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QGIS Documentation


This repository is meant to write and manage the Official Documentation of QGIS, an Open Source GIS Software.

Latest stable documentation is on and its PDF versions are available at

The ongoing work for future releases is published as QGIS Testing Documentation. It's built from the master branch and NOT translated. QGIS Testing Documentation is on and

Previous releases are also available:

Translations of released docs are also available via the language path: for example for the 2.14 German language: Note that only the current stable branch is available for translation.

Documentation is static generated website using Sphinx (, based on restructured text sources (rst: and html (jinja2) templates.

Most sources are in source/docs. Only frontpage and landing pages are in theme/qgis-theme

Styling is in theme/qgis-theme. This theme is used for website and documentation builds. The website version is the canonical one.

Partial / faster building

Because of the size of the documentation, the building of the full docs can take up a long time.

You can decide to only build certain parts of the documentation by editing the source/ file.

Uncomment the lines for the modules that you do NOT want to build in this part of source/

# List of patterns, relative to source directory, that match files and
# directories to ignore when looking for source files.
exclude_patterns = ['../output', "../i18n", "../resources", "../scripts"]
# for faster builds, you can exclude certain parts from the build
# uncomment one or more lines below, or construct such line yourself
# uncomment to exclude the processing algs from build
#exclude_patterns += ['docs/user_manual/processing_algs/*']
# uncomment to exclude the user manual from build
#exclude_patterns += ['docs/user_manual/*']
# uncomment to exclude training manual from build
#exclude_patterns += ['docs/training_manual/*']
# uncomment to exclude dev guides from build
#exclude_patterns += ['docs/developers_guide/*']
# uncomment to exclude doc guides from build
#exclude_patterns += ['docs/documentation_guidelines/*']
# uncomment to exclude gentle intro  from build
#exclude_patterns += ['docs/gentle_gis_introduction/*']
# uncomment to exclude pyqgis dev book from build
#exclude_patterns += ['docs/pyqgis_developer_cookbook/*']

Building the documentation using Make

Building is only tested on Linux systems using make, on windows we now started a Paver setup (see below)

To be able to run localisation targets you will need Sphinx 1.2 which comes with pip. Sphinx coming with most distro's is just 1.1.3. You will get an gettext error with those.

Best to run the make file in a virtual env ( ):

Move to a directory (~/myvirtualenvs/) and create a virtualenv enabled dir:

virtualenv sphinx  # one time action, only to create the environment
cd sphinx

And activate this virtualenv:

source bin/activate
# now you will see sphinx before your prompt:

Now always activate your environment before building. To deactivate, you can do:


You can install all the tools in one go via the REQUIREMENTS.txt here in root of this repo:

pip install -r REQUIREMENTS.txt

Alternatively do it one by one:

Install sphinx 1.2 now in your virtual env:

pip install sphinx==1.2

Sphinx intl extention ( ):

pip install sphinx-intl

Then build:

  • make html to build the english language
  • make LANG=nl html to build the dutch version

Speed up the documentation build

Running make html generates from scratch the full english documentation. You can see from the output that after it removes the content from static it runs the sphinx-build -nW -b html -d output/doctrees -D language=en -A language=en source output/html/en command. If you change something in the documentation source and you want to preview the changes you shouldn't reuse make html command as it will fully rebuild everything. This takes a lot of time. It's far better to use the sphinx-build command so it only builds the parts from the files that have been changed. This ensures a very short build time (several seconds). Pay attention that if you add images in the resources directory they won't be copied into the static directory if you don't use the make command. This means that your sphinx-build command won't find the new images. If you still want to build fast you should copy the new images from resources to their correspondant location under static. Keep in mind that different options of the make command (presented down the page) are outputting different sphinx-build commands.

You should also be aware that the make .. commands are made for production purposes which translates that the build will stop at the first inconsitency because of the sphinx-build -nW .. command. You should drop the -W option if you want your build to fully complete (with warnings of course) (e.g. sphinx-build -n -b html -d output/doctrees -D language=en -A language=en source output/html/en).

If you want add the QGIS-Documentation docs into the build, you either need to manually copy the sources, resources and po files into the website project. Or use the fullhtml target of make (which will checkout the branch):

# to build english:
make fullhtml
# to build eg dutch:
make LANG=nl fullhtml

Trying to build a fullhtml you might get an Exception: No user credentials found for host To fix this, add a ~/.transifexrc file stored in the user's home directory with following information:

username = user
token =
password = p@ssw0rd
hostname =

To gather new strings in a pot (.po) file for your language, and merge them with existing translations in the po files (normally to be run by your language maintainer):

make pretranslate LANG=xx  # where xx is your language code

To add a new language (the scripts will need some directory structure):

make createlang LANG=xx

See the website in action:

Building PDF

You will need to install texi2pdf by doing:

  • sudo apt-get install texinfo on Debian based systems
  • sudo yum install texinfo-tex on Fedora based systems

Alike the html build command, you need to run make with the option to build pdf (pdf also builds the html output):

make LANG=xx pdf

Building the Documentation using Docker

Docker is an open platform for distributed applications for developers and sysadmins (

Docker can be used on Linux, MacOS and Windows.

