QToolButton Class

The QToolButton class provides a quick-access button to commands or options, usually used inside a QToolBar. More...

Header: #include <QToolButton>
qmake: QT += widgets
Inherits: QAbstractButton

Public Types

enum ToolButtonPopupMode { DelayedPopup, MenuButtonPopup, InstantPopup }


Public Functions

QToolButton(QWidget *parent = Q_NULLPTR)
Qt::ArrowType arrowType() const
bool autoRaise() const
QAction *defaultAction() const
QMenu *menu() const
ToolButtonPopupMode popupMode() const
void setArrowType(Qt::ArrowType type)
void setAutoRaise(bool enable)
void setMenu(QMenu *menu)
void setPopupMode(ToolButtonPopupMode mode)
Qt::ToolButtonStyle toolButtonStyle() const

Reimplemented Public Functions

virtual QSize minimumSizeHint() const
virtual QSize sizeHint() const

Public Slots

void setDefaultAction(QAction *action)
void setToolButtonStyle(Qt::ToolButtonStyle style)
void showMenu()


void triggered(QAction *action)

Protected Functions

void initStyleOption(QStyleOptionToolButton *option) const

Reimplemented Protected Functions

virtual void actionEvent(QActionEvent *event)
virtual void changeEvent(QEvent *e)
virtual void enterEvent(QEvent *e)
virtual bool event(QEvent *event)
virtual bool hitButton(const QPoint &pos) const
virtual void leaveEvent(QEvent *e)
virtual void mousePressEvent(QMouseEvent *e)
virtual void mouseReleaseEvent(QMouseEvent *e)
virtual void nextCheckState()
virtual void paintEvent(QPaintEvent *event)
virtual void timerEvent(QTimerEvent *e)

Additional Inherited Members

  • 5 static public members inherited from QWidget
  • 11 static public members inherited from QObject
  • 1 protected slot inherited from QWidget

Detailed Description

The QToolButton class provides a quick-access button to commands or options, usually used inside a QToolBar.

A tool button is a special button that provides quick-access to specific commands or options. As opposed to a normal command button, a tool button usually doesn't show a text label, but shows an icon instead.

Tool buttons are normally created when new QAction instances are created with QToolBar::addAction() or existing actions are added to a toolbar with QToolBar::addAction(). It is also possible to construct tool buttons in the same way as any other widget, and arrange them alongside other widgets in layouts.

One classic use of a tool button is to select tools; for example, the "pen" tool in a drawing program. This would be implemented by using a QToolButton as a toggle button (see setCheckable()).

QToolButton supports auto-raising. In auto-raise mode, the button draws a 3D frame only when the mouse points at it. The feature is automatically turned on when a button is used inside a QToolBar. Change it with setAutoRaise().

A tool button's icon is set as QIcon. This makes it possible to specify different pixmaps for the disabled and active state. The disabled pixmap is used when the button's functionality is not available. The active pixmap is displayed when the button is auto-raised because the mouse pointer is hovering over it.

The button's look and dimension is adjustable with setToolButtonStyle() and setIconSize(). When used inside a QToolBar in a QMainWindow, the button automatically adjusts to QMainWindow's settings (see QMainWindow::setToolButtonStyle() and QMainWindow::setIconSize()). Instead of an icon, a tool button can also display an arrow symbol, specified with arrowType.

A tool button can offer additional choices in a popup menu. The popup menu can be set using setMenu(). Use setPopupMode() to configure the different modes available for tool buttons with a menu set. The default mode is DelayedPopupMode which is sometimes used with the "Back" button in a web browser. After pressing and holding the button down for a while, a menu pops up showing a list of possible pages to jump to. The timeout is style dependent, see QStyle::SH_ToolButton_PopupDelay.

Qt Assistant's toolbar with tool buttons
Qt Assistant's toolbar contains tool buttons that are associated with actions used in other parts of the main window.

See also QPushButton, QToolBar, QMainWindow, QAction, and GUI Design Handbook: Push Button.

Member Type Documentation

enum QToolButton::ToolButtonPopupMode

Describes how a menu should be popped up for tool buttons that has a menu set or contains a list of actions.

QToolButton::DelayedPopup0After pressing and holding the tool button down for a certain amount of time (the timeout is style dependent, see QStyle::SH_ToolButton_PopupDelay), the menu is displayed. A typical application example is the "back" button in some web browsers's tool bars. If the user clicks it, the browser simply browses back to the previous page. If the user presses and holds the button down for a while, the tool button shows a menu containing the current history list
QToolButton::MenuButtonPopup1In this mode the tool button displays a special arrow to indicate that a menu is present. The menu is displayed when the arrow part of the button is pressed.
QToolButton::InstantPopup2The menu is displayed, without delay, when the tool button is pressed. In this mode, the button's own action is not triggered.

