For now, this reference is a best-effort document. We strive for validity and completeness, but are not yet there. In the future, the docs and lang teams will work together to figure out how best to do this. Until then, this is a best-effort attempt. If you find something wrong or missing, file an issue or send in a pull request.

Use declarations

UseDeclaration :
   use UseTree ;

UseTree :
      (SimplePath? ::)? *
   | (SimplePath? ::)? { (UseTree ( , UseTree )* ,?)? }
   | SimplePath ( as IDENTIFIER )?

A use declaration creates one or more local name bindings synonymous with some other path. Usually a use declaration is used to shorten the path required to refer to a module item. These declarations may appear in modules and blocks, usually at the top.

Note: Unlike in many languages, use declarations in Rust do not declare linkage dependency with external crates. Rather, extern crate declarations declare linkage dependencies.

Use declarations support a number of convenient shortcuts:

  • Simultaneously binding a list of paths with a common prefix, using the glob-like brace syntax use a::b::{c, d, e::f, g::h::i};
  • Simultaneously binding a list of paths with a common prefix and their common parent module, using the self keyword, such as use a::b::{self, c, d::e};
  • Rebinding the target name as a new local name, using the syntax use p::q::r as x;. This can also be used with the last two features: use a::b::{self as ab, c as abc}.
  • Binding all paths matching a given prefix, using the asterisk wildcard syntax use a::b::*;.
  • Nesting groups of the previous features multiple times, such as use a::b::{self as ab, c, d::{*, e::f}};

An example of use declarations:

use std::option::Option::{Some, None};
use std::collections::hash_map::{self, HashMap};

fn foo<T>(_: T){}
fn bar(map1: HashMap<String, usize>, map2: hash_map::HashMap<String, usize>){}

fn main() {
    // Equivalent to 'foo(vec![std::option::Option::Some(1.0f64),
    // std::option::Option::None]);'
    foo(vec![Some(1.0f64), None]);

    // Both `hash_map` and `HashMap` are in scope.
    let map1 = HashMap::new();
    let map2 = hash_map::HashMap::new();
    bar(map1, map2);

use Visibility

Like items, use declarations are private to the containing module, by default. Also like items, a use declaration can be public, if qualified by the pub keyword. Such a use declaration serves to re-export a name. A public use declaration can therefore redirect some public name to a different target definition: even a definition with a private canonical path, inside a different module. If a sequence of such redirections form a cycle or cannot be resolved unambiguously, they represent a compile-time error.

An example of re-exporting:

# fn main() { }
mod quux {
    pub use quux::foo::{bar, baz};

    pub mod foo {
        pub fn bar() { }
        pub fn baz() { }

In this example, the module quux re-exports two public names defined in foo.

use Paths

Paths in use items must start with a crate name or one of the path qualifiers crate, self, super, or ::. crate refers to the current crate. self refers to the current module. super refers to the parent module. :: can be used to explicitly refer to a crate, requiring an extern crate name to follow.

An example of what will and will not work for use items:

# #![allow(unused_imports)]
use std::path::{self, Path, PathBuf};  // good: std is a crate name
use crate::foo::baz::foobaz;    // good: foo is at the root of the crate

mod foo {

    mod example {
        pub mod iter {}

    use crate::foo::example::iter; // good: foo is at crate root
//  use example::iter;      // bad: relative paths are not allowed without `self`
    use self::baz::foobaz;  // good: self refers to module 'foo'
    use crate::foo::bar::foobar;   // good: foo is at crate root

    pub mod bar {
        pub fn foobar() { }

    pub mod baz {
        use super::bar::foobar; // good: super refers to module 'foo'
        pub fn foobaz() { }

fn main() {}

Edition Differences: In the 2015 Edition, use paths also allow accessing items in the crate root. Using the example above, the following use paths work in 2015 but not 2018:

use foo::example::iter;
use ::foo::baz::foobaz;

In the 2018 Edition, if an in-scope item has the same name as an external crate, then use of that crate name requires a leading :: to unambiguously select the crate name. This is to retain compatibility with potential future changes.

// use std::fs; // Error, this is ambiguous.
use ::std::fs;  // Imports from the `std` crate, not the module below.
use self::std::fs as self_fs;  // Imports the module below.

mod std {
    pub mod fs {}
# fn main() {}