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PyQt Designer and QML plugins

Project description

PyPI version supported Python versions source on GitHub

The PyQt5 wheels do not provide tools such as Qt Designer that were included in the old binary installers. This package aims to provide those in a separate package which is useful for developers while the official PyQt5 wheels stay focused on fulfilling the dependencies of PyQt5 applications.

Both Windows and Linux are supported. Adjust paths etc accordingly if applying the explanations below in Linux rather than Windows. macOS support is incomplete but see issue #12 if you want to discuss it.


yourenv/Scripts/pip.exe install pyqt5-tools~=5.15

You will generally install pyqt5-tools using pip install. In most cases you should be using virtualenv or venv to create isolated environments to install your dependencies in. The above command assumes an env in the directory yourenv. The ~=5.15 specifies a release compatible with 5.15 which will be the latest version of pyqt5-tools built for PyQt5 5.15. If you are using a different PyQt5 version, specify it instead of 5.15. PyPI keeps a list of all available versions.


As of pyqt5-tools v3 the package has been broken down into four pieces. The wrappers remain here but the plugins are located in pyqt5-plugins, some Qt application helpers in qt5-tools, and the applications are in qt5-applications.


A program is provided available as Scripts/pyqt5-tools.exe. There are subcommands provided for each of Designer, QML Scene, and the QML Test Runner. These wrapper commands provide additional functionality related to launching the underlying programs. A larger set of Qt application are available as subcommands of the Scripts/qt5-tools.exe program. In both cases, passing --help will list the available subcommands.

Additionally, each pyqt5-tools subcommand listed below includes a parameter to run a basic example which can be used to see if the plugins are working. These examples are not intended to be used as examples of good code.

Each subcommand searches up the filesystem tree from your current working directory to find a .env file and loads it if found. If found, the environment variable DOT_ENV_DIRECTORY will be set to the directory containing the .env file. With this extra variable you can specify paths relative to the .env location.



There is a Scripts/pyqt5-tools.exe designer.exe entry point that will help fill out PYQTDESIGNERPATH from either command line arguments or a .env file. Unknown arguments are passed through to the original Qt Designer program.

Usage: pyqt5-tools designer [OPTIONS]

  -p, --widget-path DIRECTORY     Paths to be combined with PYQTDESIGNERPATH
  --example-widget-path           Include the path for the pyqt5-tools example
                                  button (c:\users\sda\testenv\lib\site-

  --designer-help                 Pass through to get Designer's --help
  --test-exception-dialog         Raise an exception to check the exception
                                  dialog functionality.

  --qt-debug-plugins / --no-qt-debug-plugins
                                  Set QT_DEBUG_PLUGINS=1
  --help                          Show this message and exit.

If you want to view the generated code from within Designer, you can run Scripts/pyqt5-tools.exe installuic and it will copy pyuic6.exe such that Designer will use it and show you generated Python code. Note that this will enable viewing using the C++ menu item while the Python menu item will be broken. Without having made this adjustment, the C++ option shows C++ code while the Python option shows PySide2 code. pyqt5 must already be installed or this script will be unable to find the original pyuic6.exe to copy.

In addition to the standard features of the official Designer plugin, this provides an exception dialog for your widget’s Python code. Otherwise Designer in Windows silently crashes on Python exceptions.

QML Plugin

The QML plugin is also included. In the future a tool may be provided to handle copying of the plugin to each directory where it is needed. For now this must be done manually.


QML Scene

Usage: pyqt5-tools qmlscene [OPTIONS]

  -p, --qml2-import-path DIRECTORY
                                  Paths to be combined with QML2_IMPORT_PATH
  --qmlscene-help                 Pass through to get QML scene's --help
  --qt-debug-plugins / --no-qt-debug-plugins
                                  Set QT_DEBUG_PLUGINS=1
  --run-qml-example               Run the pyqt5-tools QML example
  --help                          Show this message and exit.

QML Test Runner

Usage: pyqt5-tools qmltestrunner [OPTIONS]

  -p, --qml2-import-path DIRECTORY
                                  Paths to be combined with QML2_IMPORT_PATH
  --qmltestrunner-help            Pass through to get QML test runner's --help
  --qt-debug-plugins / --no-qt-debug-plugins
                                  Set QT_DEBUG_PLUGINS=1
  --test-qml-example              Test the pyqt5-tools QML example
  --help                          Show this message and exit.

Special Thanks


Thanks to MacStadium for providing me with a macOS system to develop and test out the final pyqt5-tools platform. This is still ‘in work’. See issue #12.

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