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KWWidgets is an Open Source library of GUI classes based on Tcl/Tk with a C++ API. This library was originally developed by Kitware for ParaView, and now has been extended in functionality and architecture thanks to NAMIC support.

Role in NAMIC

Slicer 3 is currently using KWWidgets for its Graphical User Interface. Recent efforts (funded, in part, by an NA-MIC ARRA grant) are replacing and augmenting that interface using Qt and CTK Widgets.

Typical Usage

KWWidgets are used as modules for developing Graphical User Interfaces.


KWWidgets is written in C++ and get access to Tcl/Tk functionalities.


KWWidgets works in the same platforms as VTK.

Software Dependencies

All platforms require CMake to build. CMake is a cross-platform software build tool. It uses hardware, compiler and operating system neutral configuration files to generate Makefiles, workspaces or projects particular to a particular development environment, so developers can use standard development tools on their target platform. KWWidgets also depends on VTK and Tcl/Tk

Documentation, Tutorials and Examples

A Wiki page is available at

Doxygen generated, KWWidgets API, documentation is available on a nightly basis. Method descriptions, inheritance and collaboration diagrams, and other implementation details are available to users developing KWWidgets applications.

Revision Control

KWWidgets uses CVS to manage the source code.

The source code can be dowloaded using the following CVS command

  cvs –d co KWWidgets


The VTK copyright is an open-source, Berkely-style license. It allows unrestricted use, including use in commercial products.