< KDE Visual Design Group‎ | HIG
Revision as of 17:27, 4 January 2011 by *>Rubik

KDE Visual Design Group/HIG/UI Files

The aim of this tutorial is to explain how to create and modify screenshots for the []

UI Files

UI files are used by Qt Designer and Qt Creator for designing User Interfaces. If you want to modify them, you should use Qt Designer, but this is off topic and I link some tutorials for you:

And a very very good video-tutorial:

How to compile UI files

In order to use your interfaces, you have to compile these files into a Python or C++ application. For this tutorial I have chosen Python.

Obviously, you need Python. On KUbuntu, it can be installed with this command (in your terminal): $ sudo apt-get install python2.6

You have to compile your .ui files with the pyuic4 tool. Make sure you have the pyqt4-dev-tools package installed. On KUbuntu, just open the terminal and type: $ sudo apt-get install pyqt4-dev-tools

This will check if the package is installed. If not it will installed automatically.

Now you can compile the .ui file into a Python file! Simply run the following command: $ pyuic4 -x -o output.py input.ui


  • -x tells pyuic4 to generate extra code to directly test and display the GUI
  • -o sets the output file

To display the GUI, you only have to run Python: $ python2.6 output.py


Let's compile Tabs and Pages in Dialogs/Tabs_pages3.ui from File:HIG-UI-Files.tar.gz. Decompress the tarball and run: $ cd path/to/the/extracted/tarball $ pyuic4 -x -o Tabs_pages3.py 'Tabs and Pages in Dialogs/Tabs_pages3.ui'

Now run it through Python: $ python2.6 Tabs_pages3.py

Here is a screenshot:


How to take and annotate a screenshot

To take a screenshot, you can use KSnapshot, which is included in standard KDE distributions. Press the Stamp R Sist button:

Stamp R Sist.jpg

to open KSnapshot and set the options up. I use these options:

  • Capture Mode -> Window Under Cursor
  • Snapshot Delay -> 1-2 seconds
  • Include window decorations -> True

If you need extra space you may want to use:

  • Capture Mode -> Region

Now press New Snapshot, take your snapshot and save it somewhere. If you want to annotate your screenshot you can use Gimp. Install it with this simple command: $ sudo apt-get install gimp

Open it and start drawing! I usually use brushes to draw circles, arrows, etc., pencil to draw sharp lines and text tool to insert text:



  1. Text Tool
  2. Pencil
  3. Brush

How to create an archive

In this tutorial I will use Ark, but you can use any software you like!

Ark is a very simple program: open it and create a new archive clicking on New. Click on Add folder and select the folder containing the .ui files and all the screenshots.


Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.