The following documentation resources are available at the current time:

  • The ITK Software Guide. This extensive reference PDF document (over 700 pages) describes in detail many of the features of the toolkit. It contains information for both application and contribution to the project. If you are serious about ITK, you will want this document. The PDF contains both books. Hard copies of the books and html versions are also available.

  • Doxygen generated documentation for the latest ITK Release: ITK 4.12.0 Documentation. These pages contain extensive descriptions describing inheritance, methods, object collaboration, and so on for the ITK version 4.12.0 release. Click here for legacy documentation. Nightly generated documentation is available

  • An extensive listing of courses available for ITK can be found here.

  • Doxygen documentation generated nightly for the development version of ITK: ITK Documentation. These pages contain extensive descriptions on inheritance, methods and object collaboration.

  • The ITK theory book Insight Into Images Principles and Practice for Segmentation, Registration and Image Analysis is available from A. K. Peters. Please see the following flyer for more information.

  • Tutorial Material. Presentations used for tutorials presented in conferences such as IEEE Visualization 2002 and 2003, MICCAI 2003 and SPIE Medical Imaging 2003 and 2004.

  • The book Mastering CMake, ISBN 978-1-930934-26-9, by Ken Martin and Bill Hoffman and published by Kitware. This book describes in detail how to use CMake. It is not specific to the ITK project, but can help you with general CMake questions and help you use ITK more effectively in your own work.

  • The Insight Toolkit Community WIKI page is an open space for exchanging information and experiences about ITK. Thanks to Gavin Baker for creating this resource.

  • The numerics package VNL used by ITK is part of the VXL computer vision toolkit. Documentation for VNL can be found as part of the VXL book.

  • Medical Image Registration, by Joseph Hajnal (Editor), D. J. Hawkes (Editor), Derek Hill (Editor). The Biomedical Engineering Series. This book provides a detailed description of techniques used for medical image registration. This book is unrelated to the Insight Toolkit, but is suggested here as an excellent introduction to medical image registration.

  • The Pro Git book by Scott Chacon, available in hard copy, HTML, PDF, Mobi, and Epub formats. It is unrelated to the ITK project, but can help you deal with the intricacies of working with the ITK Git repository.

  • ITK Applications Pages are another important documentation reference based on ITK's extensive testing suite. The applications can be found in the Insight/Testing/Code directory (and related subdirectories).

  • The modern C++ wiki page describes the set of compilers that are and are not supported in the first release of ITKv4.

  • The Kitware Source is a quarterly newsletter for developers designed to deliver detailed technical articles, information on recent releases and upcoming changes related to Kitware's open source products. This includes information on ITK. Click here for a compendium of ITK related articles that have appeared in the Source. Source subscriptions are free. To be added to our mailing list, please contact the editor at, be sure to include your full name and postal mailing address in the email.


A number of resources are available to learn more about ITK:
  • The ITK web pages are located
  • Users and developers alike should read the ITK Software Guide.
  • The software can be downloaded from
  • Community member interesting in contributing code should look at the Software Process
    section of Book 1 of the ITK Software Guide."
  • Developers should also look at the ITK style guide ITK/Documentation/Style.pdf found in the source distribution.


A great way to learn about ITK is to see how it's used. There are four places to find ITK applications:
  1. The ITK/Examples/ source code examples distributed with ITK. Other excellent example resources include the Sphinx Examples and the Wiki Examples. The source code is available. In addition, it is heavily commented and works in combination with the ITK Software Guide.
  2. The Applications web pages. These are extensive descriptions, with images and references, of the examples found in #1 above.
  3. The testing directories distributed with ITK are simple, mainly undocumented examples of how to use the code.