Inheritance diagram of QKeySequence



Static functions

Detailed Description

The PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence class encapsulates a key sequence as used by shortcuts.

In its most common form, a key sequence describes a combination of keys that must be used together to perform some action. Key sequences are used with PySide.QtGui.QAction objects to specify which keyboard shortcuts can be used to trigger actions.

Key sequences can be constructed for use as keyboard shortcuts in three different ways:

  • For standard shortcuts, a standard key can be used to request the platform-specific key sequence associated with each shortcut.
  • For custom shortcuts, human-readable strings such as “Ctrl+X” can be used, and these can be translated into the appropriate shortcuts for users of different languages. Translations are made in the ” PySide.QtGui.QShortcut ” context.
  • For hard-coded shortcuts, integer key codes can be specified with a combination of values defined by the Qt.Key and Qt.Modifier enum values. Each key code consists of a single Qt.Key value and zero or more modifiers, such as Qt.SHIFT , Qt.CTRL , Qt.ALT and Qt.META .

For example, Ctrl P might be a sequence used as a shortcut for printing a document, and can be specified in any of the following ways:

QKeySequence(Qt.CTRL + Qt.Key_P)

Note that, for letters, the case used in the specification string does not matter. In the above examples, the user does not need to hold down the Shift key to activate a shortcut specified with “Ctrl+P”. However, for other keys, the use of Shift as an unspecified extra modifier key can lead to confusion for users of an application whose keyboards have different layouts to those used by the developers. See the Keyboard Layout Issues section below for more details.

It is preferable to use standard shortcuts where possible. When creating key sequences for non-standard shortcuts, you should use human-readable strings in preference to hard-coded integer values.

PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence objects can be cast to a PySide.QtCore.QString to obtain a human-readable translated version of the sequence. Similarly, the PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.toString() function produces human-readable strings for use in menus. On Mac OS X, the appropriate symbols are used to describe keyboard shortcuts using special keys on the Macintosh keyboard.

An alternative way to specify hard-coded key codes is to use the Unicode code point of the character; for example, ‘A’ gives the same key sequence as Qt.Key_A .


On Mac OS X, references to “Ctrl”, Qt.CTRL , Qt::Control and Qt.ControlModifier correspond to the Command keys on the Macintosh keyboard, and references to “Meta”, Qt.META , Qt::Meta and Qt.MetaModifier correspond to the Control keys. Developers on Mac OS X can use the same shortcut descriptions across all platforms, and their applications will automatically work as expected on Mac OS X.

Standard Shortcuts

PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence defines many standard keyboard shortcuts to reduce the amount of effort required when setting up actions in a typical application. The table below shows some common key sequences that are often used for these standard shortcuts by applications on four widely-used platforms. Note that on Mac OS X, the Ctrl value corresponds to the Command keys on the Macintosh keyboard, and the Meta value corresponds to the Control keys.

