From FreeCAD Documentation


This article describes the Branding of FreeCAD. Branding means to create your own application based on FreeCAD. That can be only your own executable or splash screen till a complete reworked program. On base of the flexible architecture of FreeCAD it's easy to use it as base for your own special purpose program.


Although FreeCAD is offered to you free of charge, and the FreeCAD community is happy to see other applications emerging, that are based on FreeCAD, we have on the other hand seen a lot of unfair use of the information contained on this page by people who simply rebranded FreeCAD into a closed-source application to make profit from it.

Although the LGPL license allows to use the FreeCAD source code in closed-source applications, it also gives strict rules to do so, and does not allow simply taking FreeCAD, renaming it and stripping it of its license.

Would you be interested in using FreeCAD in a closed-source application, be sure to check thoroughly the implications of the LGPL license, and, even better, contact any FreeCAD developer, administrator or moderator before doing so.


Most of the branding is done in the MainCmd.cpp or MainGui.cpp. These Projects generate the executable files of FreeCAD. To make your own Brand just copy the Main or MainGui projects and give the executable its own name, e.g. FooApp.exe. The most important settings for a new look are made in one place in the main() function. Here is the code section that controls the branding:

int main( int argc, char ** argv )
    // Name and Version of the Application
    App::Application::Config()["ExeName"] = "FooApp";
    App::Application::Config()["ExeVersion"] = "0.7";

    // set the banner (for loging and console)
    App::Application::Config()["CopyrightInfo"] = sBanner;
    App::Application::Config()["AppIcon"] = "FooAppIcon";
    App::Application::Config()["SplashScreen"] = "FooAppSplasher";
    App::Application::Config()["StartWorkbench"] = "Part design";
    App::Application::Config()["HiddenDockWindow"] = "Property editor";
    App::Application::Config()["SplashAlignment" ] = "Bottom|Left";
    App::Application::Config()["SplashTextColor" ] = "#000000"; // black

    // Inits the Application 
    App::Application::Config()["RunMode"] = "Gui";

    Gui::BitmapFactory().addXPM("FooAppSplasher", ( const char** ) splash_screen);


    return 0;

The first Config entry defines the program name. This is not the executable name, which can be changed by renaming or by compiler settings, but the name that is displayed in the task bar on windows or in the program list on Unix systems.

The next lines define the Config entries of your FooApp Application. A description of the Config and its entries you find in Start up and Configuration.


Image resources are compiled into FreeCAD using Qt's resource system. Therefore you have to write a .qrc file, an XML-based file format that lists image files on the disk but also any other kind of resource files. To load the compiled resources inside the application you have to add a line


into the main() function. Alternatively, if you have an image in XPM format you can directly include it into your main.cpp and add the following line to register it:

Gui::BitmapFactory().addXPM("FooAppSplasher", ( const char** ) splash_screen);

Branding XML

In FreeCAD there is also a method supported without writing a customized main() function. For this method you must write a file name called branding.xml and put it into the installation directory of FreeCAD. Here is an example with all supported tags:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <WindowTitle>Foo App in title bar</WindowTitle>
    <CopyrightInfo>(c) My copyright</CopyrightInfo>
    <MaintainerUrl>Foo App URL</MaintainerUrl>
    <ProgramLogo>Path to logo (appears in bottom right corner)</ProgramLogo>
    <WindowIcon>Path to icon file</WindowIcon>
    <ProgramIcons>Path to program icons</ProgramIcons>

All listed tags are optional.