The PyQt4 Resource System

PyQt4 supports Qt’s resource system. This is a facility for embedding resources such as icons and translation files in an application. This makes the packaging and distribution of those resources much easier.

A .qrc resource collection file is an XML file used to specify which resource files are to be embedded. The application then refers to the resource files by their original names but preceded by a colon.

For a full description, including the format of the .qrc files, see the Qt Resource System in the Qt documentation.


pyrcc4 is PyQt4’s equivalent to Qt’s rcc utility and is used in exactly the same way. pyrcc4 reads the .qrc file, and the resource files, and generates a Python module that only needs to be import ed by the application in order for those resources to be made available just as if they were the original files.

In addition to the command line options that are common with rcc, the following are also supported:


Generate code that will work for all versions of Python v2.x. Although this is the default, the option should be specified explicitly in case the default is changed in a future version.


Generate code that will work for all versions of Python starting with Python v2.6.

pyrcc4 will only be included if your copy of Qt includes the XML module.