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Home < Documentation < 4.3 < Developers < Tutorials < CreateLoadableModule

For the latest Slicer developers documentation, visit the Nightly page.

Consider also reading


1) Create the module directory

Use the module wizard to generate files and directory based on a template.

Linux Mac Windows

Start terminal (bash or, then type the following:

$ cd /path/to/Slicer4
$ python Utilities/Scripts/ MY_MODULE_NAME

Start cmd.exe terminal, then type the following (in 64-bit mode replace PCbuild with PCbuild\amd64):

$ cd C:\path\to\Slicer4
$ ..\Slicer4-Superbuild\python-build\PCBuild\python.exe Utilities\Scripts\ MY_MODULE_NAME

Replace MY_MODULE_NAME with the name of the module you want (e.g. HelloWorld)
After running the script, a new directory MY_MODULE_NAME will be created in Slicer4/Modules/Loadable

2) Add the module in CMake

Edit the file Slicer4/Modules/Loadable/CMakeLists.txt: Add the name of your module at the end of the qtmodules variable assignment:


3) Compile

Compile the inner build (Slicer-build inside the Superbuild directory).

Linux Mac Windows
$ cd ../Slicer4-Superbuild/Slicer-build;
$ make -j4
$ cd ..\Slicer4-Superbuild\Slicer-build;
$ .\Slicer.exe --VisualStudio Slicer.sln

In Visual Studio, go to Build -> Build Solution

4) Check the module

Start Slicer and make sure the module is present (listed under "Module Template")

$ ./Slicer

To change the module title that shows up in Slicer, edit the file Slicer4/Modules/Loadable/MY_MODULE_NAME/CMakeLists.txt

set(MODULE_TITLE "Your title") 

Other properties for the module such as help, acknowledgment or categories can be re-implemented directly in C++ by editing Slicer4/Modules/Loadable/MY_MODULE_NAME/qSlicerMY_MODULE_NAME.cxx.

5) Open Qt Designer using the launcher

Slicer (the launcher) searches Qt Designer on your machine (using QT_QMAKE_EXECUTABLE set at configure time). It starts the designer after setting the correct environment variables (QT_PLUGIN_PATH for the widgets designer plugins and PATH/LD_LIBRARY_PATH for the libraries).

$ ./Slicer --designer

6) Change the UI

Using Qt Designer, edit the module UI file: Modules/Loadable/MY_MODULE_NAME/Resources/UI/qSlicerMY_MODULE_NAMEModule.ui
More info on how to use the designer

7) Edit the module files


Qt Designer

  • How to set icons to widgets
    • In the icon property entry of the widget (Property Editor), select a resource file
      • Slicer4/Modules/Loadable/MY_MODULE_NAME/Resources/qSlicerMY_MODULE_NAMEModule.qrc
      • Slicer4/Libs/MRML/Widgets/Resources/qMRMLWidget.qrc
      • Slicer4/Base/QTGUI/Resources/qSlicerBaseQTGUI.qrc
  • How to add an icon in a resource file
    • Add the icon in Slicer4/Modules/Loadable/MY_MODULE_NAME/Resources/Icon
    • Edit the resource file by adding the line
      • "<file>Icons/MyIcon.png</file>"

Dependency between modules

It is possible that your module needs to access information from another module. Typically the logic or the custom MRML classes of a module. The following code is an example of what can be done to make your module dependent to the Volumes module logic:

In CMakeLists.txt:


In qSlicerMY_MODULE_NAMEModule.cxx:

 QStringList qSlicerMY_MODULE_NAMEModule::dependencies()const
   return QStringList() << "Volumes";
 void qSlicerMY_MODULE_NAMEModule::setup()

   vtkSlicerMY_MODULE_NAMELogic* moduleLogic =

   qSlicerAbstractCoreModule* volumesModule =
   if (volumesModule)
     vtkSlicerVolumesLogic* volumesLogic = 

By specifying the module as a dependency, you are insured that the dependency module will be setup before your module is setup.

Follow the same pattern in CMakeLists.txt to add dependency on a module widgets:


It works the same if you want to access the custom MRML (vtkSlicerDEPENDENT_MODULEModuleMRML_SOURCE_DIR) or displayable manager (vtkSlicerDEPENDENT_MODULEModuleDisplayableManager_SOURCE_DIR) classes.


  1. Crop Volume module depends on Volumes module