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Original author(s)Julian Smart[1][2][3]
Developer(s)Various developers and contributors[4]
Initial release1992; 32 years ago (1992)[5]
Stable release3.2.4 (11 November 2023; 8 months ago (2023-11-11) [6]) [±]
Written inC++
Operating systemCross-platform
TypeDevelopment library
LicensewxWidgets Licence

wxWidgets (formerly wxWindows) is a widget toolkit and tools library for creating graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for cross-platform applications. wxWidgets enables a program's GUI code to compile and run on several computer platforms with no significant code changes. A wide choice of compilers and other tools to use with wxWidgets facilitates development of sophisticated applications.[7] wxWidgets supports a comprehensive range of popular operating systems and graphical libraries, both proprietary and free.

The project was started under the name wxWindows in 1992 by Julian Smart at the University of Edinburgh.[1] The project was renamed wxWidgets in 2004 in response to a trademark claim by Microsoft UK.

It is free and open source software, distributed under the terms of the wxWidgets Licence, which satisfies those who wish to produce for GPL and proprietary software.[8]

Portability and deployment[edit]

wxWidgets covers systems such as Microsoft Windows, Mac OS (Carbon and Cocoa), iOS (Cocoa Touch), Linux/Unix (X11, Motif, and GTK), OpenVMS, OS/2 and AmigaOS. A version for embedded systems is under development.[9]

wxWidgets is used across various industry sectors, most notably by Xerox, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Lockheed Martin, NASA and the Center for Naval Analyses. It is also used in the public sector and education by, for example, Dartmouth Medical School, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Center for Biotechnology Information, and many others.[7] wxWidgets is used in many open source projects,[10] and by individual developers.


wxWidgets (initially wxWindows; "w" is for Windows, and "x" is for X Window System)[11] was started in 1992 by Julian Smart at the University of Edinburgh.[1] He attained an honours degree in Computational science from the University of St Andrews in 1986, and is still a core developer.[2]

On 20 February 2004, the developers of wxWindows announced that the project was changing its name to wxWidgets, as a result of Microsoft requesting Julian Smart to respect Microsoft's United Kingdom trademark of the term Windows.[12]

Major release versions were 2.4 on 6 January 2003, 2.6 on 21 April 2005 and 2.8.0 on 14 December 2006. Version 3.0 was released on 11 November 2013.

wxWidgets has participated in the Google Summer of Code since 2006.[13][14]

The following table contains the release history of wxWidgets, showing all of its major release versions.

