Introduction to Software Engineering/Tools/GUI Builder

A graphical user interface builder (or GUI builder), also known as GUI designer, is a software development tool that simplifies the creation of GUIs by allowing the designer to arrange widgets using a drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor. Without a GUI builder, a GUI must be built by manually specifying each widget's parameters in code, with no visual feedback until the program is run.

User interfaces are commonly programmed using an event-driven architecture, so GUI builders also simplify creating event-driven code. This supporting code connects widgets with the outgoing and incoming events that trigger the functions providing the application logic.

List of GUI builders



  • AutoIt
  • Axure RP
  • Cocoa/OpenStep
    • Interface Builder
  • Embedded Wizard a commercial development tool focussed on user interface applications for embedded systems.
  • Fast, Light Toolkit (FLTK)
    • FLUID
  • GNUstep
    • Gorm
  • GEM
    • Resource construction set
    • Interface by Shift Computer
    • ORCS (Otto's RCS)
    • K-Resource
    • Resource Master
    • Annabel Junior
    • WERCS by HiSoft
  • GTK+
    • Glade Interface Designer
    • Gazpacho
    • Gideon Designer
  • GUI Builder
  • Intrinsics
  • Justinmind Prototyper
  • LucidChart
  • Object Pascal
    • fpGUI UI Designer (included with fpGUI Toolkit)
  • OpenWindows
    • guide (GUI builder)
  • Pencil Project
  • Qt
  • Scaleform
  • Tk (framework)
  • Wavemaker open source, browser-based development platform for Ajax development based on Dojo, Spring, Hibernate
  • Windows Presentation Foundation
    • Microsoft Expression Blend
  • wxWidgets
  • XForms (toolkit)
    • fdesign
  • Crank Storyboard Suite

IDE Plugins

  • NetBeans GUI design tool, formerly known as Matisse.
  • Visual Editor - A free (Eclipse Public License) plugin for Eclipse on MS Windows and Linux (GTK and Motif).
  • Jigloo - A free for non-commercial use plugin for Eclipse on MS Windows, Linux (gtk) and Mac OSX.
  • WxSmith - A Code::Blocks plug-in for RAD editing of wxWidgets applications.
  • Himalia Guilder (Only for Visual Studio 2005; no release since December '06.)

List of development environments


IDEs with GUI builders

  • ActiveState Komodo
  • Adobe Flash Builder
  • Anjuta
  • Ares
  • CodeGear RAD Studio (former Borland Development Studio)
  • Clarion
  • Code::Blocks
  • Gambas
  • Just BASIC/Liberty BASIC
  • KDevelop
  • Lazarus
  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • MonoDevelop
  • MSEide+MSEgui
  • NetBeans
  • Qt Creator
  • REALbasic
  • SharpDevelop
  • Softwell Maker
  • WinDev
  • wxDev-C++
  • Oracle Application Express