Commit 422da36d authored by con's avatar con
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Added the overview part.

parent 90df9094
......@@ -23,8 +23,202 @@
\page index.html
\title Extending Qt Creator Manual
Qt Creator is a cross-platform integrated development environment (IDE)
tailored to the needs of Qt developers.
It is extensible in various ways, for example the main Qt Creator
architecture is based on a plugin loader: All functionality beyond plugin
loading is implemented in plugins. But you can already extend and tweak
many parts of Qt Creator without the need to resort to coding in C++ and
implementing such a plugin.
This document gives you an overview of the various available mechanisms,
depending on what you want to achieve, and points you to the relevant
\section1 Generating Domain Specific Code / Templates
If you regularly need to write the same code, be it little code snippets,
whole files or classes spread over multiple files, or complete projects.
\section2 Code Snippets
Code snippets are usually a few lines of code that you regularly want to
insert into bigger parts of code, but don't want to type all the time.
Examples are while- and for-loops, if-else and try-catch constructs, and
class skeletons. Snippets are triggered the same way as normal code
completion. Qt Creator already comes with a set of preconfigured snippets,
but offers user definable snippets as well.
\o \l{}
{Adding Code Snippets Through The UI}
\o \l{Code Snippet Configuration Files}
\section2 File, Class and Project Templates
You can extend the wizards in File > New File or Project with your own
file and project templates by writing a xml description for it.
\o \l{}
{Adding New Custom Wizards}
\o \l{User Interface Text Guidelines}
\section2 Custom wizards
If the above methods for code snippets and templates are not sufficient
for your use case, you have the option to create a custom Qt Creator plugin.
This gives you complete control over the wizard, but on the other hand
also requires you to write most of the UI and the logic yourself.
\o \l{Creating Plugins}
\o \l{Qt Creator Coding Rules}
\o \l{Wizards}
\o \l{User Interface Text Guidelines}
\section1 Supporting additional file types
If you have files with extensions or mime types that Qt Creator doesn't handle.
\section2 Mime types
You might find that Qt Creator could handle a certain file of yours, if it
knew about the type of its contents. Typical examples would be C++ header
or source files with a file extension that is not known to Qt Creator.
You can adapt the mime type definitions in Qt Creator to your specific setup,
by adding or removing file extensions and specifying magic headers.
\o \l{}
{Editing Mime Types}
\o \l{Mime Type Specification Files}
\section2 Text Highlighting and Indentation
For text files Qt Creator offers an easy way to add highlighting and
indentation for file types that are not specifically known to it -
it has a 'generic highlighting' editor that uses Kate editor's
syntax highlighting definitions, and that you can extend with your own
\o \l{}
{Generic Highlighting}
\o \l{}
{Writing a Syntax Highlighting File (Link to the Kate Editor Project)}
\section2 Custom Text Editors
If you need more than the mime type and/or highlighting features above,
like custom text completion, or features that rely on real semantic
analyses, you can extend Qt Creator with a text editor of your own.
Qt Creator provides special API for text editors that give you
a basis to build on, taking away some of the pain of implementing
a text editor from the ground up.
\o \l{Creating Plugins}
\o \l{Qt Creator Coding Rules}
\o \l{Text Editors}
\section2 Custom Non-Text Editors
You can also add a completely custom editor where you have complete
control over appearance and behavior.
\o \l{Creating Plugins}
\o \l{Qt Creator Coding Rules}
\o \l{Editors}
\section1 Running External Tools
Most software projects and development processes require a developer
to run various external tools. Many of these are directly integrated
into Qt Creator, like popular version control systems and build tool
chains, but it is impossible for a single tool to cover all the use
\section2 'Simple' External Tools
In Qt Creator you can specify tools that you then can run via a
menu (or via a keyboard shortcut you assign). It has some limitations
but will be already sufficient for many things. You specify a command
to run, the arguments and input you want it to receive, and specify
what to do with the tools output, if any. For these values you can
access a set of internal Qt Creator variables, like the file name of
the current document or project, or the currently selected text in
a text editor. (If you find variables missing, please don't hesitate
to fill a feature suggestion.)
The tool descriptions are saved as XML files that you can share.
\o \l{}
{Using External Tools}
\o \l{External Tool Specification Files}
\section2 'Complex' External Tools
For integrating more complex tools you should still consider if
and what the advantages are of either integrating the tool
tightly into Qt Creator, or loosely integrating by mainly
providing a means of starting the tool with fitting parameters.
\section3 Loosely Integrating Tools
Usually, if no interaction is needed between Qt Creator and the
external tool, just starting an external
application with its own user interface is preferable. That way
cluttering the Qt Creator UI is avoided, and the tool will be
available with a nice interface even without using Qt Creator
at all. Starting the external tool might be possible through
the external tools specification files above, or you might need
to add a menu item to Qt Creator's menu with a plugin, if starting
the tool (and maybe handling it's output) needs more complex logic.
In that case you might also need a way to configure the tool from
inside Qt Creator, usually done by providing a preference page in
Qt Creator's preferences.
\o \l{}
{Using External Tools}
\o \l{External Tool Specification Files}
\o \l{Creating Plugins}
\o \l{Qt Creator Coding Rules}
\o \l{Menus and Menu Items}
\o \l{Options Pages}
\section3 Interacting with Tool Output
Sometimes running the tool would not need a tight integration, but
investigating the output of the tool would benefit from tighter
interaction with Qt Creator. Examples are tools that generate
lists of issues in files of the project, or in general create
output that relates to the code and where you would like to
interactively switch between the output and the corresponding
One way to handle that would be to let the tool create an output
file, which then is opened within Qt Creator. You provide
an (probably read-only) editor for handling this file.
For the 'list of issues' type of output you can also consider
creating task list files which are shown in the Build Issues
\o \l{}
{Showing Task List Files in the Build Issues Pane}
\o \l{Creating Plugins}
\o \l{Qt Creator Coding Rules}
\o \l{Menus and Menu Items}
\o \l{Options Pages}
\o \l{Editors}
\section1 All Topics
\o Developing Qt Creator Plugins
\o Creating Plugins
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