QQmlExtensionPlugin Class

The QQmlExtensionPlugin class provides an abstract base for custom QML extension plugins. More...

Header: #include <QQmlExtensionPlugin>
qmake: QT += qml
Since: Qt 5.0
Inherits: QObject

Public Functions

QQmlExtensionPlugin(QObject *parent = nullptr)
QUrl baseUrl() const

Reimplemented Public Functions

virtual void initializeEngine(QQmlEngine *engine, const char *uri) override
virtual void registerTypes(const char *uri) override = 0
  • 31 public functions inherited from QObject

Static Public Members

const QMetaObject staticMetaObject
  • 9 static public members inherited from QObject

Additional Inherited Members

  • 1 property inherited from QObject
  • 1 public slot inherited from QObject
  • 2 signals inherited from QObject
  • 9 protected functions inherited from QObject

Detailed Description

The QQmlExtensionPlugin class provides an abstract base for custom QML extension plugins.

QQmlExtensionPlugin is a plugin interface that makes it possible to 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 QQmlExtensionPlugin
  2. Write a project file for the plugin
  3. Create a qmldir file to describe the plugin

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.

TimeExample QML extension plugin

Suppose there is a new TimeModel C++ class that should be made available as a new QML type. It provides the current time through hour and minute properties.

  class TimeModel : public QObject
      Q_PROPERTY(int hour READ hour NOTIFY timeChanged)
      Q_PROPERTY(int minute READ minute NOTIFY timeChanged)

To make this type available, we create a plugin class named QExampleQmlPlugin which is a subclass of QQmlExtensionPlugin. It overrides the registerTypes() method in order to register the TimeModel type using qmlRegisterType(). It also uses the Q_PLUGIN_METADATA() macro in the class definition to register the plugin with the Qt meta object system using a unique identifier for the plugin.

  class QExampleQmlPlugin : public QQmlExtensionPlugin
      Q_PLUGIN_METADATA(IID QQmlExtensionInterface_iid)

      void registerTypes(const char *uri) override
          Q_ASSERT(uri == QLatin1String("TimeExample"));
          qmlRegisterType<TimeModel>(uri, 1, 0, "Time");

This registers the TimeModel class with version 1.0 of this plugin library, as a QML type called Time. The Q_ASSERT() macro can ensure the type namespace is imported correctly by any QML components that use this plugin. The Defining QML Types from C++ article has more information about registering C++ types into the runtime.

Project settings for the plugin

Additionally, the project file (.pro) defines the project as a plugin library, specifies it should be built into the imports/TimeExample directory, and registers the plugin target name and various other details:

  TEMPLATE = lib
  CONFIG += qt plugin
  QT += qml

  DESTDIR = imports/TimeExample
  TARGET = qmlqtimeexampleplugin
  SOURCES += qexampleqmlplugin.cpp

Plugin definition in the qmldir

Finally, a qmldir file is required in the imports/TimeExample directory to describe the plugin and the types that it exports. The plugin includes a Clock.qml file along with the qmlqtimeexampleplugin that is built by the project (as shown above in the .pro file) so both of these need to be specified in the qmldir file:

  module TimeExample
  Clock 1.0 Clock.qml
  plugin qmlqtimeexampleplugin

To make things easier for this example, the TimeExample source directory is in imports/TimeExample, and we build in-source. However, the structure of the source directory is not so important, as the qmldir file can specify paths to installed QML files.

What is important is the name of the directory that the qmldir is installed into. When the user imports our module, the QML engine uses the module identifier (TimeExample) to find the plugin, and so the directory in which it is installed must match the module identifier.

Once the project is built and installed, the new Time component is accessible by any QML component that imports the TimeExample module

  import TimeExample 1.0 // import types from the plugin

  Clock { // this class is defined in QML (imports/TimeExample/Clock.qml)

      Time { // this class is defined in C++ (plugin.cpp)
          id: time

      hours: time.hour
      minutes: time.minute


The full source code is available in the plugins example.

The Writing QML Extensions with C++ tutorial also contains a chapter on creating QML plugins.

See also QQmlEngine::importPlugin() and How to Create Qt Plugins.

Member Function Documentation

QQmlExtensionPlugin::QQmlExtensionPlugin(QObject *parent = nullptr)

Constructs a QML extension plugin with the given parent.

Note that this constructor is invoked automatically by the Q_PLUGIN_METADATA() macro, so there is no need for calling it explicitly.

QUrl QQmlExtensionPlugin::baseUrl() const

Returns the URL of the directory from which the extension is loaded.

This is useful when the plugin also needs to load QML files or other assets from the same directory.

This function was introduced in Qt 5.1.

[override virtual] void QQmlExtensionPlugin::initializeEngine(QQmlEngine *engine, const char *uri)

Initializes the extension from the uri using the engine. Here an application plugin might, for example, expose some data or objects to QML, as context properties on the engine's root context.

[override pure virtual] void QQmlExtensionPlugin::registerTypes(const char *uri)

Registers the QML types in the given uri. Subclasses should implement this to call qmlRegisterType() for all types which are provided by the extension plugin.

The uri is an identifier for the plugin generated by the QML engine based on the name and path of the extension's plugin library.