Chapter 18. Providing Help

This chapter deals with the important question of how users can get help on the functionality and use of your application.[37] Implementing help facilities usually ties together various classes described elsewhere in this book; we therefore direct you to other chapters where appropriate and cover only the subjects not found elsewhere in this chapter. While making an application as intuitive to use as possible should always be a goal, most applications provide such an amount of functionality that at least some help facility will be necessary. Also, good online help is considered an important criterion of quality for many customers and reviewers.

The various possibilities to provide help can be sorted by how intrusive into the current application usage they are and by how much information they provide. These two scales coincide: the more intrusive an option is, the more help it can provide. Here are the various possibilities Qt provides:

  • Tooltip help. Tooltips are very small, borderless windows that pop up when the mouse moves over a widget that has such a tooltip and stays there for a short time. When the mouse leaves the widget, the tooltip window is automatically closed again. This automatic closure of the window is unintrusive; the user gets additional help without stopping what he is currently doing. On the other hand, this help is not very comprehensive. Tooltip windows need to be small to be usable, so there is an upper limit on the amount of ...

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