Configuration

Adding user configured settings to your widget

Configuration Intro

Every widget by default has a configure action when you right click the widget called MyWidget Settings.... By default it will contain a form to set a global shortcut to activate your widget.

contents/config/main.xml

main.xml is where you define the properties that will be serialized into ~/.config/plasma-org.kde.plasma.desktop-appletsrc. All properties will be accesible with plasmoid.configuration.variableName reguardless of was group it’s in.

KConfig has a variety of data types:

  • Int for an Integer number
  • Double for a double precision floating point number (Real)
  • String for a string of characters to represent text
  • Color for a hexidecimal color. The color defaults to #000000 (black) if the default is left empty.
  • Path is a string that is specially treated as a file-path. In particular paths in the home directory are prefixed with $HOME when being stored in the configuration file.
  • StringList for a comma seperated list of Strings

I’ve listed the more common usecases. More can be found in KConfigXT’s documentation.


I personally don’t recommend using Color if you want to default to a color from the color scheme (eg: PlasmaCore.ColorScope.textColor). I would instead suggest using a String that is empty by default. You can then use the following in the QML:

<entry name="labelColor" type="String">
    <default></default>
</entry>
PlasmaComponents.Label {
    color: plasmoid.configruation.labelColor || PlasmaCore.ColorScope.textColor
}
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kcfg xmlns="http://www.kde.org/standards/kcfg/1.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.kde.org/standards/kcfg/1.0 http://www.kde.org/standards/kcfg/1.0/kcfg.xsd">
    <kcfgfile name=""/>

    <group name="General">
        <entry name="variableName" type="Bool">
            <default>true</default>
        </entry>
        <entry name="integerExample" type="Int">
            <default>6</default>
        </entry>
        <entry name="floatingPointExample" type="Double">
            <default>3.1459</default>
        </entry>
        <entry name="textExample" type="String">
            <default>Hello World</default>
        </entry>
        <entry name="listExample" type="StringList">
            <default>First Item,Second Item,Third Item</default>
        </entry>
        <entry name="colorExample" type="Color">
            <default>#336699</default>
        </entry>
    </group>
    <group name="AnotherGroup">
        <entry name="secondGroupExample" type="Bool">
            <default>false</default>
        </entry>
    </group>
</kcfg>

contents/config/config.qml

config.qml is where we define the tabs in the configuration window.

We import the ConfigModel and ConfigCategory, and define the tab name, icon, and qml file that will be loaded.

import QtQuick 2.0
import org.kde.plasma.configuration 2.0

ConfigModel {
    ConfigCategory {
        name: i18n("General")
        icon: "configure"
        source: "configGeneral.qml"
    }
    ConfigCategory {
        name: i18n("Another Tab")
        icon: "color-management"
        source: "configAnotherTab.qml"
    }
}

contents/ui/configGeneral.qml

configGeneral.qml is where we can place all the checkboxes and textboxes.

Please note that your should not use PlasmaComponents.* controls in the config window, as those are styled and colored for the panel. The normal QtQuick.Controls are styled using your application window style + colors.

Kirigami.FormLayout is used to layout the controls in the center of the page. The Kirigami.FormData.label attached property is used to place labels in front of the controls. Kirigami labels are optional, so you do not need to use them for CheckBoxes which have their own labels on the right.

import QtQuick 2.0
import QtQuick.Controls 2.5
import QtQuick.Layouts 1.12
import org.kde.kirigami 2.4 as Kirigami

Kirigami.FormLayout {
    id: page
  
    property alias cfg_showLabel: showLabel.checked
    property alias cfg_showIcon: showIcon.checked
    property alias cfg_labelText: labelText.text

    CheckBox {
        id: showLabel
        Kirigami.FormData.label: i18n("Section:")
        text: i18n("Show label")
    }
    CheckBox {
        id: showIcon
        text: i18n("Show icon")
    }
    TextField {
        id: labelText
        Kirigami.FormData.label: i18n("Label:")
        placeholderText: i18n("Placeholder")
    }
}

configPage.cfg_variableName

By default, all values are copied to the top level Item of the file prefixed with cfg_ like page.cfg_variableName. This is so the user can hit discard or apply the changes. You will need to define each cfg_ property so you can bind the value with a QML control.

Note that you can use a property alias to a control’s property like checkBox.checked or textField.text.

// configGeneral.qml
import QtQuick 2.0
import QtQuick.Controls 2.5
import QtQuick.Layouts 1.0
import org.kde.kirigami 2.4 as Kirigami

Kirigami.FormLayout {
    id: page
    property alias cfg_variableName: variableName.checked

    CheckBox {
        id: variableName
        Kirigami.FormData.label: i18n("Icon:")
        text: i18n("Show")
    }
}

CheckBox - Boolean

A CheckBox is used for boolean on/off values. See the Visual Design Group’s tips on using CheckBoxes.

<!-- config/main.xml -->
<entry name="variableName" type="Bool">
    <default>true</default>
</entry>
// configGeneral.qml
import QtQuick 2.0
import QtQuick.Controls 2.5
import QtQuick.Layouts 1.0
import org.kde.kirigami 2.4 as Kirigami

Kirigami.FormLayout {
    id: page
    property alias cfg_variableName: variableName.checked

    CheckBox {
        id: variableName
    }
}

SpinBox - Integer

A SpinBox is used for numbers.

If you want decimal places, a QtQuick.Controls 1.0 SpinBox is a little easier to use than the QtQuick.Controls 2.0 version. QtQuickControls1 has a SpinBox.decimals to easily switch from an Integer decimals: 0 to decimals: 3 to represent a Real number (the Double data type).

<!-- config/main.xml -->
<entry name="variableName" type="Int">
    <default>6</default>
</entry>
// configGeneral.qml
import QtQuick 2.0
import QtQuick.Controls 2.5
import QtQuick.Layouts 1.0
import org.kde.kirigami 2.4 as Kirigami

Kirigami.FormLayout {
    id: page
    property alias cfg_variableName: variableName.value

    SpinBox {
        id: variableName
    }
}

SpinBox - Double/Real

If you want decimal places, a QtQuick.Controls 1.0 SpinBox is a little easier to use than the QtQuick.Controls 2.0 version. QtControls1 has a SpinBox.decimals property to easily switch from an Integer decimals: 0 to decimals: 3 to represent a Real number (the Double config data type).

<!-- config/main.xml -->
<entry name="variableName" type="Double">
    <default>3.1459</default>
</entry>

If you really want to use QtQuick.Controls 2.0, look at Zren’s libconfig/SpinBox.qml for an example on implementing the decimals property.

// configGeneral.qml
import QtQuick 2.0
import QtQuick.Controls 2.5
import QtQuick.Controls 1.0 as QtControls1
import QtQuick.Layouts 1.0
import org.kde.kirigami 2.4 as Kirigami

Kirigami.FormLayout {
    id: page
    property alias cfg_variableName: variableName.value

    QtControls1.SpinBox {
        id: variableName
        decimals: 2
    }
}

TextField - String/Text

A TextField is used for a single line of text. It can be used as a base for many other data types as well. You will also want to look at the base TextInput for more properties.

<!-- config/main.xml -->
<entry name="variableName" type="String">
    <default>Hello World</default>
</entry>
// configGeneral.qml
import QtQuick 2.0
import QtQuick.Controls 2.5
import QtQuick.Layouts 1.0
import org.kde.kirigami 2.4 as Kirigami

Kirigami.FormLayout {
    id: page
    property alias cfg_variableName: variableName.text

    TextField {
        id: variableName
    }
}

TextArea - Multi-Line String/Text

A TextArea is used for paragraphs of text. You will also want to look at the base TextEdit for more properties.

<!-- config/main.xml -->
<entry name="variableName" type="String">
    <default>Hello World</default>
</entry>
// configGeneral.qml
import QtQuick 2.0
import QtQuick.Controls 2.5
import QtQuick.Layouts 1.0
import org.kde.kirigami 2.4 as Kirigami

Kirigami.FormLayout {
    id: page
    property alias cfg_variableName: variableName.value

    TextArea {
        id: variableName
    }
}

ColorButton - Color

KDE Frameworks has ColorButton which provides a preview of the selected color and will open QtQuick’s ColorDialog for selecting a color.

<!-- config/main.xml -->
<entry name="variableName" type="Color">
    <default>#336699</default>
</entry>

I personally don’t recommend using the Color data type in main.xml if you want the default color to be a color from the color scheme (eg: PlasmaCore.ColorScope.textColor). I would instead suggest using a String that is empty by default. You can then use the following:

<entry name="labelColor" type="String">
    <default></default>
</entry>
PlasmaComponents.Label {
    color: plasmoid.configruation.labelColor || PlasmaCore.ColorScope.textColor
}

Unfortunately KDE Framework’s ColorButton doesn’t easily support this pattern as it stores the value in a QML color property which will read the empty string and cast it as the default color #000000 (black). I worked around this issue in the No-Apply Control Library’s libconfig/ColorField.qml. I used a TextField to store the value as a string, and displayed the default color scheme color as placeholderText.

// configGeneral.qml
import QtQuick 2.0
import QtQuick.Layouts 1.0
import org.kde.kirigami 2.4 as Kirigami
import org.kde.kquickcontrols 2.0 as KQControls

Kirigami.FormLayout {
    id: page
    property alias cfg_variableName: variableName.value

    KQControls.ColorButton {
        id: variableName
        showAlphaChannel: true
    }
}

FileDialog - Path

When we need to store a filepath in the config, we should use the Path or PathList config type. It will substitute /home/user/... with $HOME/.... To properly layout the file selector, we need a RowLayout with a TextField and Button which opens a FileDialog. We can specify the default folder the dialog opens to with FileDialog’s shortcuts property (eg: shortcuts.pictures).

Note that we place the Kirigami.FormData.label in the RowLayout as it is the direct child of Kirigami.FormLayout.

