User Interfaces#

Qt’s technologies for Creating User Interfaces

The Qt framework’s main user interface technologies are Qt Quick and Qt Widgets. Qt Quick interfaces are fluid, dynamic, and are best on touch interfaces. Qt Widgets are for creating complex desktop applications. You can create Qt Quick and Qt Widgets interfaces with the target platform’s native look and feel.

Building UIs with Qt Quick#

Qt Quick is for creating dynamic and fluid user interfaces. The Qt Quick Controls module supplies QML types such as buttons, dialogs, and menus. You can use QML, a declarative language, to build the UI and JavaScript to implement the logic.

The following list contains related overviews:

Qt Widgets User Interfaces#

Qt Widgets are the user interface elements that are typical in desktop environments. The widgets integrate well to the underlying platform providing native look and feel on Windows, Linux and macOS. The widgets are mature and feature rich user interface elements suitable for mostly traditional user interfaces. In contrast to Qt Quick, the widgets are for creating large desktop applications and less suited for creating touch-centric applications with fluid interfaces.

The following list contains related overviews for Qt Widgets:

  • Widgets Classes

  • Animation Framework

  • Application Main Window

  • Dialog Windows

  • Drag and Drop

  • Gestures in Widgets and Graphics View

  • Layout Management

  • Window and Dialog Widgets

  • Styles and Style Aware Widgets

Comparison of UI Interfaces#

The following table compares Qt Widgets and Qt Quick interfaces.

Qt Quick / Qt Quick Controls

Qt Widgets


Used language(s)



Native look and feel



Qt Widgets and Qt Quick Controls support native look and feel on their target platforms.

Custom styling



Qt Widgets provide customization with style sheets and Qt Quick Controls has a selection of customizable styles.

Fluid animated UIs


Qt Widgets do not scale well for animations. Qt Quick offers a convenient and natural way to implement animations in a declarative manner.

Touch screen


Qt Widgets often require a mouse cursor for good interaction, whereas Qt Quick provides QML types for touch interaction.

Standard industry widgets


Qt Widgets provide all the bells and whistles, developed over two decades, needed for building standard industry type applications.

Model/View programming



Qt Quick provides convenient views, but Qt Widgets provide more convenient and complete framework. In addition to Qt Quick views, Qt Quick Controls provide a TableView.

Rapid UI development



Qt Quick is an excellent choice for rapid UI prototyping and development.

HW accelerated graphics



Qt provides full hardware acceleration for Qt Quick interfaces and Qt Widgets interfaces are rendered in software. The Graphics overview has more information.

Graphical effects


Several Qt Quick modules provide graphical effects and Qt Widgets interfaces can use Qt GUI for effects.

Rich text processing



Qt Widgets currently provide the most comprehensive base for implementing text editors. Qt’s rich text document classes can also be utilized in Qt Quick and Qt Quick Controls’ TextArea, but may require some C++ implementation.