We have a QGIS project that has symbols for a lot of different lines. Data comes from a Geodatabase that is accessible to both QGIS and ArcGIS.

We now want to use the symbology of the QGIS project to style the features in the ArcGIS map document.

My first approach was to use SLDs. The QGIS style can be exported to SLD easily, but how can you style your features according to a SLD using ArcGIS Desktop?

Setting up a simple WMS does not suffice, both QGIS and ArcGIS Desktop need editing capabilities on the features.

If one could provide a SLD with a WFS (in a ESRI-readable way) that would also be a possibility. Have found nothing for that, either.


3 Answers 3


This may not be what you want to hear but I think the best chance you have of having ArcGIS Desktop read SLD files will be to vote for this ArcGIS Idea.

Its proposer says:

It would be a great interoperability improvement to be able to import SLD styles into *.style files and vice versa.


This question seems to pop up every couple of years, but unfortunately I don't think anything has come of it. This ArcGIS Idea is almost 6 years old and its the most recent attempt I could find. Really sorry for the bad news answer.

Depending on what you're trying to accomplish you may have luck creating a few similar layer templates in both ArcMap and QGIS and importing the symbology definitions within the respective software.

  • It is really weird to me that ArcMap apparently can use SLDs for WMS, but can't use SLDs/SE on local data. If anyone finds a way to parse the SLD / SE XML to a ESRI-usable format, give me a shout.
    – aae
    Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 14:37

I found this:

one option is to use GeoCAT bridge which creates SLD files from ArcMap directly. Works a treat.

from this page:


GeoCAT bridge seems a paid product.

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