<!-- config/main.xml -->
<entry name="variableName" type="Path">
    <default>/usr/share/sounds/freedesktop/stereo/message.oga</default>
</entry>
// configGeneral.qml
import QtQuick 2.0
import QtQuick.Controls 2.5
import QtQuick.Dialogs 1.0
import QtQuick.Layouts 1.0
import org.kde.kirigami 2.4 as Kirigami

Kirigami.FormLayout {
    id: page
    property alias cfg_variableName: variableName.value

    RowLayout {
        Kirigami.FormData.label: i18n("Sound File:")

        TextField {
            id: variableName
            placeholderText: i18n("No file selected.")
        }
        Button {
            text: i18n("Browse")
            icon.name: "folder-symbolic"
            onClicked: fileDialogLoader.active = true

            Loader {
                id: fileDialogLoader
                active: false

                sourceComponent: FileDialog {
                    id: fileDialog
                    folder: shortcuts.music
                    nameFilters: [
                        i18n("Sound files (%1)", "*.wav *.mp3 *.oga *.ogg"),
                        i18n("All files (%1)", "*"),
                    ]
                    onAccepted: {
                        variableName.text = fileUrl
                        fileDialogLoader.active = false
                    }
                    onRejected: {
                        fileDialogLoader.active = false
                    }
                    Component.onCompleted: open()
                }
            }
        }
    }
}

IconDialog - Icon

KQuickAddons.IconDialog makes it easy to seach and preview icons.

See the configurable icon example for an example of KQuickAddons.IconDialog based on the Application Launcher’s (aka kickoff) icon selector code.

Assigning to plasmoid.configuration.varName

You can also assign directly to plasmoid.configuration.variableName if necessary in the configruation window or anywhere else in your widget. If you do this in the configuration page, you will skip the “apply” process and the property will be applied right away. I leave this up to the reader whether this is a pro or con.
// configGeneral.qml
import QtQuick 2.0
import QtQuick.Controls 2.5
import QtQuick.Layouts 1.0
import org.kde.kirigami 2.4 as Kirigami

Kirigami.FormLayout {
    id: page

    CheckBox {
        id: variableName
        checked: plasmoid.configuration.variableName
        onCheckedChanged: plasmoid.configuration.variableName = checked
    }
}

Configuration Examples

To learn by example, we can look at a couple widgets:

No-Apply Control Library

Zren has written a few files that apply the above pattern of skipping “Apply” and updating right after you change the value.

https://github.com/Zren/plasma-applet-lib/…/libconfig/

  • libconfig/CheckBox.qml for on/off booleans values.
  • libconfig/ColorField.qml for use with a String or Color config data type. If you use use a String data type, you can treat an empty string as a certain color theme color. Eg:
  • libconfig/ComboBox.qml is useful for creating enums using the String config data type. KConfig comes with a enum datatype as well, but you have to either use hardcoded integers (with comments), or declare the enum in your QML code and keep it in sync. String comparison is less efficient but is easier to program with.
    • FontFamily.qml inherits ComboBox.qml and is populated with all available fonts.
  • libconfig/IconField.qml based on the Application Launcher icon selector.
  • libconfig/RadioButtonGroup.qml takes a similar model as ComboBox.qml but will display the options as RadioButton.
  • libconfig/SpinBox.qml for Integer or Real numbers.
  • libconfig/TextAlign.qml for use with an Int config data type. It has your typical 4 buttons for left/center/right/justify alignment. It serializes the Text.AlignHCenter enum.
    • TextFormat.qml is used to toggle bold, italic, underline, and embeds the text alignment. For use with 3 Bool config keys and 1 Int config key (used for the embeded TextAlign.qml).
  • libconfig/TextArea.qml for a string with multiple lines of text.
    • TextAreaStringList.qml overloads TextArea.qml’s valueToText(value) and textToValue(text) functions to treat a new line as the seperator for the StringList type.
  • libconfig/TextField.qml for a single line of text.
cd ~/Code/plasmoid-helloworld/package/contents/ui
mkdir -p ./libconfig
cd ./libconfig
wget https://github.com/Zren/plasma-applet-lib/archive/master.zip
unzip -j master.zip plasma-applet-lib-master/package/contents/ui/libconfig/*
rm master.zip
// libconfig/CheckBox.qml
import QtQuick 2.0
import QtQuick.Controls 2.0 as QQC2

QQC2.CheckBox {
    id: configCheckBox

    property string configKey: ''
    checked: plasmoid.configuration[configKey]
    onClicked: plasmoid.configuration[configKey] = !plasmoid.configuration[configKey]
}
// configGeneral.qml
import QtQuick 2.0
import QtQuick.Controls 2.5
import QtQuick.Layouts 1.0
import org.kde.kirigami 2.4 as Kirigami
import "./libconfig" as LibConfig

Kirigami.FormLayout {
    id: page

    LibConfig.CheckBox {
        configKey: 'showVariable'
    }

    LibConfig.ColorField {
        configKey: 'labelColor'
        defaultColor: PlasmaCore.ColorScope.textColor
    }

    LibConfig.ComboBox {
        configKey: "variableName"
        model: [
            { value: "a", text: i18n("A") },
            { value: "b", text: i18n("B") },
            { value: "c", text: i18n("C") },
        ]
    }
}