The complete PySide2 tutorial — Create GUI applications with Python

The easy way to create desktop applications

Create Desktop GUI Applications with PySide2

This complete PySide2 tutorial takes you from first concepts to building fully-functional GUI applications in Python. It requires some basic Python knowledge, but no previous familiarity with GUI concepts. Everything will be introduced step by by step, using hands-on examples.

PySide2 is the Qt5-based edition of the Python GUI library PySide from The Qt Company.

Looking for something else? I also have a PyQt5 tutorial, PyQt6 tutorial and PySide6 tutorial.

This track includes 24 tutorials.

Getting started with PySide

Take your first steps building Python & Qt5 apps with PySide

Like writing any code, building PySide applications is all about approaching it in the right way. In the first part of the course we cover the fundamentals necessary to get you building Python GUIs as quickly as possible. By the end of the first part you'll have a running QApplication which we can then customize.

Creating your first app with PySide2

A simple Hello World! application with Python and Qt

Signals, Slots & Events

Triggering actions in response to user behaviors and GUI events


Using PySide2's built-in widgets to build your applications

Layout management

Use layouts to effortlessly position widgets within the window

Actions — Toolbars & Menus

Defining toolbars, menus and keyboard shortcuts with QAction

Dialogs and Alerts

Notify your users and ask for their input

Creating additional windows

Opening new windows for your application

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Creating applications with Qt Designer

Using the drag-drop designer to develop your PySide apps

As your applications get larger or interfaces become more complicated, it can get a bit cumbersome to define all elements programmatically. The good news is that Qt comes with a graphical editor Qt Designer (or Qt Creator) which contains a drag-and-drop UI editor — Qt Designer. In this PySide tutorial we'll cover the basics of creating Python GUIs with Qt Designer.

First steps with Qt Designer

Use Qt Designer's drag and drop interface to design your GUI

The QResource System

Using the QResource system to package additional data with your applications

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Extended UI features

Extending your PySide apps with complex GUI behaviour

In this PySide tutorial we'll cover some advanced features of Qt that you can use to improve your Python GUIs.

Transmitting extra data with Qt Signals

Modifying widget signals to pass contextual information to slots

System tray & Mac menu bar applications

Add quick access functions to your apps

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Threads & Processes

Run concurrent tasks without impacting your PySide UI

As your applications become more complex you may finding yourself wanting to perform long-running tasks, such as interacting with remote APIs or performing complex calculations. By default any code you write exists in the same thread and process, meaning your long-running code can actually block Qt execution and cause your Python GUI app to "hang". In this PySide tutorial we'll cover how to avoid this happening and keep your applications running smoothly, no matter the workload.

Multithreading PySide2 applications with QThreadPool

Run background tasks concurrently without impacting your UI

Using QProcess to run external programs

Run background programs without impacting your UI

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ModelViews and Databases

Connecting your PySide application to data sources

All but the simplest of apps will usually need to interact with some kind of external data store — whether that's a database, a remote API or simple configuration data. The Qt ModelView architecture simplifies the linking and updating your UI with data in custom formats or from external sources. In this PySide tutorial we'll discover how you can use Qt ModelViews to build high performance Python GUIs.

The ModelView Architecture

Qt's MVC-like interface for displaying data in views

Displaying tabular data in Qt ModelViews

Create customized table views with conditional formatting, numpy and pandas data sources.

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Graphics and Plotting

Vector graphics and plotting using PyQtGraph in PySide

Python is one of the most popular languages in the data science and machine learning fields. Effective visualization of data is a key part of building usable interfaces for data science. Matplotlib is the most popular plotting library in Python, and comes with support for PyQt built in. In addition, there are PyQt-specific plotting options available such as PyQtGraph which provide a better interactive experience. In this tutorial we'll look at these alternatives and build some simple plot interfaces.

Plotting with PyQtGraph

Create custom plots in PySide with PyQtGraph

Plotting with Matplotlib

Create PySide plots with the popular Python plotting library

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Custom Widgets

Designing your own custom widgets in PySide

Widgets in Qt are built on bitmap graphics — drawing pixels on a rectangular canvas to construct the "widget". To be able to create your own custom widgets you first need to understand how the QPainter system works and what you can do with it. In this PySide tutorial we'll go from basic bitmap graphics to our own entirely custom widget.

QPainter and Bitmap Graphics

Introduction to the core features of QPainter

Creating custom GUI widgets in PySide2

Build a completely functional custom widget from scratch using QPainter

Animating custom widgets with QPropertyAnimation

Add dynamic visual effects to your custom widgets

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Packaging and distribution

Sharing your PySide applications with other people

There comes a point in any app's development where it needs to leave home — half the fun in writing software is being able to share it with other people. Packaging Python GUI apps can be a little tricky, but in this PySide tutorial we'll cover how to package up your apps to share, whether commercially or just for fun.

Packaging PySide2 applications for Windows, with PyInstaller

Turn your Qt5 application into a distributable installer for Windows

Packaging PySide apps with fbs

Distribute cross-platform GUI applications with the fman Build System

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QtQuick & QML

Building modern PySide2 GUIs with QtQuick & QML

Qt Quick is Qt's declarative UI design system, using the Qt Modeling Language (QML) to define custom user interfaces. Originally developed for use in mobile applications, it offers dynamic graphical elements and fluid transitions and effects allowing you to replicate the kinds of UIs you find on mobile devices. Qt Quick is supported on all desktop platforms too and is a great choice for building desktop widgets or other interactive tools. Qt Quick is also a great choice for developing UIs for hardware and microcontrollers with PySide2.

Create applications with QtQuick

Build modern applications with declarative QML

Animations and Transformations with QtQuick

Building an animated analog clock in QML

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