I am setting up a GeoServer instance to serve up a few different PostGIS databases. I have GeoServer up and running however, it takes me forever to enter the SLD into GeoServer by hand. Is there a better way to generate SLD for GeoServer via some GUI based application?


QGIS has a OpenGeo Explorer (for GeoServer) plug-in that you can create new SLD styles based on your feature symbology, then push to your server.

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You may also use uDig web GIS app. to pull in PostGIS layers, then copy out the .xml sld text which you may paste within GeoServer SLD styling editor.

  • @ustroetz, updated my answer. – artwork21 Apr 24 '14 at 17:08

I did a lot of trial-error tests with SLD lately, and my sum up is

  • use Atlas Styler. They have problems with certificates (version 2.0), newest Java runtime refuses to launch the app, you have to adjust the security settings of Java, but its the only tool doing ALMOST all I expect it to do. Only filters (setting filter like Field='text' will become [Field = text] and this is invalid) are working some curious way. But else, the provided SLD works like charm with Geoserver.

  • Forget QGIS. It has error, when exporting styles with labels, the labels are not exported correctly, more here : http://hub.qgis.org/issues/9365 and many of the exported SLD didnt work for me at all. It uses different version of specification (newer) than Geoserver and many of the used tags end up unrecognized or unusable. Saving the style directly to postgis made my map unrenderable ...

  • For limited style editing, you can use GeoExplorer (part of OpenGeo Suite), runs on same webserver as Geoserver and can provide some basic SLD editing. Forget about advanced styles like SVG with variable URL, even shapes and marks as polygon fill, only plain color. But for some work, it is enough and its pretty straightforward.

  • 1
    To get rid of the Java certificate error which always occured when trying to start AtlasStyler directly from en.geopublishing.org (and which I did not manage to solve on Windows 7), I used the .zip version which is also provided for downloading on the main page. Unzipping and then running start_AtlasStyler.bat worked fine. – Dirk Apr 27 '15 at 11:21
  • AtlasStyler did the work for me too. – Nikos Alexandris Apr 26 '16 at 11:46
  • Any idea where to get the latest version of Atlas Styler from @Radek? I tried to get it from the main website but the application fails to start due to missing online dependencies. Or should I build it from scratch? – jlengrand Apr 4 '17 at 14:58
  • That QGIS bug has since been resolved. perhaps we should reconsider. – ADJenks Jun 27 '19 at 18:01

Just an update to point out uDig documentations and tutorials to work with styles:


QGIS can export a layer's style as SLD. Obviously, there's differences between how QGIS can render a layer and what is supported in SLD, but it does provide a good shortcut over creating styles by hand:

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I remember using Atlas Styler to generate a (basic) skeleton SLD file and then edit it by hand, but the program was very helpful to get started. This software can read from PostGIS or Shapefile.


I can also suggest OpenJump, but in general my experience is that some adjustments must be made ​​directly in the GeoServer's editor because of the specific version of SLD's standard implemented in each tools (e.g. geosever).


Take a look at


it is a free open source tool recently released by SCISYS. You can download the installer and the portable version (.jar file) from https://github.com/robward-scisys/sldeditor/releases/.


GeoCat Bridge creates SLD straight out of ArcGIS, optimized for GeoServer. Not Free and Open Source though. http://geocat.net/bridge

Disclaimer: I am from GeoCat.

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