Getting Started#

Once Slint is built, you can use it in your CMake application or library target in two steps:

  1. Associate the .slint files that you’d like to use by calling the slint_target_sources CMake command. The first parameter is your application (or library) build target, and the parameters following are the names of the .slint files you want to include. This will compile the .slint files to C++ source code and included that into your built target.

  2. The generated C++ source code needs the Slint run-time library. Use target_link_libraries to link your build target to Slint::Slint.

A minimal CMake CMakeLists.txt file looks like this:

cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 3.21)
project(my_application LANGUAGES CXX)

# Note: Use find_package(Slint) instead of the following three commands,
# if you prefer the package approach.
    # `release/1` will auto-upgrade to the latest Slint >= 1.0.0 and < 2.0.0
    # `release/1.0` will auto-upgrade to the latest Slint >= 1.0.0 and < 1.1.0
    GIT_TAG release/1
    SOURCE_SUBDIR api/cpp

add_executable(my_application main.cpp)
slint_target_sources(my_application my_application_ui.slint)
target_link_libraries(my_application PRIVATE Slint::Slint)
# On Windows, copy the Slint DLL next to the application binary so that it's found.
if (WIN32)
    add_custom_command(TARGET my_application POST_BUILD COMMAND ${CMAKE_COMMAND} -E copy $<TARGET_RUNTIME_DLLS:my_application> $<TARGET_FILE_DIR:my_application> COMMAND_EXPAND_LISTS)

Suppose my_application_ui.slint was a “Hello World” like this:

export component HelloWorld inherits Window {
    width: 400px;
    height: 400px;

    // Declare an alias that exposes the label's text property to C++
    property my_label <=> label.text;

    label := Text {
       y: parent.width / 2;
       x: parent.x + 200px;
       text: "Hello, world";
       color: blue;

then you can use the following code in you main function to show the Window and change the text:

#include "my_application_ui.h"

int main(int argc, char **argv)
    auto hello_world = HelloWorld::create();
    hello_world->set_my_label("Hello from C++");
    // Show the window and spin the event loop until the window is closed.
    return 0;

This works because the Slint compiler translated my_application_ui.slint to C++ code, in the my_application_ui.h header file. That generated code contains a C++ class that corresponds to the HelloWorld element and has API to create the UI, read or write properties, and set callbacks. You can learn more about how this API looks like in general in the Generated code section.


For an in-depth walk-through, read our Slint Memory Game Tutorial. It will guide you through the .slint mark-up language and the C++ API by building a simple memory game.


You can clone the Template Repository repository with the code of a minimal C++ application using Slint. It provides a convenient starting point to a new program.

Of course you can also read on: We will cover some recipes to handle common use-cases next.