KDDockWidgets is a Qt dock widget library written by KDAB, suitable for replacing QDockWidget and implementing advanced functionalities missing in Qt.

Although KDDockWidgets is ready to be used out of the box, it can also be seen as a framework to allow building very tailored custom docking systems. It tries to expose every internal widget and every knob for the app developer to tune.

You will find more information in these places:

We also have an in browser demo. Note however that this demo isn't fully featured, as it's running on Qt for WebAssembly.


Throughout the years KDAB contributed and funded bug fixes and features to QDockWidget. Sadly, this was very painful. Each bug fix or feature took many days of implementation, and an equal number of days just to fix dozens of regressions.

QDockWidget mixes GUI code with logic with state, making it very hard to move forward with new features. Furthermore, our customers were getting more creative with their requests, so it was clear we needed a better docking framework.


  • Provide advanced docking that QDockWidget doesn't support
    • Native window resize on Windows (allowing for Aero-snap even with custom title bar decorations)
    • Arrow drop indicators for great drop precision
    • Allow for totally different, user provided, drop indicator types
    • Nesting dock widgets in a floating window and docking that group back to main window
    • Docking to any main window, not only to the parent main window
    • Docking to center of main window, or simply removing the concept of "central widget"
    • Main window supporting detachable tabs in center widget
    • Detaching arbitrary tabs from a tab bar into a dock area
    • Supporting more than 1 main window
    • Support for affinities, making some dock widgets only dockable on certain main windows
    • Allow to hide TitleBar and just show tabs. Allows dragging via the tab bar.
    • Exposing inner helper widgets so the user can customize them or provide his own
      • Customize tab widgets
      • Customize title bars
      • Customize window frames
      • Custom widget separators
  • Cross-platform (macOS, Linux, Windows, WebAssembly, Wayland, X11/XCB, EGLFS are working) See and for platform specific information.
  • Layouting engine honouring min/max size constraints and some size policies
  • PySide bindings
  • Clean codebase
    • Not mixing GUI with state with logic with animations
    • Great test coverage, even the GUI and DnD operations are tested. 200 tests currently.
    • Fuzzer for doing random testing and finding bugs
  • Lazy separator resize
  • Reordering tabs with mouse
  • Partial layout save/restore, affecting only a chosen sub-set
  • Double click on title bar to maximize
  • Double click on separator to distribute equally
  • Show close button on tabs
  • Allow to make a dock widget non-closable and/or non-dockable
  • Optional minimize and maximize button on the title bar
  • FloatingWindows can be utility windows or full native

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