Version number Date Notable changes
Project started by Julian Smart 1992[15]
wxWindows 1
Alpha 1 5 April 1997[16]
Beta 1 24 December 1998[16]
wxWidgets 2
2.0.1 1 March 1999[16]
2.2.0 9 July 2000[17]
2.4.0 6 January 2003[17]
2.6.0 21 April 2005[17]
2.8.0 14 December 2006[18]
  • wxAUI library.
  • Generic wxRichTextCtrl.
  • wxComboCtrl with custom, graphical comboboxes.
  • Further functionality including wxAnimationCtrl, wxSimpleHtmlListBox, wxHyperlinkCtrl, wxColourPickerCtrl, wxDirPickerCtrl, wxFilePickerCtrl, wxFontPickerCtrl, wxCollapsiblePane, wxSearchCtrl, wxAboutBox, wxTreebook, tar streams.
2.8.11 23 April 2010
2.8.12 28 March 2011
2.9.0 8 September 2009
2.9.1 19 July 2010
2.9.2 5 July 2011
2.9.3 14 December 2011
2.9.4 9 July 2012
2.9.5 16 July 2013
wxWidgets 3
3.0.0 11 November 2013[16]
  • GTK+ 3 port
  • Transparent Unicode support
  • Unification of debug-release builds
  • Cocoa-based wxOSX port running in 64-bit mode
  • PersistentControls
  • Support for window-modal and application-modal dialogs
  • wxRibbon – ribbon implementation
  • wxPropertyGrid
3.0.1 15 June 2014
3.0.2 6 October 2014
3.0.3 2 May 2017
3.0.4 8 March 2018
3.0.5 27 April 2020
3.1.0 29 February 2016
  • Better support for high DPI displays, especially under Windows.
  • Support for latest compilers including MSVS 2015, g++ 5.3 and clang 3.8, including in C++11 mode.
  • Revamped OpenGL support better suited to modern OpenGL (3.2+).
  • New wxActivityIndicator and wxNativeWindow classes.
  • Improvements to wxNotificationMessage.
  • Several new methods such as wxTextEntry::ForceUpper(), wxProcess::Activate(), wxDateTime::GetWeekBasedYear(), wxListBox::GetTopItem(), wxStandardPaths::GetUserDir(), wxUIActionSimulator::Select().
  • Updated versions of the bundled third party libraries and support for GStreamer 1.0 under Unix.
  • New experimental wxQt port.
  • Bug fixes.
3.1.1 19 February 2018[19]
  • wxWidgets 3.1.1 is the second release in the 3.1 development branch. This release is a "development" one as it makes (very few) incompatible API changes compared to 3.0 and does not guarantee the ABI stability, unlike the 3.0.x series.[19]
3.1.2 10 December 2018
  • Initial support for macOS 10.14 and its dark mode.
  • Support for non-integer font sizes and arbitrary font weights.
  • New wxLZMA{Input,Output}Stream classes.
  • Add wxDataViewToggleRenderer::ShowAsRadio(), wxDisplay::GetPPI(), wxGrid::SetCornerLabelValue(), wxHtmlEasyPrinting::SetPromptMode(), wxJoystickEvent::GetButtonOrdinal(), wxToolbook::EnablePage().
3.1.3 28 October 2019
  • Support for per-monitor DPI and dynamic DPI changes under MSW.
  • More generally, many fixes for various controls appearance in high DPI.
  • Long requested support for freezing rows and/or columns in wxGrid.
  • New XRC handlers for wxDataViewCtrl, wxInfoBar.
  • It is now possible to use gradients when creating wxGraphicsPen.
  • Extended compiler (MSVS 2019) and platforms (macOS 10.14+) support.
  • Significant improvements to the (still experimental) wxQt port.
  • Important bug fixes for focus handling in wxOSX port.
3.1.4 22 July 2020
  • wxOSX port now supports the latest macOS 11 on ARM hardware.
  • wxMSW comes with a new Edge-based wxWebView implementation.
  • Better, although still not perfect, per-monitor DPI support in wxMSW.
  • wxGrid has been significantly improved and is now much user friendlier.
  • AUI appearance enhancements for non-default GTK themes and macOS dark mode.
  • wxWidgets may now be built with C++20 compiler.
  • Improvements to CMake build system.
  • Allow optionally forbidding dangerous implicit wxString conversions.
3.1.5 14 April 2021
  • New wxWebRequest and related classes provide a simple way to use HTTPS and HTTP/2 from wxWidgets applications using native libraries or libcurl.
  • Support EGL in wxGLCanvas and Wayland in wxMediaCtrl under Linux.
  • Many appearance and other fixes for macOS 11.
  • More improvements to wxGrid UI, API and performance.
  • wxImage improvements: add alpha support in Paste() and clipboard support.
  • API additions: wxPersistentComboBox, wxFileName::ResolveLink(), wxFileHistory::SetMenuPathStyle(), wxString::utf8_string(), wxEVT_FULLSCREEN.
  • Improvements: wxConfig now supports 64-bit integers, wxLog uses millisecond resolution in timestamps, XRC files can be loaded from URLs.
  • Drop Borland C++ support.
3.1.6 4 April 2022
  • Many HiDPI improvements.
  • New wxBitmapBundle class allowing to provide art work for both normal and high DPI in a simple way.
  • New wxUILocale class replacing the old (but still available) wxLocale, but not suffering from its multiple problems and providing more functionality.
  • Support for using native spell-checking in wxTextCtrl.
  • Support for undo/redo in wxTextCtrl in wxOSX.
  • Better drag-and-drop implementation in wxOSX.
  • Fixes for important bugs in wxDataViewCtrl under all platforms.
  • Many improvements and bug fixes for Wayland support in wxGTK.
  • Support for the latest OS versions (Windows 11, macOS 12) and compilers (MSVS 2022, gcc 12, clang 13).
  • Project bug tracker has been moved to GitHub Issues.
3.1.7 6 June 2022
  • CMake build system improvements (better precompiled headers support).
  • New wxFileDialog customization API working with IFileDialog in wxMSW.
  • Many updated translations and new wxTRANSLATE_IN_CONTEXT().
  • Fixes for bad interactions with new macOS 12 features in wxOSX.
  • Several previously missing attributes added to multiple XRC handlers.
  • Row reordering by dragging and UI enhancements in wxGrid.
  • Ability to suppress selected (or all) GTK warning messages in wxGTK.
3.2.0 7 July 2022
  • Drop Win9x platform support.
  • Drop Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 support.
  • MacOS native dark mode support.
  • Support for ARM versions of MacOS.
  • HiDPI and per-monitor DPI API.
  • Wayland support.
  • wxWebRequest now supports HTTPS and HTTP/2.
3.2.1 9 September 2022
  • Add wxFileDialog::AddShortcut().
  • Add wxStyledTextCtrl support to XRC schema file.
  • Bug fixes.
3.2.2 9 February 2023
  • Allow 'T' separator in wxDateTime::ParseDateTime().
  • Add wxUILocale::GetSystemLocaleId() replacing GetSystemLocale().
  • Add support for Caps/Num/Scroll Lock to wxGetKeyState().
  • Bug fixes. 13 February 2023
  • Hot fix for a problem with icons in wxGenericTextCtrl.
3.2.3 10 October 2023
  • Disallow pasting of characters forbidden by wxTextValidator.
  • Bug fixes.
3.2.4 11 November 2023
  • Bug fixes.
Future versions


