Draw the frame of a QGroupBox around a QFrame (Fusion style QGroupBox bug workaround)

  • Hi :-)

    I've been working on the following problem for quite some time now, and I can't get it to work.

    The basic problem is that there is a bug in the Fusion style that, other than with other styles (like Breeze), causes a QGroupBox without a title to have an unneeded top border. There's a quite old bug report about this: https://bugreports.qt.io/browse/QTBUG-44056 that has been closed with a patch meanwhile. The problem is that the patch does fix the border spacing, but it introduces a new spacing issue (cf. the screenshot I posted in the bug), so it's actually not fixed.

    In the Gerrit review, one dev proposed to simply use a QFrame instead of a title-less QGroupBox. While I think that simply using another widget instead of fixing a bug in Qt's default style is not the right way to go, I tried that.

    Problem is that there doesn't seem to be an easy way to make a QFrame look like a QGroupBox. And here we are: Is it possible to make a QFrame draw the QGroupBox frame around it and have the same backgound color? So that the QFrame simply looks like a QGroupBox without a title and without the spcing problem?

    Surely, I'd rather see Fusion to be fixed, but looking at the code I have no idea how to fix the new spacing issue. I would simply patch my local installation otherwise. And maybe, it will take another couple of years until this gets fixed upstream. If ever. So I think to work around this via a QFrame would be okay – if it looks the same, both for e. g. Breeze and Fusion. Or does somebody know how to fix Fusion? That would be the best of course ;-)

    I would be really glad to be able to work around this. Thanks for all help in advance!

  • Lifetime Qt Champion


    Can you provide a complete minimal compilable project on the bug report ?
    That will allow for easier reproduction of your issue.

  • That's quite simple, just add two or more QGroupBoxes without a title in a QVBoxLayout. Here's some minimalistic example:


    #include <QApplication>
    #include "MainWindow.h"
    int main(int argc, char *argv[])
        QApplication app(argc, argv);
        MainWindow mainWindow;
        return app.exec();


    #include <QMainWindow>
    class MainWindow : public QMainWindow


    #include "MainWindow.h"
    #include <QVBoxLayout>
    #include <QGroupBox>
    #include <QLabel>
        QWidget *widget = new QWidget;
        QVBoxLayout *layout = new QVBoxLayout(widget);
        QGroupBox *box1 = new QGroupBox;
        QVBoxLayout *box1Layout = new QVBoxLayout(box1);
        box1Layout->addWidget(new QLabel(QStringLiteral("text")));
        QGroupBox *box2 = new QGroupBox;
        QVBoxLayout *box2Layout = new QVBoxLayout(box2);
        box2Layout->addWidget(new QLabel(QStringLiteral("text")));

    Result using Breeze:

    Same program started with -style=Fusion produces the long-known border issue:

    And here's the version compiled against Qt (in my test case 5.7.1) with the 5.14 patch from the bug report applied:

  • @SGaist Oh, you said I should post this at the bug report. I simply added a link to this post here, is this okay?

  • … but to come back to the initial question (for a workaround):

    I tried to use QFrame instead of QGroupBox for the title-less boxes. The problem is that QGroupBox does not inherit QFrame, but draws it's own frame.

    Using setFrameShape(QFrame::StyledPanel) gives a similar (not the same) look for the Fusion theme:

    But using e. g. KDE's Breeze theme, no frame is drawn at all:

    So this is not the way to go, as I need a solution/workaround that does not only work for the Fusion theme …

  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    @l3u_ said in Draw the frame of a QGroupBox around a QFrame:

    @SGaist Oh, you said I should post this at the bug report. I simply added a link to this post here, is this okay?

    Please add the project to the report. Links can break and having a test case with the bug reports make things way easier.

  • @SGaist I attached the sources. Thanks for the hint!

  • Okay, I found a workaround: I define a CSS border for my QGroupBoxes which imitates thre Breeze look so that the native style isn't used, along with a property for the ones without a title, and I only use it if the Fusion style is used.


    if (application.style()->objectName() == QLatin1String("fusion")) {
            QGroupBox {
                border: 1px solid palette(Mid);
                border-radius: 2px;
                padding-top: 1.2em;
            QGroupBox[notitle=true] {
                padding-top: 0;
            QGroupBox::title {
                background-color: transparent;
                subcontrol-origin: margin;
                subcontrol-position: top center;
                padding: 0.4em 0 0;
            QScrollArea {
                background-color: transparent;

    If a QGroupBox doesn't have a title, I define the notitle property:

    someBox->setProperty("notitle", true);

    The result is quite nice, although this is surely more a hack; but the only code to change are the setProperty calls that are simply ignored by the styles drawing the QGroupBoxes correctly:


    Well, it works ;-)

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