QKeySequence.StandardKey Windows Mac OS X KDE GNOME S60
HelpContents F1 Ctrl+? F1 F1 F2
WhatsThis Shift+F1 Shift+F1 Shift+F1 Shift+F1 Shift+F1
Open Ctrl+O Ctrl+O Ctrl+O Ctrl+O (none)
Close Ctrl+F4, Ctrl+W Ctrl+W, Ctrl+F4 Ctrl+W Ctrl+W (none)
Save Ctrl+S Ctrl+S Ctrl+S Ctrl+S (none)
Quit   Ctrl+Q Qtrl+Q Qtrl+Q (none)
SaveAs   Ctrl+Shift+S   Ctrl+Shift+S (none)
New Ctrl+N Ctrl+N Ctrl+N Ctrl+N (none)
Delete Del Del, Meta+D Del, Ctrl+D Del, Ctrl+D Del
Cut Ctrl+X, Shift+Del Ctrl+X Ctrl+X, F20, Shift+Del Ctrl+X, F20, Shift+Del Ctrl+X
Copy Ctrl+C, Ctrl+Ins Ctrl+C Ctrl+C, F16, Ctrl+Ins Ctrl+C, F16, Ctrl+Ins Ctrl+C
Paste Ctrl+V, Shift+Ins Ctrl+V Ctrl+V, F18, Shift+Ins Ctrl+V, F18, Shift+Ins Ctrl+V
Preferences   Ctrl+,     (none)
Undo Ctrl+Z, Alt+Backspace Ctrl+Z Ctrl+Z, F14 Ctrl+Z, F14 Ctrl+Z
Redo Ctrl+Y, Shift+Ctrl+Z, Alt+Shift+Backspace Ctrl+Shift+Z, Ctrl+Y Ctrl+Shift+Z Ctrl+Shift+Z (none)
Back Alt+Left, Backspace Ctrl+[ Alt+Left Alt+Left (none)
Forward Alt+Right, Shift+Backspace Ctrl+] Alt+Right Alt+Right (none)
Refresh F5 F5 F5 Ctrl+R, F5 (none)
ZoomIn Ctrl+Plus Ctrl+Plus Ctrl+Plus Ctrl+Plus (none)
ZoomOut Ctrl+Minus Ctrl+Minus Ctrl+Minus Ctrl+Minus (none)
Print Ctrl+P Ctrl+P Ctrl+P Ctrl+P (none)
AddTab Ctrl+T Ctrl+T Ctrl+Shift+N, Ctrl+T Ctrl+T (none)
NextChild Ctrl+Tab, Forward, Ctrl+F6 Ctrl+}, Forward, Ctrl+Tab Ctrl+Tab, Forward, Ctrl+Comma Ctrl+Tab, Forward (none)
PreviousChild Ctrl+Shift+Tab, Back, Ctrl+Shift+F6 Ctrl+{, Back, Ctrl+Shift+Tab Ctrl+Shift+Tab, Back, Ctrl+Period Ctrl+Shift+Tab, Back (none)
Find Ctrl+F Ctrl+F Ctrl+F Ctrl+F (none)
FindNext F3, Ctrl+G Ctrl+G F3 Ctrl+G, F3 (none)
FindPrevious Shift+F3, Ctrl+Shift+G Ctrl+Shift+G Shift+F3 Ctrl+Shift+G, Shift+F3 (none)
Replace Ctrl+H (none) Ctrl+R Ctrl+H (none)
SelectAll Ctrl+A Ctrl+A Ctrl+A Ctrl+A (none)
Bold Ctrl+B Ctrl+B Ctrl+B Ctrl+B (none)
Italic Ctrl+I Ctrl+I Ctrl+I Ctrl+I (none)
Underline Ctrl+U Ctrl+U Ctrl+U Ctrl+U (none)
MoveToNextChar Right Right Right Right Right
MoveToPreviousChar Left Left Left Left Left
MoveToNextWord Ctrl+Right Alt+Right Ctrl+Right Ctrl+Right Ctrl+Right
MoveToPreviousWord Ctrl+Left Alt+Left Ctrl+Left Ctrl+Left Ctrl+Left
MoveToNextLine Down Down Down Down Down
MoveToPreviousLine Up Up Up Up Up
MoveToNextPage PgDown PgDown, Alt+PgDown, Meta+Down, Meta+PgDown PgDown PgDown PgDown
MoveToPreviousPage PgUp PgUp, Alt+PgUp, Meta+Up, Meta+PgUp PgUp PgUp PgUp
MoveToStartOfLine Home Ctrl+Left, Meta+Left Home Home Home
MoveToEndOfLine End Ctrl+Right, Meta+Right End End End
MoveToStartOfBlock (none) Alt+Up, Meta+A (none) (none) (none)
MoveToEndOfBlock (none) Alt+Down, Meta+E (none) (none) (none)
MoveToStartOfDocument Ctrl+Home Ctrl+Up, Home Ctrl+Home Ctrl+Home Ctrl+Home
MoveToEndOfDocument Ctrl+End Ctrl+Down, End Ctrl+End Ctrl+End Ctrl+End
SelectNextChar Shift+Right Shift+Right Shift+Right Shift+Right Shift+Right
SelectPreviousChar Shift+Left Shift+Left Shift+Left Shift+Left Shift+Left
SelectNextWord Ctrl+Shift+Right Alt+Shift+Right Ctrl+Shift+Right Ctrl+Shift+Right Ctrl+Shift+Right
SelectPreviousWord Ctrl+Shift+Left Alt+Shift+Left Ctrl+Shift+Left Ctrl+Shift+Left Ctrl+Shift+Left
SelectNextLine Shift+Down Shift+Down Shift+Down Shift+Down Shift+Down
SelectPreviousLine Shift+Up Shift+Up Shift+Up Shift+Up Shift+Up
SelectNextPage Shift+PgDown Shift+PgDown Shift+PgDown Shift+PgDown Shift+PgDown
SelectPreviousPage Shift+PgUp Shift+PgUp Shift+PgUp Shift+PgUp Shift+PgUp
SelectStartOfLine Shift+Home Ctrl+Shift+Left Shift+Home Shift+Home Shift+Home
SelectEndOfLine Shift+End Ctrl+Shift+Right Shift+End Shift+End Shift+End
SelectStartOfBlock (none) Alt+Shift+Up, Meta+Shift+A (none) (none) (none)
SelectEndOfBlock (none) Alt+Shift+Down, Meta+Shift+E (none) (none) (none)
SelectStartOfDocument Ctrl+Shift+Home Ctrl+Shift+Up, Shift+Home Ctrl+Shift+Home Ctrl+Shift+Home Ctrl+Shift+Home
SelectEndOfDocument Ctrl+Shift+End Ctrl+Shift+Down, Shift+End Ctrl+Shift+End Ctrl+Shift+End Ctrl+Shift+End
DeleteStartOfWord Ctrl+Backspace Alt+Backspace Ctrl+Backspace Ctrl+Backspace (none)
DeleteEndOfWord Ctrl+Del (none) Ctrl+Del Ctrl+Del (none)
DeleteEndOfLine (none) (none) Ctrl+K Ctrl+K (none)
InsertParagraphSeparator Enter Enter Enter Enter (none)
InsertLineSeparator Shift+Enter Meta+Enter Shift+Enter Shift+Enter (none)