wxWindows Licence
Debian FSG compatibleYes
FSF approvedYes
OSI approvedYes
GPL compatibleYes
Linking from code with a different licenceYes
Websitewww.wxwidgets.org Edit this on Wikidata

wxWidgets is distributed under a custom made wxWindows Licence, similar to the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), with an exception stating that derived works in binary form may be distributed on the user's own terms.[8] This license is a free software license approved by the FSF,[20] making wxWidgets free software. It has been approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI).[21]

Official support[edit]

Supported platforms[edit]

wxWidgets is supported on the following platforms:[22][23]

  • Windows – wxMSW (32/64-bits Windows XP up to Windows 11)
  • Linux/UnixwxGTK, wxX11, wxMotif
  • Mac OS – wxMac (Mac OS X 10.3 using Carbon, Mac OS X 10.5 using Cocoa), wxOSX/Cocoa (32/64-bits Mac OS X 10.7 or later)
  • OS/2 – wxOS2, wxPM, wxWidgets for GTK or Motif can be compiled on OS/2
  • Embedded platforms – wxEmbedded[9]

External ports[edit]

  • Amiga – wxWidgets-AOS: AmigaOS port (Work In Progress)[24]

Supported compilers[edit]

wxWidgets is officially confirmed to work properly with the following compilers:[25][26]

Toolkit Compiler Version
wxMSW Microsoft Visual Studio – Visual C++ 5.0+
Borland C++ (dropped in 3.1.5) 5.5+
C++Builder 2006+
Watcom C++, OpenWatcom 10.6+
CodeWarrior 7+
Cygwin 1.5+
MinGW 2.0+
Digital Mars C/C++ compiler 8.40+
wxGTK g++ 2.95+
Clang++ 3.3+
Intel C++ Compiler 9.1+
Sun Studio C/C++ 5.9
HP aC++ 3.8
IBM XL C/C++ 8.0

Programming language bindings[edit]

wxPython logo

The wxWidgets library is implemented in C++, with bindings available for many commonly used programming languages.[27]

wxWidgets is best described as a native mode toolkit as it provides a thin abstraction to a platform's native widgets, contrary to emulating the display of widgets using graphic primitives. Calling a native widget on the target platform results in a more native looking interface than toolkits such as Swing (for Java), as well as offering performance and other benefits.[28]

The toolkit is also not restricted to GUI development, having an inter-process communication layer, socket networking functionality, and more.

