Eike Ziller

Qt Creator tech preview released!

Published Friday October 31st, 2008
44 Comments on Qt Creator tech preview released!
Posted in News, QtCreator

When I started at Trolltech about two years ago, I never imaged that I would end up writing a C++ IDE. I mean, I knew that I would develop Qt tools, since that is one of the two main development areas done in Berlin (the other one is Qt/WinCE), but that meant things like Designer, Assistant, Linguist or the VS/Eclipse integrations at the time.

On the other hand, an IDE could well be called the top of all development tools, so all in all it’s a logic consequence ๐Ÿ™‚

Enough of philosophy. “Grau ist alle theorie”, so let’s have some facts (also see the Qt Creator landing page):

It’s cross-platform. Hell, if it wasn’t, we couldn’t use it ourselves!

Slim and fast. One of the questions leading to QtCreator was “What does a text editor need to become an IDE?” Well, you don’t want your text editor to take a minute to come up ๐Ÿ™‚ .

Doesn’t invent yet another build system. Instead it’s directly working on pro-files. It’s open for extension with other build systems as well.

Talking about editors, QtCreator has a very powerful C++ editor:
Incremental search highlighting all occurrences.

Incremental Search

Code completion and of course Syntax highlighting, Auto-indentation, (Un-)Commenting code, Code folding, Bookmarks, …


Inline error markers while you type warning you of many common mistakes that otherwise lead to compile errors. (Ever thought “ow, man, another edit-compile cycle just because I forgot that !*&#%$ semicolon”?)

Inline Warning

Inline Error

Quick Navigation between your files, switch between header and source file, jump to symbol definitions under your cursor, jump to named symbols from your project and all referenced projects.

QuickOpen File

QuickOpen Symbol

Debugger frontend that let’s you easily set breakpoints, step through your code, and examine variables, showing you common Qt types in a friendly way (QLists, QVariants, QFiles, QMaps, …). Currently supporting gdb.


Context help for the symbol under the cursor, right beside your code, integrating Assistant/QtHelpSystem in the most comfortable way.

Integrated Help

And lots of other things I forgot to mention here!

These are the people who created QtCreator
Check it out on the Qt Creator landing page,
and have a look at our introduction videos:

Qt Creator – 01 An Introduction

Qt Creator – 02 My first creation

Qt Creator – 03 Smart Code Completion

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Posted in News, QtCreator


Aekold says:

Looks great! Is there any java version planned? ๐Ÿ™‚

Elvis Stansvik says:

I agree, it looks awesome. Is there any way to get Vi(m) keybindings though? Or is it planned? I’m a :w junkie ๐Ÿ™‚

Tsiolkovsky says:

I tried it on Mandriva Linux and I like the interface very much. I like it how clean and simple it is. Can’t wait to see how it turns out when the final release comes out and how it compares with KDevelop 4. BTW are there any plans to support CMake build system?

Alain Weiler says:

yeah! looks great! congratulations…
it is just the piece missing from the Trolls… whereever they are located.

foobar says:

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Scorp1us says:

I tried it out yesterday…. Very nice. Will be my default Qt editor at home…

Christoph Bartoschek says:

Is there a way to get code completion for standard libraries? A first test showed that there is no completion for std::vector. How to add it?

Robert Knight says:

First impressions are pretty good. I like the clean interface and the code editor is pretty slick. Startup is very slow unfortunately, it takes longer than Eclipse here – both first startup and subsequent runs. Is this a known problem or should I email profiling traces (from sysprof, callgrind or whatever you’d prefer) somewhere

Matthias Ettrich says:

@Christoph Bartoschek

Code completion for standard libraries works out of the box, as long as you have #include somewhere. This requires that we get the path for system includes from the compiler. On WIndows this was buggy and is currently disabled, but it should work in the next version. As a workaround, you could add the include path to the pro file.

If you are not on Windows and still it doesn’t work, please let us know on the feedback list.

Matthias Ettrich says:

@Robert Knight

Are you serious? Please provide numbers and detailed information on your platform. On our Linux development machines, Eclipse 3.2 requires 45secs for an empty startup, 30secs from cache. Qt Creator starts in both cases in less than 1 second.