Note that, since the key sequences used for the standard shortcuts differ between platforms, you still need to test your shortcuts on each platform to ensure that you do not unintentionally assign the same key sequence to many actions.

Keyboard Layout Issues

Many key sequence specifications are chosen by developers based on the layout of certain types of keyboard, rather than choosing keys that represent the first letter of an action’s name, such as Ctrl S (“Ctrl+S”) or Ctrl C (“Ctrl+C”). Additionally, because certain symbols can only be entered with the help of modifier keys on certain keyboard layouts, key sequences intended for use with one keyboard layout may map to a different key, map to no keys at all, or require an additional modifier key to be used on different keyboard layouts.

For example, the shortcuts, Ctrl plus and Ctrl minus , are often used as shortcuts for zoom operations in graphics applications, and these may be specified as “Ctrl++” and “Ctrl+-” respectively. However, the way these shortcuts are specified and interpreted depends on the keyboard layout. Users of Norwegian keyboards will note that the + and - keys are not adjacent on the keyboard, but will still be able to activate both shortcuts without needing to press the Shift key. However, users with British keyboards will need to hold down the Shift key to enter the + symbol, making the shortcut effectively the same as “Ctrl+Shift+=”.

Although some developers might resort to fully specifying all the modifiers they use on their keyboards to activate a shortcut, this will also result in unexpected behavior for users of different keyboard layouts.

For example, a developer using a British keyboard may decide to specify “Ctrl+Shift+=” as the key sequence in order to create a shortcut that coincidentally behaves in the same way as Ctrl plus . However, the = key needs to be accessed using the Shift key on Norwegian keyboard, making the required shortcut effectively Ctrl Shift Shift = (an impossible key combination).

As a result, both human-readable strings and hard-coded key codes can both be problematic to use when specifying a key sequence that can be used on a variety of different keyboard layouts. Only the use of standard shortcuts guarantees that the user will be able to use the shortcuts that the developer intended.

Despite this, we can address this issue by ensuring that human-readable strings are used, making it possible for translations of key sequences to be made for users of different languages. This approach will be successful for users whose keyboards have the most typical layout for the language they are using.

GNU Emacs Style Key Sequences

Key sequences similar to those used in GNU Emacs , allowing up to four key codes, can be created by using the multiple argument constructor, or by passing a human-readable string of comma-separated key sequences.

For example, the key sequence, Ctrl X followed by Ctrl C , can be specified using either of the following ways:

QKeySequence(tr("Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C"))
QKeySequence(Qt.CTRL + Qt.Key_X, Qt.CTRL + Qt.Key_C)


A PySide.QtGui.QApplication instance must have been constructed before a PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence is created; otherwise, your application may crash.

class PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence
class PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence(key)
class PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence(ks)
class PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence(key)
class PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence(key, format)
class PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence(k1[, k2=0[, k3=0[, k4=0]]])

Constructs an empty key sequence.

Constructs a PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence object for the given key . The result will depend on the currently running platform.

The resulting object will be based on the first element in the list of key bindings for the key .

Copy constructor. Makes a copy of keysequence .

Creates a key sequence from the key string. For example “Ctrl+O” gives CTRL+’O’. The strings “Ctrl”, “Shift”, “Alt” and “Meta” are recognized, as well as their translated equivalents in the ” PySide.QtGui.QShortcut ” context (using QObject.tr() ).

