The first header file in the list contains all configuration macros which are set during the configure run. The remaining headers in the list contain only a subset of configuration macros and their corresponding config.h.in file will not be autogenerated. The reason for this separation is that the namespaced configuration headers are installed with your library and define publically visible macros.
  • The AC_SUBST([SOMETHINGMM_MODULES], ['...']) line may need to be modified to check for the correct dependencies.
  • The AC_CONFIG_FILES() block must mention the correct directory names, as described above.

G.1.2.2. Makefile.am files

Next we must adapt the various Makefile.am files:

  • In skeleton/src/Makefile.am we must mention the correct values for the generic variables that are used elsewhere in the build system:

    binding_name

    The name of the library, such as libsomethingmm.

    wrap_init_flags

    Additional command-line flags passed to the generate_wrap_init.pl script, such as the C++ namespace and the parent directory prefix of include files.

  • In skeleton/skeletonmm/Makefile.am we must mention the correct values for the generic variables that are used elsewhere in the build system:

    lib_LTLIBRARIES

    This variable must mention the correct library name, and this library name must be used to form the _SOURCES, _LDFLAGS, and _LIBADD variable names. It is permissible to use variables substituted by configure like @SOMETHINGMM_API_VERSION@ as part of the variable names.

    AM_CPPFLAGS

    The command line options passed to the C preprocessor.

    AM_CXXFLAGS

    The command line options passed to the C++ compiler.

G.1.2.3. Creating .hg and .ccg files

We should now create our first .hg and .ccg files, to wrap one of the objects in the C library. One pair of example source files already exists: skeleton.ccg and skeleton.hg. Create copies of these files as necessary.

We must mention all of our .hg and .ccg files in the skeleton/src/filelist.am file, typically in the files_hg variable.

Any additional non-generated .h and .cc source files may be placed in skeleton/skeletonmm/ and listed in skeleton/skeletonmm/filelist.am, typically in the files_extra_h and files_extra_cc variables.

In the .hg and .ccg files section you can learn about the syntax used in these files.

G.2. Generating the .defs files.

The .defs files are text files, in a lisp format, that describe the API of a C library, including its

  • objects (GObjects, widgets, interfaces, boxed-types and plain structs)
  • functions
  • enums
  • signals
  • properties
  • vfuncs

At the moment, we have separate tools for generating different parts of these .defs, so we split them up into separate files. For instance, in the gtk/src directory of the gtkmm sources, you will find these files:

gtk.defs

Includes the other files.

gtk_methods.defs

Objects and functions.

gtk_enums.defs

Enumerations.

gtk_signals.defs

Signals and properties.

gtk_vfuncs.defs

vfuncs (function pointer member fields in structs), written by hand.

The skeletonmm/codegen/generate_defs_and_docs.sh script generates all .defs files and the *_docs.xml file, described in the Documentation section.

G.2.1. Generating the methods .defs

This .defs file describes objects and their functions. It is generated by the h2def.py script which you can find in glibmm's tools/defs_gen directory. For instance,

$ ./h2def.py /usr/include/gtk-4.0/gtk/*.h > gtk_methods.defs

G.2.2. Generating the enums .defs

This .defs file describes enum types and their possible values. It is generated by the enum.pl script which you can find in glibmm's tools directory. For instance,

$ ./enum.pl /usr/include/gtk-4.0/gtk/*.h > gtk_enums.defs

G.2.3. Generating the signals and properties .defs

This .defs file describes signals and properties. It is generated by the special generate_extra_defs utility that is in every wrapping project, such as gtkmm/tools/extra_defs_gen/. For instance

$ cd tools/extra_defs_gen
$ ./generate_extra_defs > gtk_signals.defs

You must edit the source code of your own generate_extra_defs tool in order to generate the .defs for the GObject C types that you wish to wrap. In the skeleton source tree, the source file is named codegen/extradefs/generate_extra_defs_skeleton.cc. If not done so already, the file should be renamed, with the basename of your new binding substituted for the skeleton placeholder. The codegen/Makefile.am file should also mention the new source filename.

