Creating C++ Plugins for QML

Creating a Plugin

The QML engine loads C++ plugins for QML. Such plugins are usually provided in a QML extension module, and can provide types for use by clients in QML documents that import the module. A module requires at least one registered type to be considered valid.

QQmlEngineExtensionPlugin is a plugin interface that lets you create QML extensions that can be loaded dynamically into QML applications. These extensions allow custom QML types to be made available to the QML engine.

To write a QML extension plugin:

  1. Subclass QQmlEngineExtensionPlugin and use the Q_PLUGIN_METADATA() macro to register the plugin with the Qt meta object system.
  2. Use the QML_ELEMENT and QML_NAMED_ELEMENT() macros to declare QML types.
  3. Configure your build file.


        URI <>
        VERSION 1.0
        QML_FILES <app.qml>


    CONFIG += qmltypes
  4. If you're using qmake, create a qmldir file to describe the plugin. Note that CMake will, by default, automatically generate the qmldir file.

QML extension plugins are for either application-specific or library-like plugins. Library plugins should limit themselves to registering types, as any manipulation of the engine's root context may cause conflicts or other issues in the library user's code.

Note: When using the CMake qt_add_qml_module API, a plugin will be generated automatically for you. It will take care of type registration. You only need to write a custom plugin if you have special requirements, such as registering custom image providers. In that case, pass NO_GENERATE_PLUGIN_SOURCE to the qt_add_qml_module call to disable the generation of the default plugin.

The linker might erroneously remove the generated type registration function as an optimization. You can prevent that by declaring a synthetic volatile pointer to the function somewhere in your code. If your module is called "my.module", you would add the forward declaration in global scope:

void qml_register_types_my_module();

Then add the following snippet of code in the implementation of any function that's part of the same binary as the registration:

volatile auto registration = &qml_register_types_my_module;


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