Property Documentation

arrowType : Qt::ArrowType

This property holds whether the button displays an arrow instead of a normal icon

This displays an arrow as the icon for the QToolButton.

By default, this property is set to Qt::NoArrow.

Access functions:

Qt::ArrowType arrowType() const
void setArrowType(Qt::ArrowType type)

autoRaise : bool

This property holds whether auto-raising is enabled or not.

The default is disabled (i.e. false).

This property is currently ignored on macOS when using QMacStyle.

Access functions:

bool autoRaise() const
void setAutoRaise(bool enable)

popupMode : ToolButtonPopupMode

describes the way that popup menus are used with tool buttons

By default, this property is set to DelayedPopup.

Access functions:

ToolButtonPopupMode popupMode() const
void setPopupMode(ToolButtonPopupMode mode)

toolButtonStyle : Qt::ToolButtonStyle

This property holds whether the tool button displays an icon only, text only, or text beside/below the icon.

The default is Qt::ToolButtonIconOnly.

To have the style of toolbuttons follow the system settings, set this property to Qt::ToolButtonFollowStyle. On Unix, the user settings from the desktop environment will be used. On other platforms, Qt::ToolButtonFollowStyle means icon only.

QToolButton automatically connects this slot to the relevant signal in the QMainWindow in which is resides.

Access functions:

Qt::ToolButtonStyle toolButtonStyle() const
void setToolButtonStyle(Qt::ToolButtonStyle style)

Member Function Documentation

QToolButton::QToolButton(QWidget *parent = Q_NULLPTR)

Constructs an empty tool button with parent parent.


Destroys the object and frees any allocated resources.

[virtual protected] void QToolButton::actionEvent(QActionEvent *event)

Reimplemented from QWidget::actionEvent().

[virtual protected] void QToolButton::changeEvent(QEvent *e)

Reimplemented from QWidget::changeEvent().

QAction *QToolButton::defaultAction() const

Returns the default action.

See also setDefaultAction().

[virtual protected] void QToolButton::enterEvent(QEvent *e)

Reimplemented from QWidget::enterEvent().

[virtual protected] bool QToolButton::event(QEvent *event)

Reimplemented from QObject::event().

[virtual protected] bool QToolButton::hitButton(const QPoint &pos) const

Reimplemented from QAbstractButton::hitButton().

[protected] void QToolButton::initStyleOption(QStyleOptionToolButton *option) const

Initialize option with the values from this QToolButton. This method is useful for subclasses when they need a QStyleOptionToolButton, but don't want to fill in all the information themselves.

See also QStyleOption::initFrom().

[virtual protected] void QToolButton::leaveEvent(QEvent *e)

Reimplemented from QWidget::leaveEvent().

Returns the associated menu, or 0 if no menu has been defined.

See also setMenu().

[virtual] QSize QToolButton::minimumSizeHint() const

Reimplemented from QWidget::minimumSizeHint().

[virtual protected] void QToolButton::mousePressEvent(QMouseEvent *e)

Reimplemented from QWidget::mousePressEvent().

[virtual protected] void QToolButton::mouseReleaseEvent(QMouseEvent *e)

Reimplemented from QWidget::mouseReleaseEvent().

[virtual protected] void QToolButton::nextCheckState()

Reimplemented from QAbstractButton::nextCheckState().

[virtual protected] void QToolButton::paintEvent(QPaintEvent *event)

Reimplemented from QWidget::paintEvent().

Paints the button in response to the paint event.

[slot] void QToolButton::setDefaultAction(QAction *action)

Sets the default action to action.

If a tool button has a default action, the action defines the button's properties like text, icon, tool tip, etc.

See also defaultAction().

void QToolButton::setMenu(QMenu *menu)

Associates the given menu with this tool button.

The menu will be shown according to the button's popupMode.

Ownership of the menu is not transferred to the tool button.

See also menu().

[slot] void QToolButton::showMenu()

Shows (pops up) the associated popup menu. If there is no such menu, this function does nothing. This function does not return until the popup menu has been closed by the user.

[virtual] QSize QToolButton::sizeHint() const

Reimplemented from QWidget::sizeHint().

[virtual protected] void QToolButton::timerEvent(QTimerEvent *e)

Reimplemented from QObject::timerEvent().

[signal] void QToolButton::triggered(QAction *action)

This signal is emitted when the given action is triggered.

The action may also be associated with other parts of the user interface, such as menu items and keyboard shortcuts. Sharing actions in this way helps make the user interface more consistent and is often less work to implement.

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