Then edit the .cc file to specify the correct types. For instance, your main() function might look like this:

#include <libsomething.h>

int main(int, char**)
{
  something_init();

  std::cout << get_defs(SOME_TYPE_WIDGET)
            << get_defs(SOME_TYPE_STUFF);
  return 0;
}

G.2.4. Writing the vfuncs .defs

This .defs file describes virtual functions (vfuncs). It must be written by hand. There is the skeleton file skeleton/src/skeleton_vfunc.defs to start from. You can also look at gtkmm's gtk/src/gtk_vfuncs.defs file.

G.3. The .hg and .ccg files

The .hg and .ccg source files are very much like .h and .cc C++ source files, but they contain extra macros, such as _CLASS_GOBJECT() and _WRAP_METHOD(), from which gmmproc generates appropriate C++ source code, usually at the same position in the header. Any additional C++ source code will be copied verbatim into the corresponding .h or .cc file.

A .hg file will typically include some headers and then declare a class, using some macros to add API or behaviour to this class. For instance, gtkmm's button.hg looks roughly like this:

#include <gtkmm/bin.h>
#include <gtkmm/actionable.h>
_DEFS(gtkmm,gtk)
_PINCLUDE(gtkmm/private/bin_p.h)

namespace Gtk
{

class Button
  : public Bin,
    public Actionable
{
  _CLASS_GTKOBJECT(Button,GtkButton,GTK_BUTTON,Gtk::Bin,GtkBin)
  _IMPLEMENTS_INTERFACE(Actionable)
public:

  _CTOR_DEFAULT
  explicit Button(const Glib::ustring& label, bool mnemonic = false);

  _WRAP_METHOD(void set_label(const Glib::ustring& label), gtk_button_set_label)

  ...

  _WRAP_SIGNAL(void clicked(), "clicked")

  ...

  _WRAP_PROPERTY("label", Glib::ustring)
};

} // namespace Gtk

The macros in this example do the following:

_DEFS()

Specifies the destination directory for generated sources, and the name of the main .defs file that gmmproc should parse.

_PINCLUDE()

Tells gmmproc to include a header in the generated private/button_p.h file.

_CLASS_GTKOBJECT()

Tells gmmproc to add some typedefs, constructors, and standard methods to this class, as appropriate when wrapping a widget.

_IMPLEMENTS_INTERFACE()

Tells gmmproc to add initialization code for the interface.

_CTOR_DEFAULT

Adds a default constructor.

_WRAP_METHOD(), _WRAP_SIGNAL(), and _WRAP_PROPERTY()

Add methods to wrap parts of the C API.

The .h and .cc files will be generated from the .hg and .ccg files by processing them with gmmproc like so, though this happens automatically when using the above build structure:

$ cd gtk/src
$ /usr/lib/glibmm-2.60/proc/gmmproc -I ../../tools/m4 --defs . button . ./../gtkmm

Notice that we provided gmmproc with the path to the .m4 convert files, the path to the .defs file, the name of a .hg file, the source directory, and the destination directory.

You should avoid including the C header from your C++ header, to avoid polluting the global namespace, and to avoid exporting unnecessary public API. But you will need to include the necessary C headers from your .ccg file.

The macros are explained in more detail in the following sections.

G.3.1. m4 Conversions

The macros that you use in the .hg and .ccg files often need to know how to convert a C++ type to a C type, or vice-versa. gmmproc takes this information from an .m4 file in your tools/m4/ or codegen/m4/ directory. This allows it to call a C function in the implementation of your C++ method, passing the appropriate parameters to that C functon. For instance, this tells gmmproc how to convert a GtkTreeView pointer to a Gtk::TreeView pointer:

_CONVERSION(`GtkTreeView*',`TreeView*',`Glib::wrap($3)')

$3 will be replaced by the parameter name when this conversion is used by gmmproc.

Some extra macros make this easier and consistent. Look in gtkmm's .m4 files for examples. For instance:

_CONVERSION(`PrintSettings&',`GtkPrintSettings*',__FR2P)
_CONVERSION(`const PrintSettings&',`GtkPrintSettings*',__FCR2P)
_CONVERSION(`const Glib::RefPtr<Printer>&',`GtkPrinter*',__CONVERT_REFPTR_TO_P($3))