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libeditor is an architecture for building document editors. It strives to automatically provide functionality that a user might expect of such programs, such as undo/redo, interface customization, hotkey support and persistent configuration.


  • QWebView for displaying document contents (HTML)
  • Multi-document support with tabs
  • Easy to create toolbars and menus
  • Actions with built-in support for shorcuts, undo/redo and greying out


The architecture is based on four concepts:

  • Document is the class that contains the data to be edited. It is a QWidget object (by default QWebView), and it has a title, an undo_stack and a refresh() method.

  • Action encapsulates a possible user action, such as opening a new document or inserting something in the current one. It has a label and shortcut, allowing it to be placed in menus or toolbars, where its availability (greyed out or not) is defined by the parameter is_available(doc). Its main function(doc) may execute the action directly or return a Command to do so.

  • Command is an action executed upon a specific document. The user must extend the class and override its redo() and undo() methods.

  • MainWindow contains zero or more Documents displayed in tabs, toolbars and menus containing Actions and supports opening new documents, redoing and undoing commands out of the box.

Detailed behavior

  • Tabs

    • Tabs can be reordered by dragging
    • The currently focused tab has a close button (like Firefox)
    • Ctrl+W closes the current tab
    • Middle click closes the clicked tab
    • Tab bar is hidden when there's only one document
    • Automatically focus on newly opened tabs
  • Main Window

    • Empty documents can be created with Ctrl+N
    • Unnamed documents are labeled "Untitled Document x"
    • Easy to add new toolbars and menus with their actions
    • Title displays the current document name
    • "App" object is created automatically
    • Window size, position and toolbars are saved and loaded automatically
    • Method to quickly add a standard 'File' menu
  • Actions

    • Can contain a label
    • Support for redo and undo functions
    • Receives an availability function and refreshes automatically
    • Can have shortcuts
    • Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+Shift+Z automatically undo and redo the last actions
    • Undo stack is kept in a per-document basis
    • Actions without undo are considered global
    • 'None' actions are rendered as separators in toolbars and menus
  • Document

    • Has a title, filepath and filetype
    • Contains its own undo stack
    • Keeps track of which executed commands were saved (clean) or not
    • Asks for confirmation when closing with unsaved changes
    • Save and save-as work as expected

Future features

  • Support dynamic toolbars (variable number of actions)
  • Enable default menus (File, Edit)
  • Macro support? Technically the undo_stack already has it
  • Status bar?
  • Auto updater?
  • Reset geomtry/state?
  • Fix title bug when file is saved with different name


Library for creating a multi-document editor with a desktop GUI






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