C++ debugging with Qt Creator

Qt Creator is a cross-platform IDE that fully integrates Qt into the development of applications. Slicer CMake project is supported by Qt Creator, the following items aim at describing how it could be used.


For debugging on Windows, Visual Studio is recommended as it has much better performance and many more features than Visual Studio Code.


  • Build 3D Slicer in Debug mode, outside of Qt Creator, by following the build instructions.

  • Install Qt SDK with Qt Creator.

Running the debugger

  1. From a terminal, launch QtCreator through Slicer to setup environment. This will allow qtcreator to design UI using CTK and Slicer custom designer plugins.

    • Linux:

      cd /path/to/Slicer-Superbuild/Slicer-build
      ./Slicer --launch /path/to/qtcreator
    • Windows:

      cd c:\path\to\Slicer-Superbuild\Slicer-build
      .\Slicer.exe --launch /path/to/qtcreator.exe
  2. Open /path/to/Slicer-src/CMakeLists.txt in qtcreator, when prompted, choose the build directory where Slicer was configured and compiled


    You can select either the binary tree of the SuperBuild or the binary tree of the Slicer-build that is inside the binary tree of the SuperBuild.

    • choosing superbuild build directory /path/to/Slicer-Superbuild: allows building all of the packages that Slicer depends on and build Slicer itself, all from within Qt Creator.

    • choosing inner build directory /path/to/Slicer-Superbuild/Slicer-build: provides a better IDE experience when working on Slicer itself (recognizing types, pulling up documentation, cross-referencing the code, …).

  3. Click the Run CMake button (no arguments needed), wait until CMake has finished, then click the Finish button

  4. Optional steps:

    • Specify make arguments (for example: -j8) by clicking the Projects tab on the left hand side, click the Build Settings tab at the top, click the Details button beside the Make build step, and add your additional arguments. This is useful if you want to build from within Qt Creator.

    • Specify run configuration by clicking the Projects tab on the left hand side, click the Run Settings tab at the top, and select your Run configuration (ex. choose SlicerApp-real). This is useful if you want to run Slicer from within Qt Creator.