In order to use a Docker instance to build the documentation, you can use one of the scripts provided with QGIS-Documentation. The image will be installed if not already present.

Building the Documentation using Paver

Paver is a python based Make-like tool (

Paver can be used on Linux and Windows (somebody can test on OSX?)

There are two scripts available:

  • (for setting up the python related stuff)
  • (the config file for Paver)

General use:

# first let install all stuff

# if the script is complaining about easysetup missing:
# download:
# and install that first:

# after succesfull running of you have all wheels on place, the script has created a virtual
environment (called "virtualenv") with all Sphinx related python machinery. Now you just need to:
# 1) activate the virtual environment with all Sphinx related python machinery
# 2) run the actual script to build the documentation

# to go into the virtual environment:
# on Windows:
# on Linux:
source virtualenv/bin/activate

# now build :) (make sure that you are in the QGIS-Documentation root folder)
# eg english only (for testing, only QGIS stable is being translated)
paver html

To be able to build localized versions of the Documentation with paver the 'Transifex-client (tx)' is needed.

On linux, install with:

# note that we use a slightly older version of tx
pip install transifex-client==0.9

On Windows, you should download it from: see

To make tx.exe usable in the paver script, either put it IN this directory next to the file, OR add it to your PATH

IMPORTANT: to be able to pull from, you will need a credentials file. This file should be named: .transifexrc and easiest is to put it in your home dir C:/users/you. Another option is to put it in the root of this project, but be carefull to not put your credentials in Github :-)

The file should contain this:

hostname =
password = yourtransifexpassword
token =
username = yourtransifexusername

With a working tx and a .transifexrc, you should be able to build for example the german version of docs via:

# german:
paver html -l de

During the build you will see this command:

tx pull --minimum-perc=1 --skip -f -l de

This will pull all german po files from transifex (based on the .tx/config file in the root of this project)

Translating the english QGIS Documentation

Translating of the Documentation is handled via transifex:

ONLY the current stable branch is translated.

If you want to help translating: create an account and join one of the translation teams of the qgis project:

Every language has it's own maintainer, please contact them, if you want to help. You find a list of current language maintainers at the end of this document. If your language is not listed, please contact the QGIS-Community-Team Mailinglist and ask for help.

Authors and translators

The English QGIS manual (Master Document) and its translation is managed by the Community Assistant (Manual Team Lead) and supported by additional language specific teams.

English Manual (Master Document)

  • Community Assistant (Manual Team Lead): ??
    • Contributor : Otto Dassau < dassau[at] >
    • Contributor : Larissa Junek < junek[at] >

Manual and Application Translations

  • Community Assistant (Manual Team Lead): ??
    • Dutch Team Lead : Richard Duivenvoorde < richard[at] >
    • French Team Lead : Marie Silvestre < marie_silvestre[at] >
    • German Team Lead : Otto Dassau < dassau[at] >
    • Greek Team Lead : Dr. Nicolas Karanikolas (not confirmed)
    • Italian Team Lead : Paolo Cavallini < cavallini[at] >
      • Contributor : Matteo Ghetta
      • Contributor : Iacopo Zetti
      • Contributor : Pasquale Di Donato
      • Contributor : Giuseppe Patti < geognu[at] >
      • Contributor : Simona Santini
    • Japanese Team Lead: Kayam Yoichi < yoichi.kayama[at] >
    • Lao Team Lead: Anousak Souphavanh < anousak at >
    • Lithuanian Team Lead : Kestas M < m.kestas[at] >
    • Polish Team Lead : Robert Szczepanek < robert[at] >
      • Contributor : Andrzej Swiader < andrzej.swiader[at] >
    • Portuguese (pt_BR) Team Lead: Arthur Nanni < comunidade[at] >
      • Contributor : Rodrigo Sperb
      • Contributor : Sidney Goveia
    • Portuguese (pt_PT) Team Lead: Giovanni Manghi < giovanni.manghi[at] >
      • Contributor : Vânia Neves < vania.neves[at] >
      • Contributor : Alexandre Neto < senhor.neto[at] >
      • Contributor : Zara Teixeira < zarafani[at] >
    • Romanian Team Lead: Sorin Călinică < sorin.calinica[at] >, Tudor Bărăscu < tudor.barascu[at] >
      • Contributor: Georgiana Ioanovici
      • Contributor: Alex Bădescu
    • Russian Team Lead: Alex Bruy < alexander.bruy[at] >
    • Spanish Team Lead : Carlos Dávila < cdavilam[at] >

QGIS Website and Website Translation

QGIS Website and Website Translation is managed by the Community Assistant (Website Team Lead) and supported by numerous contributors.

  • Community Assistant (Website and Website Translation Team Lead): Werner Macho <werner.macho[at]>
    • Contributor : Otto Dassau <dassau[at]>
  • German Translation
    • Contributor: Horst Düster <Horst.Duester at>
    • Contributor: Otto Dassau <dassau[at]>
  • Russian Translation
    • Contributor: Alexander Bruy <alexander.bruy[at]>
  • Romanian Translation
    • Contributor: Sorin Călinică < sorin.calinica[at] >
    • Contributor: Tudor Bărăscu < tudor.barascu[at] >