The QLab 5 Manual

Updated May 8, 2024 for QLab 5.3.8.

Check out the change log to see what’s new in this release.

Welcome to QLab 5!

This manual is a comprehensive, in-depth reference manual intended to cover every aspect and detail of QLab, and provide adjacent information where relevant. It can be read straight through in case you’re the sort of person who likes reading reference manuals straight through, but it has been designed to allow you to read only the section that is relevant to a question you have or a problem you’re trying to solve.

QLab 5 contains context-specific links to this manual which can be found by right-clicking (or control-clicking) on cues or controls in the inspector, or by clicking buttons which refer to getting help.

Different people find different forms of learning to be the most approachable, and it is our aim to try to provide multi-modal access to learning QLab as much as possible.

The Tutorials section is home to self-contained examples that each explore a single topic in a focused and hands-on manner. Some tutorials are designed to accompany a specific section of the manual; these are linked from the relevant manual section. Other tutorials are meant to stand on their own. A few tutorials are simply essays on topics that aren’t part of QLab itself, but which many QLab users will find helpful in general.

You can download a PDF version of this documentation by clicking here.

What Is QLab

QLab 5 is a live media playback and show control program. Its design is based around concepts and conventions of the theatrical, broadcast, and cinematic industries, but it is intended to be flexible and adaptable enough to be used in many other contexts.

QLab runs on Mac computers, and generally follows the design and interaction principles of macOS. If you are new to the Mac, or if you would like a refresher on the basics of using a Mac, please check out our tutorial on the subject.



Workflow Tools




Networking, MIDI, and Show Control

Scripting and Automation

Other Cue Types


Getting Started

Core Concepts

General Reference


MIDI, Networking, Scripting, and Show Control

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