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This repository is meant to write and manage the Official Documentation of QGIS, a free and Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) Software whose source code can be found in this repository. QGIS is part of the Open Source Geospatial (OSGeo) foundation, offering a range of complementary open-source GIS software projects.

The latest documentation of QGIS is available at

Building the documentation

  1. If not provided by your OS, you need to install:

    You can install both in default places and with default options.

  2. Clone the repository

  3. Go into that directory and follow the next instructions depending on your OS.

The best way to build the documentation is within a Python Virtual Environment (venv).

Build on Linux or macOS

You can use your own virtual env by creating it first:

# you NEED python >=3.9. Depending on distro either use `python3` or `python`
# common name is 'venv' but call it whatever you like

python3 -m venv venv  # using the venv module, create a venv named 'venv'

Then activate the venv:

source ./venv/bin/activate

With 'activated' virtualenv, you should see 'venv' in the prompt. Install the requirements via the REQUIREMENTS.txt:

pip install -r REQUIREMENTS.txt

And run the build from within that venv:

make html

Want to build your own language? Note that you will use the translations from the po files from git! For example for 'nl' do:

make LANG=nl html
Tip: One-line command to create the venv and run the build in a row

The file will create/update a virtual env (if not available) in current dir/venv AND run the html build in it.

make -f html

If, for some reason, you want to (re)start from scratch:

make -f cleanall

Build on Windows

Create a virtual environment called 'venv' in that directory (search the Internet for Python Virtual Env on Windows for more details), but in short: use the module 'venv' to create a virtual environment called 'venv'

# in dos box:
python -m venv venv

Then activate the venv:


With 'activated' virtualenv, you should see 'venv' in the prompt. Install the requirements via the REQUIREMENTS.txt:

pip install -r REQUIREMENTS.txt

And run the build from within that venv, using the make.bat script with the html argument to locally build the docs:

make.bat html

Want to build your own language? Note that you will use the translations from the po files from git! For example 'nl' do:

set SPHINXOPTS=-D language=nl
make.bat html

Build PDFs

In Linux, you can also build the PDF versions of the main documents.

make -f pdf

Or after you enabled the venv:

make pdf

If you want to build PDFs in a language other than English, you can use a similar syntax:

make LANG=fr pdf

For building PDFs in English you will need to install the XeLaTex compiler package texlive-xetex and GNU Freefont.

sudo apt install texlive-xetex fonts-freefont-otf

For building translated PDFs, you may have to install the texlive extra package for your specific language (e.g. texlive-lang-french). For japanese, it's crucial to install texlive-lang-japanese, which will install the platex compiler. If you plan to build all languages, it might be easier to install all languages packages (texlive-lang-all), but it will use a considerable amount of disk space.

Some languages will also need specific fonts installed:

  • Korea (ko) - NanumMyeongjo from the fonts-nanum package
  • Hindi (hi) - Nakula from the fonts-nakula package


We rely on the Transifex platform to store and coordinate our translation efforts. To be part of the translation team, please follow becoming a translator.

The process is automated using the Transifex - GitHub integration system and some custom scripts:

  • The transifex.yml configuration file: provides way to retrieve the English source files and where to locate the translated ones.

    Note to Transifex administrators

    If after the integration system is setup for a new release, the translation strings fail to (fully) upload to Transifex:

    1. Run the create_transifex_resources script: creates/updates the .tx/config file with formatted references of the English source files and their translation in the GitHub repository and link them to the resources in Transifex.
    2. Force-push the translation files to Transifex
       tx push -f -t --no-interactive

  • The transifex integration bot: manages pulls and pushes of the strings, in other words:

    • Tracks any changes of the English *.po resource files in GitHub and automatically sends them to the Transifex platform
    • When a resource is 100% translated, automatically sends back the translated *.po file to GitHub, for build.
  • The pofiles action: creates/updates English *.po files with recent changes in the source *.rst files. Feeds the transifex bot.

  • For files that are not yet fully translated in Transifex, the pull_minimized_translations action periodically and automatically pulls them to the repository.

Based on the above, translated strings are automatically available in released branch so building the docs in any translated locale is possible following the instructions in earlier sections:

make html LANG=yourlanguage

Sometimes, you may want to build the docs with really new strings in a partially translated file and the above workflow may fail to work. In that case, you need to manually pull the translations from Transifex to your local repository:

  1. Checkout locally the repository and target branch in git

  2. Prepare the environment

    python3 -m venv venv
    source ./venv/bin/activate
    pip install -r REQUIREMENTS.txt
  3. Install Transifex command line client

    curl -o- | bash
  4. Download the translated strings using the minimize_translation script. By default this pulls all the languages.


    To pull a specific language (e.g. italian), do

    ./scripts/ -l it

    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. The file should contain this:

    rest_hostname =
    token = yourtransifextoken
  5. Build the docs in your language

    make html LANG=yourlanguage
  6. Share the changes by opening a pull-request, allowing us to integrate the new strings for the pulled language(s)

Testing Python snippets

To test Python code snippets in the PyQGIS Cookbook, you need a QGIS installation. For this there are many options:

  • You can use your system QGIS installation with Sphinx from Python virtual environment:

    make -f doctest
  • You can use a manually built installation of QGIS. To do so, you need to:

    1. Create a custom Makefile extension on top of the file, for example a file with the following content:

      # Root installation folder
      QGIS_PREFIX_PATH = /home/user/apps/qgis-master
      # Or build output folder
      QGIS_PREFIX_PATH = /home/user/dev/QGIS-build-master/output
    2. Then use it to run target doctest:

      make -f doctest
  • Or you can run target doctest inside the official QGIS docker image:

    make -f doctest

Note that only code blocks with directive testcode are tested and it is possible to run tests setup code which does not appear in documentation with directive testsetup, for example:

 .. testsetup::

     from qgis.core import QgsCoordinateReferenceSystem

 .. testcode::

     # SRID 4326 is allocated for WGS84
     crs = QgsCoordinateReferenceSystem("EPSG:4326")
     assert crs.isValid()

For more information see Sphinx doctest extension documentation: