PySide2 Tutorial

The complete PySide2 tutorial — Create GUI applications with Python

The easy way to create desktop applications

Last updated

Create Desktop GUI Applications with PySide2

PySide, also known as Qt for Python, is a Python library for creating GUI applications using the Qt toolkit. PySide is the official binding for Qt on Python and is now developed by The Qt Company itself.

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.

There are two major versions currently in use: PySide2 based on Qt5 and PySide6 based on Qt6. Both versions are almost completely compatible aside from imports, and lack of support for some advanced modules in Qt6. PyQt6 also makes some changes to how namespaces and flags work, but these are easily manageable.

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 consists of 26 tutorials. Keep checking back as I'm adding new tutorials regularly — last updated .

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

PySide2 Frequently Asked Questions

PySide2 vs PySide6

What are the differences, and is it time to upgrade?

Opening links in a new window with QWebEngineView

Redirect links to a separate floating browser window

Q&A: QProcess.start() is deprecated, what are the alternatives?

Update how you launch subprocesses with arguments

PyQt vs PySide Licensing

Everything you need to know about LGPL and GPL for your PySide/PyQt applications

Implementing QPainter flood fill in PyQt5/PySide

Filling irregular regions in a QPainter canvas

Q&A: How do I display an Image in PyQt5/PySide2?

Using QLabel to easily add images to your applications

PyQt5 vs PySide2

What's the difference between the two Python Qt libraries? ...and what's exactly the same (most of it)

QtWebEngineWidgets, the new browser API in PyQt 5.6

Simplified page model and asynchronous methods