How to Create Custom Widget in QT C++

How to Create Custom Widget in QT C++

Hello everyone, in this article we are going to talk about How can we create a custom widget in QT Framework with C++. We will create a digital clock widget which derived from QWidget class.

Let's get started...

In this article we are going to create a Digital Watch widget. Here is the steps:
  • First We are create a class named as digitalwatch and we derive it from QWidget class.
  • Second we are going to add required elements. In this example I will add a QLabel to show current time.
  • Third I will add rquired slots and signals to update the widget and inform some places if required.
  • And last I will create a Layout and add my widget in it.
  • And we will show it inside our MainWindow form.

Lets create our class which derived from QWidget class. This is the basic header file of my class.


class TheWatch : public QWidget

    TheWatch(QWidget *parent = nullptr);


Now let's add our required element, signals and slots in it. In here I will add QLabel to show the current time. Also I will write a slot to update the value of QLabel.


class TheWatch : public QWidget

    TheWatch(QWidget *parent = nullptr);

private :
    QLabel *lblWatch;

private slots:
    void writeUpdatedTime();

    void timeUpdated(QString timetext);


Here I added Q_OBJECT macro to use QObject features. In here I will use signal and slots so I need to add Q_OBJECT macro inside the private area of my custom widget class. Q_OBJECT macro is required.

I defined the QLabel here and I will initialized it in implementation side.

Now let's make our custom class implementation. In here I class constructor and update slot method.


TheWatch::TheWatch(QWidget *parent)
    QHBoxLayout *layout = new QHBoxLayout(this); // this keyword is iimportant, we tell the widget the parent withn be showed

   lblWatch = new QLabel(QString("00:00:00"));
   QString strFont = "font: 75 108pt 'Comic Sans MS',";
   lblWatch->setMargin(0); // to stretch the widget

   qDebug() << "TheWatch Constructor";



void TheWatch::writeUpdatedTime()
   lblWatch->setText( QDateTime::currentDateTime().toString("hh:mm:ss") );

In constructor I have created a HorizontialLayout and added my QLabel in it. Then I configured QLabel's visual properties. And astly added it in my HorizontialLayout. In writeUpdateTime slot we will set the time which is coming with timetext parameter.

Important : You can create only one Layout while creating a custom widget. So we can not create another Horizontial or Vertical etc. layouts.


CustomDigitalWatch::CustomDigitalWatch(QWidget *parent) :
    ui(new Ui::CustomDigitalWatch)

    theWatch = new TheWatch();

    QGridLayout *layout = new QGridLayout;


    QTimer *timer = new QTimer(this);
    connect( timer , SIGNAL(timeout()), theWatch, SLOT(writeUpdatedTime()) );

Now our custom widget is ready. You can see the image of the working example... QT C++ Custom Digital Watch Widget Example output

As you can see above our custom widget is ready and we are good to adapt it for our requirements.

That is all in this article.

Burak Hamdi TUFAN


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