RAD tools and IDEs for wxWidgets[edit]

CodeLite under Windows XP
Code::Blocks running under Ubuntu

There are many Rapid Application Development (RAD) and Integrated Development Environment (IDE) tools available. Notable tools include:[29][30]

Applications built using wxWidgets[edit]

Amaya under Windows 7

Notable applications that use wxWidgets:

See also[edit]

  • FLTK – a light, cross platform, non-native widget toolkit
  • FOX toolkit – a fast, open source, cross-platform widget toolkit
  • GTK – the GIMP toolkit, a widget toolkit used by GNOME applications
  • gtkmm – C++ version of GTK
  • Juce – an extensive cross-platform widget toolkit
  • IUP – a multi-platform toolkit for building native graphical user interfaces
  • Qt (toolkit) – an application framework used by KDE applications
  • U++ – a C++ cross-platform development framework
  • Widget toolkit
  • List of widget toolkits


  1. ^ a b c "About the wxWidgets Project". wxwidgets.org. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  2. ^ a b "About Julian Smart, www.anthemion.co.uk". anthemion.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  3. ^ "Julian Smart". bookfayre.cz. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  4. ^ "The Team - wxWidgets". wxwidgets.org.
  5. ^ "History - wxWidgets". www.wxwidgets.org.
  6. ^ "wxWidgets: 3.2.4 Released". 2023-11-11. Retrieved 2023-11-11.
  7. ^ a b "About Who uses wxWidgets?". wxwidgets.org. Retrieved 2011-04-12.
  8. ^ a b ""License" page on website". The wxWindows Licence is essentially the LGPL, with an exception stating that derived works in binary form may be distributed on the user's own terms.
  9. ^ a b "wxEmbedded | embedded cross platform GUI library homepage". www.wxembedded.com.
  10. ^ "List of open source applications that uses wxWidgets". SourceForge.net. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  11. ^ "History - wxWidgets". www.wxwidgets.org. Retrieved 2023-03-31.
  12. ^ Smart, Julian; Dunn, Robin (August 2004). "Name change". Sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
  13. ^ Smart, Julian (2006-10-10). "Google Summer of Code 2006: wxWidgets projects summary". wxwidgets.org. Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  14. ^ "Google Summer of Code 2006". Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  15. ^ "History of wxWidgets". wxwidgets.org. Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  16. ^ a b c d "wxWidgets Change Log". wxwidgets.org. Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  17. ^ a b c "News". wxwidgets.org. Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  18. ^ Sudiarto Raharjo, Willy (2006-12-14). "WxWidgets 2.8.0". Retrieved 2011-04-11.
  19. ^ a b "wxWidgets/wxWidgets Releases". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  20. ^ "Various Licenses and Comments about Them – GNU Project - Free Software Foundation".
  21. ^ "Open Source Initiative OSI – The wxWindows Library Licence:Licensing". Open Source Initiative. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
  22. ^ "wxWidgets: Introduction". docs.wxwidgets.org. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  23. ^ "wxWidgets: Platform Details". docs.wxwidgets.org. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  24. ^ "wxWidgets-AOS: AmigaOS port". Retrieved 2011-04-24.
  25. ^ "Supported Platforms". wxwidgets.org. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
  26. ^ "Development: Supported Classes - WxWiki". wiki.wxwidgets.org.
  27. ^ "wxWidgets General Information". wxwidgets.org. Retrieved 2015-08-01.
  28. ^ "WxWidgets Compared To Other Toolkits". wxwidgets.org. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  29. ^ "Tools for wxWidgets". wxwidgets.org. Retrieved 2011-04-12.
  30. ^ "List of Integrated Development Environments". wxwidgets.org. Retrieved 2011-04-12.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]