Up to four key codes may be entered by separating them with commas, e.g. “Alt+X,Ctrl+S,Q”.

key should be in NativeText format.

This constructor is typically used with PySide.QtCore.QObject.tr() (), so that shortcut keys can be replaced in translations:

file = QMenu(self)
file.addAction(tr("&Open..."), self, SLOT("open()"),
               QKeySequence(tr("Ctrl+O", "File|Open")))

Note the “File|Open” translator comment. It is by no means necessary, but it provides some context for the human translator.

Creates a key sequence from the key string based on format .

Constructs a key sequence with up to 4 keys k1 , k2 , k3 and k4 .

The key codes are listed in Qt.Key and can be combined with modifiers (see Qt.Modifier ) such as Qt.SHIFT , Qt.CTRL , Qt.ALT , or Qt.META .

Constant Description
QKeySequence.NativeText The key sequence as a platform specific string. This means that it will be shown translated and on the Mac it will resemble a key sequence from the menu bar. This enum is best used when you want to display the string to the user.
QKeySequence.PortableText The key sequence is given in a “portable” format, suitable for reading and writing to a file. In many cases, it will look similar to the native text on Windows and X11.

This enum represent standard key bindings. They can be used to assign platform dependent keyboard shortcuts to a PySide.QtGui.QAction .

Note that the key bindings are platform dependent. The currently bound shortcuts can be queried using PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.keyBindings() .

Constant Description
QKeySequence.AddTab Add new tab.
QKeySequence.Back Navigate back.
QKeySequence.Bold Bold text.
QKeySequence.Close Close document/tab.
QKeySequence.Copy Copy.
QKeySequence.Cut Cut.
QKeySequence.Delete Delete.
QKeySequence.DeleteEndOfLine Delete end of line.
QKeySequence.DeleteEndOfWord Delete word from the end of the cursor.
QKeySequence.DeleteStartOfWord Delete the beginning of a word up to the cursor.
QKeySequence.Find Find in document.
QKeySequence.FindNext Find next result.
QKeySequence.FindPrevious Find previous result.
QKeySequence.Forward Navigate forward.
QKeySequence.HelpContents Open help contents.
QKeySequence.InsertLineSeparator Insert a new line.
QKeySequence.InsertParagraphSeparator Insert a new paragraph.
QKeySequence.Italic Italic text.
QKeySequence.MoveToEndOfBlock Move cursor to end of block. This shortcut is only used on the OS X.
QKeySequence.MoveToEndOfDocument Move cursor to end of document.
QKeySequence.MoveToEndOfLine Move cursor to end of line.
QKeySequence.MoveToNextChar Move cursor to next character.
QKeySequence.MoveToNextLine Move cursor to next line.
QKeySequence.MoveToNextPage Move cursor to next page.
QKeySequence.MoveToNextWord Move cursor to next word.
QKeySequence.MoveToPreviousChar Move cursor to previous character.
QKeySequence.MoveToPreviousLine Move cursor to previous line.
QKeySequence.MoveToPreviousPage Move cursor to previous page.
QKeySequence.MoveToPreviousWord Move cursor to previous word.
QKeySequence.MoveToStartOfBlock Move cursor to start of a block. This shortcut is only used on OS X.
QKeySequence.MoveToStartOfDocument Move cursor to start of document.
QKeySequence.MoveToStartOfLine Move cursor to start of line.
QKeySequence.New Create new document.
QKeySequence.NextChild Navigate to next tab or child window.
QKeySequence.Open Open document.
QKeySequence.Paste Paste.
QKeySequence.Preferences Open the preferences dialog.
QKeySequence.PreviousChild Navigate to previous tab or child window.
QKeySequence.Print Print document.
QKeySequence.Quit Quit the application.
QKeySequence.Redo Redo.
QKeySequence.Refresh Refresh or reload current document.
QKeySequence.Replace Find and replace.
QKeySequence.SaveAs Save document after prompting the user for a file name.
QKeySequence.Save Save document.
QKeySequence.SelectAll Select all text.
QKeySequence.SelectEndOfBlock Extend selection to the end of a text block. This shortcut is only used on OS X.
QKeySequence.SelectEndOfDocument Extend selection to end of document.
QKeySequence.SelectEndOfLine Extend selection to end of line.
QKeySequence.SelectNextChar Extend selection to next character.
QKeySequence.SelectNextLine Extend selection to next line.
QKeySequence.SelectNextPage Extend selection to next page.
QKeySequence.SelectNextWord Extend selection to next word.
QKeySequence.SelectPreviousChar Extend selection to previous character.
QKeySequence.SelectPreviousLine Extend selection to previous line.
QKeySequence.SelectPreviousPage Extend selection to previous page.
QKeySequence.SelectPreviousWord Extend selection to previous word.
QKeySequence.SelectStartOfBlock Extend selection to the start of a text block. This shortcut is only used on OS X.
QKeySequence.SelectStartOfDocument Extend selection to start of document.
QKeySequence.SelectStartOfLine Extend selection to start of line.
QKeySequence.Underline Underline text.
QKeySequence.Undo Undo.
QKeySequence.UnknownKey Unbound key.
QKeySequence.WhatsThis Activate whats this.
QKeySequence.ZoomIn Zoom in.
QKeySequence.ZoomOut Zoom out.
Constant Description
QKeySequence.NoMatch The key sequences are different; not even partially matching.
QKeySequence.PartialMatch The key sequences match partially, but are not the same.
QKeySequence.ExactMatch The key sequences are the same.
Return type:PyObject
Return type:PyObject
Parameters:str – unicode
Return type:PySide.QtCore.int
PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.assign(str, format)
Return type:


