Boost C++ Libraries of the most highly regarded and expertly designed C++ library projects in the world. Herb Sutter and Andrei Alexandrescu, C++ Coding Standards

This is the documentation for a snapshot of the develop branch, built from commit e028efd1e7.

Command Line Usage

Command Line Options

Quickbook is generally run by a build tool, but if you want to run it manually, it's pretty simple to use. Basic usage is:

quickbook filename.qbk

Which, if successful, will print out something like:

Generating Output File: filename.xml


Prints out a summary of the options supported by quickbook, and exits.


Prints out the version of the quickbook executable, and exists.


Disable XML pretty printing. Normally quickbook runs its output through a post processor which generates consistent XML indentation, this flag disables it.


Strict mode. Adds extra errors for possible issues, including sections that weren't closed, and square brackets that don't match any tags or templates.


By default quickbook generates docbook headers that link to themselves, so that in a web browser you can get a link to the header by right clicking on the header and copying the link. This requires generating slightly odd boostbook markup, so this head disables the feature and generates plain headers.


Indentation to use in the pretty printer.


Line width to use in the pretty printer.

--input-file path

Used to explicitly specify that the argument is an input file. Normally not used, as you can just write:

quickbook filename.qbk

. But if you wish to you can also write:

quickbook --input-file filename.qbk

. This could be useful if a file path could be confused with an option, for example to use a file called --filename.qbk:

quickbook --input-file --filename.qbk

Only one input file can be specified.

--output-file path

Explicitly specifiy the path of the file to be generated. By default, it's just the input file name with the extension replaced by .xml.


Don't write out a boostbook file. This is useful for checking that a document doesn't have any sytax errors, or for running with --output-deps. If --output-file-path is also defined, that overwrites this.

--output-deps path

Writes the full path of all the files read in by quickbook to the given path. This is useful for build tools so that they can tell when to rebuild the documentation.


Use Microsoft Visual Studio style error and warn message format, so that Visual Studio IDE will understand them.

--include-path path, -I path

Add the given path to the include path, can be specified multiple times.

--define macro, -D macro

Define a quickbook macro. This can have a value:

quickbook -D __foo__=bar

Or you can just define an empty macro:

quickbook -D __foo__

This can be useful for conditional generation.

--image-location path

Path the image elements are relative to. This is only used for reading in SVG details.