Congratulations for this great job!
I’ve written a little review (in italian) on my blog, I hope it can help to spread this wonderfull IDE: http://www.andreagrandi.it/2008/10/31/qt-creator-disponibile-la-preview-release-dellide-per-qtc-di-trolltech/

Alexander K. says:

Looks great. Any way I can test it with the MSVC-compiler? The Windows-download is a setup-file with MinGW bundled…

Kai Koehne says:

Alexander: You can use the MSVC compiler as well, only that the integrated debugger won’t work. Just configure a version of Qt that is compiled with msvc. Oh, and since qmake is right now the only supported project format, you have to use pro files.

Philippe says:

It will be hard to beat (VisualStudio + VisualAssist) on Windows (but it’s certainly not the purpose), but anything that could replace XCode on Mac is welcome! Already the QtCreator text editor is better…

Robert Knight says:


Yes I am serious. Numbers and profiles are waiting in the qt-creator mailing list moderator’s inbox.

Robert Knight says:

Fixed it, in case anyone else encounters the same problem, setting:

export QT_PLUGIN_PATH=/path/to/qtcreator/bin

Fixed the issue – also makes startup work properly on 64bit machines.

Alexander K. says:

The UI looks good. What’s bugging me is that under Vista (probably also XP) all the standard controls have the Windows-Classic look. Probably because you sub-classed your style from the common-style. But I seriously don’t like it when there are programs that still use that old Win-95 look on my Vista/XP-machine (I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one).

@Kai Koehne:
Thanks. I didn’t realize I could disable the MinGW-option during installation.

Jens says:

Alexander K: There was a known issue with the Vista style in the specific snapshot that the Qt Creator preview was built and shipped with so it was disabled for this release only. It will certainly not apply to the final release. (You can for instance see the Mac style working in one of the videos)

Giorgio says:

any chance to see a good refactoring tool ? (not limited as the one coming with eclipse c++ stuff but at least as good as visual assist x)

Reinhard says:

Why are you not publishing the source code? Is that the new Nokia strategy? I hope the Nokia extension “Deploy everywhere” still means be able to “compile everywhere”!!! And what about S60 support in the long run? Currently only Windows user have fun! As a unix lover watching this video (http://trolltech.com/products/device-creation/videos/how-to-get-qt-running-on-your-s60-phone) makes me at least sick! Is Unix for Nokia now out or is that on the todo list?


sotn3m says:

I am impressed so far ๐Ÿ™‚ Good shortcuts, autocompletion, clean and easy, uses *.pro…
I hope for a good refactoring tool too… ๐Ÿ˜‰


romain says:


Qt-Creator seems nice, but I still have one question : can we hope to have support for CMake (either by supporting CMakeLists.txt or by creating a generator for QtCreator) ?

Thanks for your hard work,


romain says:

Sorry, I didn’t see that someone already ask for CMake support.


Josh says:

Looks great. How about integrated support for profiling? That would be great!

Kais Hassan says:

Great work, many Thanks.

I installed it under Linux and played with it a bit, it looks very promising. I love the UI, very clean.
I am relatively a new Linux developer, although I have experience under Windows, and when I came to Linux, one of the few things I didn’t like is the lack of good IDEs. I am used to VS so Kate was not an option for me ๐Ÿ™‚ I settled down on QDevelop, which is simple and fast. Still, it seems it is not active any more. I am happy to say that Qt Creator will be my deafult IDE under Linux unless of course KDevelop 4 was a major breakthrough ๐Ÿ™‚
One important feature I would like it to be added to Qt Creator is the ability to add “events” through the UI interface, it should massively help new users to adapt to Qt quicker.

Henning says:

I really like it and I hope to look into the source soon. Does the code editor use QPlainTextEdit? I wonder (among other things) how the folding is implemented.
Although I like the qmake’s .pro-files, support for other built systems would be great to import existing projects.

Kai Koehne says:

@Kais: I’m not sure what you mean by “events”. Signal-Slots?
@Henning (and others): Yes, we plan to support other build systems. About the source code: This is just a tech preview, we will most probably publish the source code/interfaces when they are ready and the final words on the license has been spoken. If you want to hack on it as fast as possible, well, we have open positions ๐Ÿ™‚

Kais says:

@Kai: Yes I mean slots, for instance a button click event. I.e. Automatic code generation for the body of the method to handle the event (with any other needed code). Same as VS

Sylvain says:

seems the code completion is not working inside a namespace :-/
(I am running on macosx)

Michael says:

The Linux Installer crashed near the end (~98%) for the 64bit version and the 32bit version as well. I was trying on a Sun Fire X2200 M2 running Fedora Core 8. When I started the program it terminated with the message libAggregation-something not found.

