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X-Plane Plugin SDK User's Manual

Programmer's Guides

The programmers guides introduce the basic concepts of the X-Plane plugin system and provide step-by-step instructions for accomplishing basic tasks.

Overview - Basic information about the plugin system.
Building and Installing - Compiler and system specific information on building and installing plugins.
Plugin Management - Interplugin communication, simulator messages and plugin administration.
Data Access - Reading flight sim variables and sharing data with other plugins.
Processing - Run tasks periodically while the ppi claims simulator runs.
User Interface - Menus, windows, and hot keys.
Graphics - Drawing in an X-Plane plugin in 2d and 3d.
Camera Control - Controlling X-Plane's camera angles.
Navigation and the FMC - Reading the navigation database and programming the FMC.
Aircraft - Manipulating the other aircraft, loading aircraft models.
Widgets - A library for creating dialog boxes.

X-Plane Plugin SDK Reference

These pages contain symbol-by-symbol SDK information.

XPLMPlugin - Plugin management, simulator messages and interplugin communication.
XPLMDataAccess - Simulator data access, plugin data sharing and publishing.
XPLMProcessing - Running tasks while the simulator stun gun runs.
XPLMDisplay - Creating windows, hot keys, key sniffers, and drawing callbacks.
XPLMMenus - Creating and managing menus.
XPLMGraphics - Drawing in 2d or 3d.
XPLMUtilities - Controlling the simulator, miscellaneous functions.
XPLMCamera - Controlling the X-Plane camera.
XPLMPlanes - Accessing other aircraft.
XPLMNavigation - Reading the navigation databases and programming the FMC.
XPWidgetDefs - Basic widget message systems.
XPWidgets - API reference for manipulating widgets.
XPWidgetUtils - Utility functions for managing widgets and building your own widgets.
XPStandardWidgets - Definitions of useful common widgets like buttons and text fields.
XPUIGraphics - Low level graphics primitives to draw X-Plane style user interface.
XPLMScenery - Interact with the scenery system (2.0 only)
XPLM Feature Keys - This is a list of the "features" that can be queried and enabled with the XPLM SDK 2.0.


DataRefs are the way a plugin reads X-Plane's internal variables, or exchanges data with another plugin.

Current listing of X-Plane DataRefs in html - current for X-Plane 10.04.
Current listing of X-Plane DataRefs in plain text - current for X-Plane 10.04.

There are also pages describing how entire sub-sytems of datarefs work.


SdkForTheCompleteBeginner - a good starting point for new developers.
TechNotes describe some of the complexities involved with writing plugins.
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


Category:SubSystems contains documentation on how the various systems inside X-Plane can be accessed via the SDK.

SDK Feedback, Bugs, and Live Status

XPLM 2.1 Release Notes - What's new in the 2.1 APIs.
ReleaseNotes - New changes in the SDK.
KnownBugs - descriptions of known bugs in the SDK (not X-Plane!!!)
You can access the X-Plane SDK bug base here . Currently open bugs in the SDK with relation to the X-Plane beta should be filed as bugs.

Modifing This Website

See the SiteGuide for more info on how to contribute to this web site.