weeks[0].toString(); //Menus and Tool Bar


This is my first weekly post regarding the progress of the Accessibility support project* that I’m working on at MuseScore. I’ve started a bit earlier with my work in order not to fall behind in the final exams period.  Ok, lets get started. 🙂

 1. The first thing that I addressed is the menus issue:

1.1 What was already working:

(usually, in this sections you will find the things that are provided out of the box by Qt 5.2)

– Menus can be opened using shortcuts

– The next menu and previous menu can be accessed using the left and right arrow keys

– The screen-reader tells the menu’s name

– Menu options can be accessed using up and down arrow keys

– The screen-reader tells the option’s name


1.2 What I’ve done:

– I’ve successfully made the screen-reader tell menu’s default shortcut along with it’s name. (see commit here [0])

1.3 Problems:

– The only major problem that I had here was trying to make the screen-reader tell the menu option’s shortcuts (if they are set) along with it’s name.  After wasting some days setting every property and every attribute that I could see, in every possible combination, for both QAction and QMenu objects I’ve concluded that this is not possible and I’ve submitted a bug report at Qt project. The developer from Qt project confirmed not only that this is a bug, but also told me that Qt should provide the shortcut out of the box. You can find the bug report here[1] and also two threads that I’ve created on Qt dedicated forums here[2][3].

1.4 What else needs to be done:

Strictly speaking  about menus, I think that the only thing left to be done is set the focus on the first menu when ALT key is pressed.

2. After menus, I’ve moved on to the tool bar:

2.1 What was already working:

– The screen-reader was telling for every button his name, a short description of it’s purpose and (if set) its shortcut.

2.2 What I’ve done:

– I’ve created a class that extends the QToolButton in order to provide accessibility for tabbing

– I’ve added to the tabbing order all the buttons that open dialogs with native support for accessibility

– I’ve removed almost all (5 more remaining) objects that are not relevant from an accessibility point of view

– I’ve made it so buttons are highlighted when they gain focus by tabbing

– I’ve made it so that buttons are “pressed” when the Return/Enter key is pressed (see also the 2.3 section for problems)

(Commits here[5])

2.3 Problems:

– A small problem was that I couldn’t highlight the button like when the movese hovers over it (if anyone know how can I do that, please leave a comment here, thank you!)

– Another problem, for which I’ve created also a bug report[4] was that both Space and Return keys were already assigned as shortcuts, so even though the button would react as expected when the Return key is pressed, the object is not notified when this event occurs, because shortcuts have priority.


Other things worth mentioning:

This last problem that I’ve mentioned is not as simple as it sounds. Beside having multiple ways in which it can be solved, some of them involve creating a whole new global state for the program and it is not yet clear if this is a good idea when looking at the big picture.

One more thing. I’ve noticed that the accessibility part of Qt is not very well documented and has very few (or none) code examples, so it involves a lot of trying and failing until the desired behavior is achieved. That beeing said, I will try to write here general “how to”s, with code examples so that others, who are trying to do the same thing, won’t need to take the whole “searching, trying, failing” process from the begining.

That’s all for this week. 🙂


*for more details, please read my first post


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