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openFrameworks addon for providing a convenient, JSON-based settings manager
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openFrameworks addon for providing a convenient, JSON-based settings manager


This addon depends on ofxJSON.


Clone this addon into your openFrameworks/addons folder.

cd path/to/openFrameworks/addons/

# if you don't have it yet
git clone

git clone


Include the header wherever you want to have the settings available. You don't need to instantiate this addon – a singleton instance will be created upon first use.

In your header file

#include "ofxJsonSettings.h"

In your cpp file...


// Use Settings::get() to access the singleton instance
// The load() and save() methods will use "settings.json" if you don't specify a filename


If you want to save your settings, such as during app exit or on a gui button press...

// Or disable the default pretty print with..
Settings::get().save("data.json", false);

Accessing settings

You can use the following methods to get your settings...

  • Settings::getString("key")
  • Settings::getBool("key")
  • Settings::getInt("key")
  • Settings::getFloat("key")
  • Settings::getDouble("key")

You can also get nested keys like so...

heading.load(Settings::getString("fonts/heading/face"), Settings::getFloat("fonts/heading/size"));
body.load(Settings::getString("fonts/body/face"), Settings::getFloat("fonts/body/size"));

Accessing nested keys as shown above will parse/save json as such:

  "fonts" : {
    "body" : {
      "face": "font-body.ttf",
      "size": 16
    "heading" : {
      "face": "font-heading.ttf",
      "size": 32

Updating or adding a setting...

Because all of the getters return references, you can also assign to them...

Settings::getFloat("x-pos") = 100;
Settings::getFloat("y-pos") = 100;
Settings::getFloat("size") = 50;

Or assign a nested structure...

Settings::getFloat("object/x") = 10;
Settings::getFloat("object/y") = 20;


By default, the delimiter is "/" but you can change it with...



If you have classes that want to get notified of when the settings are loaded or saved, i.e. if you need to reload a font when the json file is loaded, you can...

ofAddListener(Settings::get().settingsLoaded, this, &ofApp::onSettingsLoaded);
ofAddListener(Settings::get().settingsSaved, this, &ofApp::onSettingsSaved);

More examples...

Set up a hypothetical websocket client

string host = Settings::getString("server/host");
int port = Settings::getInt("server/port");
bool reconnect = Settings::getBool("server/reconnect");
websocketClient.setup(host, port, reconnect)

Bind settings directly to a GUI that supports variable binding, like ofxUI or ofxDatGui

gui->addSlider("X Position", Settings::getFloat("x-pos"));
gui->addSlider("Y Position", Settings::getFloat("y-pos"));
gui->addSlider("Size", Settings::getFloat("size"));

If you're binding variables to a GUI, you'll want to load your settings file before setting up the GUI, and save back to a file on a button press or automatically when the app exits.

Wait, why not just use ofxJSON directly?

A few reasons...

Variable binding for GUIs

A few addons like ofxUI, ofxDatGui, and ofxRemoteUI support binding variables to GUI elements so that they get updated when you drag a slider, for example. ofxJSON's getter methods, such as json["key"].asString() return values, not references, so you can't utilize variable binding. This addon's getters, such as Settings::getString("key"), return references so you can bind away!

More concise syntax for nested keys

This may be subjective, but I find it easier to type slashes rather than lots of double-quotes and square brackets for lookups such as...

  • ofxJSON: json["fonts"]["heading"]["face"].asString()
  • ofxJsonSettings: Settings::getString("fonts/heading/face")

Global access

This addon provides a singleton object so that you can access your settings from any file by including the ofxJsonSettings.h header file. This means you can do things like manage & manipulated GUI-bound settings in some top-level class (like ofApp) and have separate classes which can easily access those values.

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