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Darrell Velazquez
Darrell Velazquez

Qt Designer: What It Is and Why You Need It


Qt Designer Download: How to Install and Use the Qt GUI Design Tool




Qt Designer is a powerful tool for designing and building graphical user interfaces (GUIs) with Qt Widgets. You can compose and customize your windows or dialogs in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) manner, and test them using different styles and resolutions. Widgets and forms created with Qt Designer integrate seamlessly with programmed code, using Qt's signals and slots mechanism, so that you can easily assign behavior to graphical elements. All properties set in Qt Designer can be changed dynamically within the code. Furthermore, features like widget promotion and custom plugins allow you to use your own components with Qt Designer.


If you are looking for a way to create attractive and functional GUIs for your applications, then Qt Designer is a great option for you. In this article, we will show you how to download and install Qt Designer, how to use it to create GUIs, and how to integrate it with Python.




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What is Qt Designer and Why Use It?




Qt Designer is the Qt tool for designing and building graphical user interfaces (GUIs) with Qt Widgets. It is part of the Qt framework, which is a cross-platform application development platform that provides a rich set of tools and libraries for creating applications that can run on various software and hardware platforms with little or no change in the underlying codebase, while having the power and speed of native applications.


Qt Designer Features and Benefits




Some of the features and benefits of using Qt Designer are:


  • It provides a user-friendly graphical interface that allows you to quickly create GUIs by dragging and dropping widgets from the widget box onto the form.



  • It supports multiple editing modes, such as widget editing mode, signals and slots editing mode, buddy editing mode, tab order editing mode, etc., that enable you to customize different aspects of your GUI.



  • It supports various layouts, such as grid layout, horizontal layout, vertical layout, etc., that help you arrange your widgets in a structured way.



  • It supports custom widgets, which are widgets that you can create yourself or use from third-party libraries.



  • It supports resources, which are files that contain data such as images, icons, fonts, etc., that you can use in your GUI.



  • It supports stylesheets, which are files that contain style rules that define the appearance of your widgets.



  • It supports previewing your GUI in different styles and resolutions, so that you can see how it will look on different platforms and devices.



  • It supports saving your GUI as a .ui file, which is an XML file that contains the specifications of your GUI. You can then use this file in your code or convert it to other formats.



Qt Designer Alternatives and Competitors




Qt Designer is not the only tool for creating GUIs with Qt. There are also some alternatives and competitors that you may want to consider. Some of them are:


  • : A popular integrated development environment (IDE) that supports various languages and frameworks, including C++ and Qt.



  • : A powerful IDE for developing applications for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, that also supports C++ and Qt.



  • : The official IDE for Qt development, that integrates Qt Designer and other Qt tools.



  • : A free and open source IDE for C++, Python, PHP, and other languages, that supports Qt development.



  • : A version of Qt Designer that comes with PyQt, a Python binding for Qt.



Each of these tools has its own advantages and disadvantages, and you may prefer one over another depending on your needs and preferences. However, Qt Designer is still a widely used and reliable tool for creating GUIs with Qt Widgets, and it is compatible with most of the other tools mentioned above.


How to Download and Install Qt Designer




There are different ways to download and install Qt Designer, depending on your operating system and your development goals. Here are some of the common methods:


Downloading Qt Designer as Part of Qt Framework




The easiest way to get Qt Designer is to download it as part of the Qt framework, which includes all the tools and libraries you need to develop applications with Qt. You can download the Qt framework from the , which allows you to download and install the latest version of Qt with a graphical interface. The online installer also lets you update or uninstall Qt components later.


Once you have downloaded and installed the Qt framework, you can find Qt Designer in the bin folder of your Qt installation directory. For example, on Windows, it may be located at C:\Qt\6.2.0\mingw81_64\bin\designer.exe. You can run it by double-clicking on it or by using the command line.


Downloading Qt Designer Source Packages Offline




If you want to download Qt Designer source packages offline, you can do so from the , where you can find older versions of Qt and standalone packages of Qt tools. You can choose the package that matches your operating system and architecture, and then extract it to your desired location. You can then run Qt Designer from the extracted folder.


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Note that downloading Qt Designer source packages offline does not include the Qt libraries or other tools that you may need to develop applications with Qt. You will have to download and install them separately if you want to use them.


Downloading Qt Designer for Open Source Development




If you want to use Qt Designer for open source development, you can do so under the terms of the to download and install the open source version of Qt, by selecting the appropriate option during the installation process.


The open source version of Qt includes Qt Designer and other tools that you can use to create GUIs with Qt Widgets. You can find Qt Designer in the same location as described above for the commercial version of Qt.


How to Use Qt Designer to Create GUIs




Now that you have downloaded and installed Qt Designer, you may wonder how to use it to create GUIs for your applications. In this section, we will give you a brief overview of how to use some of the basic features and functions of Qt Designer. For more detailed information and tutorials, you can refer to the .


A Quick Start to Qt Designer




To start using Qt Designer, you need to create a new form or open an existing one. A form is a file that contains the specifications of your GUI, such as the widgets, layouts, properties, signals, slots, etc. You can create a new form by selecting File > New Form from the menu bar, or by clicking on the New Form button on the toolbar. You will then see a dialog box that lets you choose from various templates of forms, such as dialogs, main windows, widgets, etc. You can also create an empty form if you want to start from scratch.


Once you have created or opened a form, you will see the Qt Designer main window, which consists of several parts, such as the menu bar, the toolbar, the widget box, the form window, the property editor, the object inspector, the action editor, the signal/slot editor, etc. You can customize the appearance and layout of these parts according to your preferences.


To create your GUI, you need to add


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