Return type:PySide.QtCore.uint

Returns the number of keys in the key sequence. The maximum is 4.

static PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.decodeString(ks)
Parameters:ks – unicode
Return type:PySide.QtCore.int
static PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.encodeString(key)
Return type:unicode
static PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.fromString(str[, format=PortableText])
Return type:


Return a PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence from the string str based on format .

Return type:PySide.QtCore.bool

Returns true if the key sequence is empty; otherwise returns false.

static PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.keyBindings(key)
Return type:

Returns a list of key bindings for the given key . The result of calling this function will vary based on the target platform. The first element of the list indicates the primary shortcut for the given platform. If the result contains more than one result, these can be considered alternative shortcuts on the same platform for the given key .

Return type:PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.SequenceMatch

Matches the sequence with seq . Returns ExactMatch if successful, PartialMatch if seq matches incompletely, and NoMatch if the sequences have nothing in common. Returns NoMatch if seq is shorter.

static PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.mnemonic(text)
Parameters:text – unicode
Return type:PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence

Returns the shortcut key sequence for the mnemonic in text , or an empty key sequence if no mnemonics are found.

For example, mnemonic(“E&xit”) returns Qt::ALT+Qt::Key_X , mnemonic(“&Quit”) returns ALT+Key_Q , and mnemonic(“Quit”) returns an empty PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence .

We provide a list of common mnemonics in English. At the time of writing, Microsoft and Open Group do not appear to have issued equivalent recommendations for other languages.

See also


Return type:PySide.QtCore.bool

Returns true if this key sequence is not equal to the other key sequence; otherwise returns false.

Return type:PySide.QtCore.bool

Provides an arbitrary comparison of this key sequence and other key sequence. All that is guaranteed is that the operator returns false if both key sequences are equal and that (ks1 < ks2) == !( ks2 < ks1) if the key sequences are not equal.

This function is useful in some circumstances, for example if you want to use PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence objects as keys in a QMap .

See also

PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator==() PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator!=() PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator>() PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator<=() PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator>=()

Return type:PySide.QtCore.bool

Returns true if this key sequence is smaller or equal to the other key sequence; otherwise returns false.

See also

PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator==() PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator!=() PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator<() PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator>() PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator>=()

Return type:PySide.QtCore.bool

Returns true if this key sequence is equal to the other key sequence; otherwise returns false.

Return type:PySide.QtCore.bool

Returns true if this key sequence is larger than the other key sequence; otherwise returns false.

See also

PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator==() PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator!=() PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator<() PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator<=() PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator>=()

Return type:PySide.QtCore.bool

Returns true if this key sequence is larger or equal to the other key sequence; otherwise returns false.

See also

PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator==() PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator!=() PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator<() PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator>() PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.operator<=()

PySide.QtGui.QKeySequence.setKey(key, index)
  • keyPySide.QtCore.int
  • indexPySide.QtCore.int
Return type:unicode

Return a string representation of the key sequence, based on format .

For example, the value Qt.CTRL + Qt.Key_O results in “Ctrl+O”. If the key sequence has multiple key codes, each is separated by commas in the string returned, such as “Alt+X, Ctrl+Y, Z”. The strings, “Ctrl”, “Shift”, etc. are translated using QObject.tr() in the ” PySide.QtGui.QShortcut ” context.

If the key sequence has no keys, an empty string is returned.

On Mac OS X, the string returned resembles the sequence that is shown in the menu bar.