Kexi/Handbook/Kexi Basics/The Kexi Main Window

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The Kexi Main Window

The Tabbed Toolbar on the top gives access to common actions and commands.

The Project Navigator and Property Editor are shown in panes on each side of the child window. These can be resized or hidden as required. A pane can be hidden by clicking the small cross at the top of the pane (just below the toolbar).

Database objects (tables, queries, reports.) listed in the Project Navigator can be opened by double-clicking on their names.

Main Application Elements

Main elements of Kexi application's window are:

Tabbed Toolbar
Contains available commands for the application. You will find a detailed description of any of the commands in Appendix C.
Project Navigator pane
Contains a list of any object (tables, queries, forms, ...) created within the currently opened database project. The navigator also contains a small toolbar with the most frequently used commands related to the database objects.
Opened Database Objects Area / Tabbed Windows
A central area of the application utilising most of the screen space. In IDEAl user interface mode it contains switchable tabs with windows that are always maximized. In Childframe user interface mode it contains floating windows.
Property Editor pane
Contains a list of properties of the currently selected database object. For certain objects (e.g. form widgets) it may have several tabs.

Tabbed Toolbar

The toolbar is the place that gives you access to most Kexi commands and actions. Using the actions found in the different tabs on the toolbar you can:

  • Create / Open / Close Kexi projects
  • Create Database objects
  • Import / Export Data

Depending on the context, additional tabs may be visible:

  • Form Design tab is only visible if the Form Designer is actually in use.
  • Report Design tab is only visible if the Report Designer is actually in use.

Project Navigator Pane

The Project Navigator pane is one of the most frequently used elements of the Kexi main window. The pane contains a list of all objects created within the currently opened Kexi database project. The objects are split into groups: tables, queries, forms, reports and scripts.

The Project Navigator pane also contains a small toolbar for the most frequently used commands (from left to right): Open selected object, Design selected object, and Delete selected object.

For each object on the list a context menu is available using the right mouse button.

Double clicking with the left mouse button on the object's name on the list opens the object in Data View. If the object's window was already opened, the action just activates the window without switching it's view mode.


Even though your operating system or window manager may be set up to handle single clicks instead of double clicks, Kexi uses double clicks in Project Navigator to avoid accidentally opening large datasets or executing queries.

Opened Database Objects Area / Tabbed Windows

Whenever you double click an object in the project navigator, it opens in the Opened database objects area. Each window has its own tab in Kexi.

You can rearrange the tabs by drag and drop, and close them using the button located on the right of each tab.


Sometime later on there will be an option to detach tabs, creating somewhat something similar to an MDI interface. That could be useful for custom solutions or multiple displays.

Property Editor Pane

In the Property Editor pane you can change properties of the object displayed in the active window. Depending on the context, the pane consists of one or more tabs. The first, always visible tab, Properties, contains the list of available properties.

Rules for using the Property Editor:

  • Each row contains a single property.
  • You can use the mouse or the keyboard to change values of particular properties.
  • Most frequently used types of property values are:
    • a number; you can enter the value directly or increase or decrease its value by clicking with the left mouse button on the up/down arrows at the right of the value field.
    • text
    • a drop down list of values; click on the desired value to select
    • Yes/No; you can toggle the value by clicking on the button; Yes (true) means that the button is toggled on, No (false) means that the button is toggled off.


* There is no need to confirm a changed value: changes are visible immediately after moving to a different row of the Property Editor's list or by pressing the Enter key.
  • Names of the recently changed properties that not yet were stored in the database are marked with bold text.
  • After changing the value of a property, a special Undo changes button appears on the right side of the Property Name. By clicking it you can revert the value of the property to the original value that was loaded from the database upon opening the database object.

The Property Editor pane is not visible if:

  • no single database object's window is open, or
  • the active database object's window does not offer properties as is the case when open in Data View instead of Design View.