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This manual presents Qt Designer, a tool for designing and implementing user interfaces built with the Qt multiplatform GUI toolkit. Qt Designer makes it easy to experiment with user interface design. At any time you can generate the code required to reproduce the user interface from the files Qt Designer produces, changing your design as often as you like. If you used an earlier version you will find yourself immediately productive in the new version since the interface is very similar. And you will also find new widgets and new and improved functionality which have been developed as a result of your feedback.

Qt Designer helps you build user interfaces with layout tools that move and scale your widgets (controls in Windows terminology) automatically at runtime. The resulting interfaces are both functional and attractive, comfortably suiting your users' operating environments and preferences. Qt Designer supports Qt's signals and slots mechanism for type-safe communication between widgets. Qt Designer includes a code editor which you can use to embed your own custom slots inside the generated code. Those who prefer to separate generated code from hand crafted code can continue to use the subclassing approach pioneered in the first version of Qt Designer.

The manual introduces you to Qt Designer by leading you through the development of example applications. The first seven chapters are tutorials, each designed to be as self-contained as possible. Every chapter, except the first three, assumes that you are familiar with the material in chapters two and three which cover the basics of building a Qt application with Qt Designer. Here's a brief overview of the chapters:

The remaining chapters provide reference material that explains Qt Designer's menu options, toolbars, key bindings, dialogs, wizards, and windows in detail.

What You Should Know

This manual assumes that you have some basic knowledge of C++ and the Qt GUI toolkit. If you need to learn more about C++ or Qt there are a vast number of C++ books available, and a small but increasing number of Qt books. Qt comes with extensive online documentation and many example applications that you can try.

The Enterprise Edition of Qt includes the Qt SQL module. In Creating Database Applications we demonstrate how to build SQL applications with Qt Designer; this chapter requires some knowledge of SQL and relational databases.

What's New in Qt Designer for Qt 3.0?

This version of Qt Designer has a great deal more functionality than its predecessor. For example, the code for custom slots can be edited directly in Qt Designer; main windows with actions, toolbars and menus can be created; layouts that incorporate splitters can be used; and plugins allow you to package any number of custom widgets and make them available to Qt Designer. Many other enhancements have been incorporated, from small improvements in the user interface to improved efficiency, for example the ability to share pixmaps across all the forms in an application.

This version of Qt Designer introduces project files which make it easy to switch between all the forms in an application, and to maintain a common set of database settings and images. Although subclassing is fully supported, writing code directly in Qt Designer offers a number of benefits which are covered in The Designer Approach chapter. A new library, libqui, has also been introduced which allows you to load dialogs dynamically at runtime from Qt Designer's .ui files. This allows you to provide your application's users with considerable interface customizability without them needing to use C++.

Although the new version of Qt Designer introduces new approaches and techniques you can ignore these aspects and simply use it in exactly the same way as you used the version supplied with Qt 2.x, if you just want a simple but powerful single dialog visual design tool.

What's New in Qt Designer for Qt 3.1?

What's New in Qt Designer for Qt 3.2?

Qt Designer


If you have any comments, suggestions, criticisms or even praise regarding this manual, please let us know at Bug reports on Qt or Qt Designer should be sent to You might also like to join the qt-interest mailing list, which Qt Designer's developers read and contribute to; see for further details.

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