When you start Qt Creator, it opens to the Welcome mode, where you can:
- Open recent sessions and projects
- Create and open projects
- Open tutorials and example projects
- Read news from the online community and Qt labs
- Send feedback to the development team
You can use the mode selector (1) to change to another Qt Creator mode.
You can use the target selector (2) to select the target for running (3), debugging (4), or building (5) the application. Output from these actions is displayed in the output panes (7).
You can use the locator (6) to to browse through projects, files, classes, methods, documentation, and file systems.
The mode selector allows you to quickly switch between tasks such as editing project and source files, designing application UIs, configuring how projects are built and executed, and debugging your applications. To change modes, click the icons, or use the corresponding keyboard shortcut.
The following image displays an example application in Edit mode (1) and Design mode (2).
You can use Qt Creator in the following modes:
- Welcome mode for opening projects.
- Edit mode for editing project and source files.
- Design mode for designing and developing application user interfaces. This mode is available for UI files.
- Debug mode for inspecting the state of your application while debugging.
- Projects mode for configuring project building and execution. This mode is available when a project is open.
- Analyze mode for using code analysis tools to detect memory leaks and profile C++ or QML code.
- Help mode for viewing Qt documentation.
Certain actions in Qt Creator trigger a mode change. Clicking on Debug > Start Debugging > Start Debugging automatically switches to Debug mode.
Browsing Project Contents
The sidebar is available in the Edit and Debug modes. Use the sidebar to browse projects, files, and bookmarks, and to view the class hierarchy.
You can select the content of the sidebar in the sidebar menu (1):
- Projects shows a list of projects open in the current session.
- Open Documents shows currently open files.
- Bookmarks shows all bookmarks for the current session.
- File System shows all files in the currently selected directory.
- Class View shows the class hierarchy of the currently open projects.
- Outline shows the symbol hierachy of a C++ file and the element hierarchy of a QML file.
- Type Hierarchy shows the base classes of a class.
You can change the view of the sidebar in the following ways:
- To toggle the sidebar, click (Hide Sidebar/Show Sidebar) or press Alt+0 (Cmd+0 on Mac OS X).
- To split the sidebar, click (Split). Select new content to view in the split view.
- To close a sidebar view, click (Close).
The additional options in each view are described in the following sections.
Viewing Project Files
The sidebar displays projects in a project tree. The project tree contains a list of all projects open in the current session. The files for each project are grouped according to their file type.
You can use the project tree in the following ways:
- To open files that belong to a project, double-click them in the project tree. Files open in the appropriate editor, according to the file type. For example, code source files open in the code editor and image files in the image viewer.
- To bring up a context menu containing the actions most commonly needed right-click an item in the project tree. For example, through the menu of the project root directory you can, among other actions, build, re-build, clean and run the project.
- To hide the categories and sort project files alphabetically, click (Filter Tree) and select Simplify Tree.
- To hide source files which are automatically generated by the build system, select Filter Tree > Hide Generated Files.
- To keep the position in the project tree synchronized with the file currently opened in the editor, click (Synchronize with Editor).
- To see the absolute path of a file, move the mouse pointer over the file name.
Viewing the File System
If you cannot see a file in the Projects view, switch to the File System view, which shows all the files in the file system.
To keep the position in the tree synchronized with the file opened in the editor, select Synchronize with Editor.
Viewing the Class Hierarchy
The Class View shows the class hierarchy of the currently open projects. To organize the view by subprojects, click (Show Subprojects).
Viewing QML Elements
The Outline view shows the element hierarchy in a QML file.
- To see a complete list of all bindings, select Filter Tree > Show All Bindings.
- To keep the position in the view synchronized with the element selected in the editor, select Synchronize with Editor.
Viewing Type Hierarchy
To view the base classes of a class, right-click the class and select Open Type Hierarchy or press Ctrl+Shift+T.
The task pane in Qt Creator can display one of the following panes:
- Search Results
- Application Output
- Compile Output
- General Messages
- Version Control
Output panes are available in all modes. Click the name of an output pane to open the pane. To maximize an open output pane, click the Maximize Output Pane button or press Alt+9.
To search within the Application Output and Compile Output panes, press Ctrl+F when the pane is active. Enter search criteria in the Find field and click the left and right arrows to search down and up in the pane.
To open the General Messages and Version Control panes, select Window > Output Panes.
The Issues pane provides lists of following types of issues:
- Analyzer - Errors encountered while running the Valgrind code analysis tools.
- Build System - Errors and warnings encountered during a build.
- Compile - Selected output from the compiler. Open the Compile Output pane for more detailed information.
- My Tasks - Entries from a task list file (.tasks) generated by code scanning and analysis tools.
- QML - Errors in QML syntax.
The pane filters out irrelevant output from the build tools and presents the issues in an organized way. To further filter the output by type, select Filter Tree and then select a filter.
Right-clicking on a line brings up a context menu with options to copy the contents and to show a version control annotation view of the line that causes the error message.
To jump from one issue to the next or previous one, press F6 and Shift+F6.
In the Search Results pane, you can search through projects, files on a file system or the currently open file:
The search results are stored in the search history (1) from which you can select earlier searches.
The figure below shows an example search result for all occurrences of textfinder within the "/TextFinder" directory.
The Application Output pane displays the status of a program when it is executed, and the debug output.
The Compile Output pane provides all output from the compiler. The Compile Output is a more detailed version of information displayed in the Issues pane.
Qt Creator has been localized into several languages. If the system language is one of the supported languages, it is automatically selected. To change the language, select Tools > Options > Environment and select a language in the Language field. The change takes effect after you restart Qt Creator.
Qt Creator opens image files in the image viewer.
Use the toolbar buttons (1) or keyboard shortcuts to:
- Switch between background and outline modes
- Zoom in and out
- Fit images to screen
- Return to original size
Navigating with Keyboard
Qt Creator caters not only to developers who are used to using the mouse, but also to developers who are more comfortable with the keyboard. A wide range of keyboard and navigation shortcuts are available to help speed up the process of developing your application.
For a list of useful Qt Creator features described in other parts of the documentation, see Tips and Tricks.