PySide2 - Notes


Install PySide2

To install PySide2 (including Shiboken2 & Qt) make sure that we first activate our venv

pip install PySide2

Hello World app

Lets build a simple ui and run with sublimeText. Select the build system we just created and build Ctrl B

from PySide2 import QtCore
from PySide2 import QtWidgets
from PySide2 import QtGui

import sys
from functools import partial

class HelloWidget(QtWidgets.QWidget):

    def __init__(self, parent=None):
        super(HelloWidget, self).__init__(parent)

        self.setGeometry(400, 400, 250, 50)

        vbox = QtWidgets.QVBoxLayout(self)
        button = QtWidgets.QPushButton('Hello')
        button.clicked.connect(partial(self.speak, 'World'))

    def speak(self, name):
        print(f'Hello {name}')

if __name__ == '__main__':

    app = QtWidgets.QApplication(sys.argv)
    w = HelloWidget()

Custom Painting

Style Sheets

I am working on a custom widget to create a collapsable frame, like the one used in the Maya attribute editor. In this widget I have a label and an arrow to indicate the expanded/collapsed state of the widget. I wanted to learn how to implement a stylesheet to be able to set a few visual properties of the widget. Some of the properties comes for free like the background-color, border-radius, font-size and color etc. But I also wanted to be able to set the color of the arrow. The image below is an example of a simplified version of the widget.

stylesheet and custom drawing

In the article “Qt Style Sheets and Custom Painting Example” from the Qt docs if found a C++ example of how to do this. After some further googling and some trial and error I got it to work with PySide2.

Below is a simplified example of the widgets.

class DotLabel(QtWidgets.QFrame):

    def __init__(self, name, height=20, parent=None):
        super(DotLabel, self).__init__(parent)

        self._dot_color = QtGui.QColor(0, 0, 0)
        self._name = name
        self._height = height

    def get_dot_color(self):
        return self._dot_color

    def set_dot_color(self, color):
        self._dot_color = color

    def paintEvent(self, e):

        qp = QtGui.QPainter(self)
        rect = QtCore.QRect(self._height, 0, self.width(), self._height)
        qp.drawText(rect, QtCore.Qt.AlignVCenter, self._name)
        qp.drawEllipse(QtCore.QPoint(self._height*.5, self._height*.5), self._height*.20, self._height*.20)

    dotColor = QtCore.Property(QtGui.QColor, get_dot_color, set_dot_color)

And in the “main” widget.

class TestWidget(QtWidgets.QWidget):
    def __init__(self, parent=None):
        super(TestWidget, self).__init__(parent)


        vbox = QtWidgets.QVBoxLayout(self)

        # add widgets

        for i in range(3):

            dot = DotLabel('Petfactory {}'.format(i), 20+i*20)

        # apply stylesheet

        s_path = os.path.join(os.path.dirname(os.path.abspath(__file__)), 'stylesheet.qss')
        with open(s_path, 'r') as f:

Example from the style sheet:

DotLabel {
    font-family: "Futura";

DotLabel#dot_0 {
    border-radius: 2px;
    border: 1px solid rgb(253, 151, 32);
    color: rgb(253, 151, 32);
    font-size: 12px;
    qproperty-dotColor: rgb(253, 151, 32);

DotLabel#dot_1 {
    border-radius: 4px;
    color: rgb(166, 226, 46);
    font-size: 24px;
    qproperty-dotColor: rgb(166, 226, 46);
    background-color: rgb(90,90,90);

DotLabel#dot_2 {
    border-radius: 6px;
    color: rgb(102, 217, 239);
    font-size: 40px;
    qproperty-dotColor: rgb(102, 217, 239);
    background-color: rgb(90,90,90);

While in the research phase I came across a nice post by Dhruv Govil not exactly related, more on dynamic properties and stylesheets. There is also this article from the Qt docs

Empty Model

In a tool I am writing I have a table view in which I want to display some informative text to the user when the view is “empty” i.e. the model has no rows. My initial idea was to overlay the view with a label but this felt a bit to hacky. I ended up on a SO post that subclassed a QTableView and implemented som custom drawing in the paintEvent when the model was empty. I liked this approach and implemented that in Python. Below is some information from the PySide docs on QPainter. I wanted to understand if I needed to call the begin() and end() when I did the painting.

  • class PySide.QtGui.QPainter(arg__1)
    • Parameters: arg__1 – PySide.QtGui.QPaintDevice

Constructs a painter that begins painting the paint device immediately.

This constructor is convenient for short-lived painters, e.g. in a QWidget.paintEvent() and should be used only once. The constructor calls PySide.QtGui.QPainter.begin() for you and the PySide.QtGui.QPainter destructor automatically calls PySide.QtGui.QPainter.end() .

Here’s an example using PySide.QtGui.QPainter.begin() and PySide.QtGui.QPainter.end() :

def paintEvent(self, paintEvent):
    p = QPainter()
    p.drawLine(...) # drawing code


The same example using this constructor:

def paintEvent(self, paintEvent):
    p = QPainter(self)
    p.drawLine(...) # drawing code

And this is the CustomTableView

class CustomTableView(QtWidgets.QTableView):

    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        super(CustomTableView, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs)
        self._text = ' Right Click to Add / Remove '

    def paintEvent(self, event):

        if self.model() and self.model().rowCount() > 0:
            super(CustomTableView, self).paintEvent(event)

            qp = QtGui.QPainter(self.viewport())
            qp.setPen(QtGui.QColor(175, 175, 175))
            rect = QtCore.QRect(qp.fontMetrics().boundingRect(self._text))
            qp.drawText(rect, QtCore.Qt.AlignCenter, self._text)



To make an item checkable but not editable using flags

item.setFlags(QtCore.Qt.ItemIsEnabled | QtCore.Qt.ItemIsUserCheckable)