/GTK 3.24


GtkDrawingArea — A widget for custom user interface elements

Types and Values

Object Hierarchy

    ╰── GInitiallyUnowned
        ╰── GtkWidget
            ╰── GtkDrawingArea

Implemented Interfaces

GtkDrawingArea implements AtkImplementorIface and GtkBuildable.


#include <gtk/gtk.h>


The GtkDrawingArea widget is used for creating custom user interface elements. It’s essentially a blank widget; you can draw on it. After creating a drawing area, the application may want to connect to:

  • Mouse and button press signals to respond to input from the user. (Use gtk_widget_add_events() to enable events you wish to receive.)

  • The “realize” signal to take any necessary actions when the widget is instantiated on a particular display. (Create GDK resources in response to this signal.)

  • The “size-allocate” signal to take any necessary actions when the widget changes size.

  • The “draw” signal to handle redrawing the contents of the widget.

The following code portion demonstrates using a drawing area to display a circle in the normal widget foreground color.

Note that GDK automatically clears the exposed area before sending the expose event, and that drawing is implicitly clipped to the exposed area. If you want to have a theme-provided background, you need to call gtk_render_background() in your ::draw method.

Simple GtkDrawingArea usage

draw_callback (GtkWidget *widget, cairo_t *cr, gpointer data)
  guint width, height;
  GdkRGBA color;
  GtkStyleContext *context;

  context = gtk_widget_get_style_context (widget);

  width = gtk_widget_get_allocated_width (widget);
  height = gtk_widget_get_allocated_height (widget);

  gtk_render_background (context, cr, 0, 0, width, height);

  cairo_arc (cr,
             width / 2.0, height / 2.0,
             MIN (width, height) / 2.0,
             0, 2 * G_PI);

  gtk_style_context_get_color (context,
                               gtk_style_context_get_state (context),
  gdk_cairo_set_source_rgba (cr, &color);

  cairo_fill (cr);

 return FALSE;
  GtkWidget *drawing_area = gtk_drawing_area_new ();
  gtk_widget_set_size_request (drawing_area, 100, 100);
  g_signal_connect (G_OBJECT (drawing_area), "draw",
                    G_CALLBACK (draw_callback), NULL);

Draw signals are normally delivered when a drawing area first comes onscreen, or when it’s covered by another window and then uncovered. You can also force an expose event by adding to the “damage region” of the drawing area’s window; gtk_widget_queue_draw_area() and gdk_window_invalidate_rect() are equally good ways to do this. You’ll then get a draw signal for the invalid region.

The available routines for drawing are documented on the GDK Drawing Primitives page and the cairo documentation.

To receive mouse events on a drawing area, you will need to enable them with gtk_widget_add_events(). To receive keyboard events, you will need to set the “can-focus” property on the drawing area, and you should probably draw some user-visible indication that the drawing area is focused. Use gtk_widget_has_focus() in your expose event handler to decide whether to draw the focus indicator. See gtk_render_focus() for one way to draw focus.


gtk_drawing_area_new ()

GtkWidget *
gtk_drawing_area_new (void);

Creates a new drawing area.


a new GtkDrawingArea

Types and Values

struct GtkDrawingArea

struct GtkDrawingArea;

See Also


© 2005–2020 The GNOME Project
Licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License version 2.1 or later.