Handling Help Actions

When we created the main window's actions, we provided each with help text, and set it as their status text and as their tooltip text. This means that when the user navigates the application's menu system, the status text of the currently highlighted menu option will automatically appear in the status bar. Similarly, if the user hovers the mouse over a toolbar button, the corresponding tooltip text will be displayed in a tooltip.

For an application as small and simple as the Image Changer, status tips and tooltips might be entirely adequate. Nonetheless, we have provided an online help system to show how it can be done, although we defer coverage until Chapter 17 (from page 510).

Figure 6.10 The about Image Changer box

Whether or not we provide online help, it is always a good idea to provide an "about" box. This should at least show the application's version and copyright notice, as Figure 6.10 illustrates.

def helpAbout(self):

QMessageBox.about(self, "About Image Changer",

<p>Copyright &copy; 2007 Qtrac Ltd. All rights reserved.

<p>This application can be used to perform simple image manipulations.

_version_, platform.python_version(),

QT_VERSION_STR, PYQT_VERSION_STR, platform.system()))

The QMessageBox.about() static convenience method pops up a modal OK-style message box with the given caption and text. The text can be HTML, as it is here. The message box will use the application's window icon if there is one.

We display the application's version, and version information about the Python, Qt, and PyQt libraries, as well as the platform the application is running on. The library version information is probably of no direct use to the user, but it may be very helpful to support staff who are being asked for help by the user.

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