Qt Pan, zoom, and rotate with QGraphicsView


QGraphics can be used to organize complicated scenes of visual objects into a framework that makes them easier to handle.

There are three major types of objects used in this framework QGraphicsView, QGraphicsScene, and QGraphicsItems. QGraphicsItems are the basic visual items that exist in the scene.

There are many types that are pre-built and can be used such as Ellipses, Lines, Paths, Pixmaps, Polygons, Rectangles, and Text.

You can also make your own items by inheriting QGraphicsItem. These items are then put into a QGraphicsScene which is basically the world you are planning to look at. The items can move within the scene which is like having them move in the world you are looking at. The items positioning and orientation is handled by transformation matrices called QTransforms. Qt has nice functions built in so you usually do not need to work with the QTransforms directly, instead you call functions such as rotate or scale which create the proper transforms for you. The scene is then viewed by the perspective defined in the QGraphicsView (again with QTransforms), which is the piece you would put into a widget in you UI.

In the following example there is a very simple scene with just one item (a pixmap), which is put into a scene and displayed in a view. By turning on the DragMode flag the scene can be panned around with the mouse and by using the scale and rotate functions it can be scaled in and out with the scroll on the mouse and rotated with the arrow keys.

If you would like to run this example create a instance of View that will be displayed and create a resource file with the prefix /images containing a image my_image.png.

#include <QGraphicsView>
#include <QGraphicsScene>
#include <QGraphicsPixmapItem>
#include <QWheelEvent>
#include <QKeyEvent>

class View : public QGraphicsView
  explicit View(QWidget *parent = 0) :

    QGraphicsPixmapItem *pixmapItem = new QGraphicsPixmapItem(QPixmap(":/images/my_image.png"));

    QGraphicsScene *scene = new QGraphicsScene();

protected Q_SLOTS:
  void wheelEvent(QWheelEvent *event)
    if(event->delta() > 0)
      scale(1.25, 1.25);
      scale(0.8, 0.8);

  void keyPressEvent(QKeyEvent *event)
    if(event->key() == Qt::Key_Left)
    else if(event->key() == Qt::Key_Right)