Mike says:

Where’s the code? I support Qt and Trolltech because they release their source code and they are part of a Open Source community. I repeat the question that Reinhard posed: WHERE’S THE CODE?

— A paying customer

Thiago Macieira says:

@Mike: Kai replied a few comments up before your question. He said: “About the source code: This is just a tech preview, we will most probably publish the source code/interfaces when they are ready and the final words on the license has been spoken. If you want to hack on it as fast as possible, well, we have open positions”

Michael says:

I could start the Linux-Installer in text mode today, and the program runs now. It’s great !

Vova says:

Tried on Linux-32 and MaxOSX. Nice instrument. However, when I was installing on MaxOS, installation seemed to hang. I even aborted it and tried again. Actually, you have to wait for some (rather long) time, and installator does not respond for a while.
Also, help subsystem invocation for classes through F1 didn’t work for a first run, but magically started working when I tried it the next day.
On MacOSX some keyboard shortcuts are engaged and must be reassigned, most notably completion trigger which is assigned by default ^Space combination. This combination usually invokes the Spotlight.

erechail says:

Great tool, found some minor bugs, but great anyway. Pretty good key bindings, nice interface, keep it going. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tobias Gerdin says:

Are you planning on adding comprehensive Qt Script support? Would be real nice to be able to write plugins (mostly) in Qt Script. In this case, it might even be able to compete with Emacs.

chatmoa says:

Is it possible to have qtcreator with current kde4 style ?

jiaco says:

Saw an early post about this but never a reply.

vi key bindings are absolutely essential to me and would really love to use a Qt IDE.
But never could I use one if all the AUTO format features could not be disabled
(ie the line indenting “feature” of eclipse”).

And I just cant write anything without the vi key bindings. I am basically handicapped
when using all other editors.

SO PLEASE RESPOND TO THIS: Are there going to be vi key bindings?

If not, will there be a plugin architecture that will enable us to introduce them easily?

Thanks for the great work. This c/would be amazing.

Neoraptor says:

Is there any Java / Jambi version planned?
This could be really nice.

I really love this editor. Congratulations!!!

Angelo Naselli says:

I’ve tested it right now, i’ve found it good and i do hope it will be open source as said and maybe integrated or of helping to kdevelop (as kde developer ๐Ÿ™‚ ).
Here it is a workaround i’ve found to import an existing project:
– create a new qt console application for instance
– follow all the instractions and de-select all.
– as soon as the project is created remove the main file (should be the only one in)
– add your project files
– choose build settings and add your own build steps, enabling them. I, for instance,
added “configure –prefix” and “make”
– fix your run settings
– enjoy your qt creator


pynux says:

Very nice!!
Are there going to be vi key bindings?

I’ve tested it. I am using Ubuntu 8.10.

But when I want to write something, for example :
QApplication app(argc, argv);

When I type the . it will show the tips.
but if i type wrong, no tip math. I found I cant type anything even the backpace.

I type here and there. finally I can write again. But was it bugs?

pynux says:

I’m sorry
I’m using Ubuntu 8.04 not 8.10

indialima says:

Beautiful! Downloaded the preview and installed under Ubuntu 8.10.
Finally a highly usable, editor-centric, clutter-free IDE.
Seems you’ve designed QT Creator to be highly extensible. Do you think it would be possible to use QT Creator as an IDE shell for other languages / technologies? (Like VS Shell / Eclipse)
Also, would love to see snippets functionality.

Congrats and keep up the excellent work ๐Ÿ™‚

Niklas says:

I love it. I’m relatively new to Qt development but this is the nicest most integrated solution to Qt development I’ve found yet.
Working nicely on Ubuntu 8.10, with the exception of theme integration.
Although I would like to second others requests for vi keybindings (optional of course), I feel lost and unproductive without them. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Also, is there going to be any support for PyQt? (or other languages for that matter?)

Commenting closed.

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