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Image Polygonal Annotation with Python

Project description


Image Polygonal Annotation with Python


Labelme is a graphical image annotation tool inspired by
It is written in Python and uses Qt for its graphical interface.

VOC dataset example of instance segmentation.

Other examples (semantic segmentation, bbox detection, and classification).

Various primitives (polygon, rectangle, circle, line, and point).


  • <input type="checkbox" checked="" disabled="" /> Image annotation for polygon, rectangle, circle, line and point. (tutorial)
  • <input type="checkbox" checked="" disabled="" /> Image flag annotation for classification and cleaning. (#166)
  • <input type="checkbox" checked="" disabled="" /> Video annotation. (video annotation)
  • <input type="checkbox" checked="" disabled="" /> GUI customization (predefined labels / flags, auto-saving, label validation, etc). (#144)
  • <input type="checkbox" checked="" disabled="" /> Exporting VOC-format dataset for semantic/instance segmentation. (semantic segmentation, instance segmentation)
  • <input type="checkbox" checked="" disabled="" /> Exporting COCO-format dataset for instance segmentation. (instance segmentation)



There are options:


You need install Anaconda, then run below:

# python2
conda create --name=labelme python=2.7
source activate labelme
# conda install -c conda-forge pyside2
conda install pyqt
pip install labelme
# if you'd like to use the latest version. run below:
# pip install git+

# python3
conda create --name=labelme python=3.6
source activate labelme
# conda install -c conda-forge pyside2
# conda install pyqt
# pip install pyqt5  # pyqt5 can be installed via pip on python3
pip install labelme
# or you can install everything by conda command
# conda install labelme -c conda-forge


You need install docker, then run below:

# on macOS
socat TCP-LISTEN:6000,reuseaddr,fork UNIX-CLIENT:\"$DISPLAY\" &
docker run -it -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix -e -v $(pwd):/root/workdir wkentaro/labelme

# on Linux
xhost +
docker run -it -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix -e DISPLAY=:0 -v $(pwd):/root/workdir wkentaro/labelme


# Ubuntu 14.04 / Ubuntu 16.04
# Python2
# sudo apt-get install python-qt4  # PyQt4
sudo apt-get install python-pyqt5  # PyQt5
sudo pip install labelme
# Python3
sudo apt-get install python3-pyqt5  # PyQt5
sudo pip3 install labelme

# or install standalone executable from:

Ubuntu 19.10+ / Debian (sid)

sudo apt-get install labelme


brew install pyqt  # maybe pyqt5
pip install labelme  # both python2/3 should work

brew install wkentaro/labelme/labelme  # command line interface
# brew install --cask wkentaro/labelme/labelme  # app

# or install standalone executable/app from:


Install Anaconda, then in an Anaconda Prompt run:

# python3
conda create --name=labelme python=3.6
conda activate labelme
pip install labelme


Run labelme --help for detail.
The annotations are saved as a JSON file.

labelme  # just open gui

# tutorial (single image example)
cd examples/tutorial
labelme apc2016_obj3.jpg  # specify image file
labelme apc2016_obj3.jpg -O apc2016_obj3.json  # close window after the save
labelme apc2016_obj3.jpg --nodata  # not include image data but relative image path in JSON file
labelme apc2016_obj3.jpg \
  --labels highland_6539_self_stick_notes,mead_index_cards,kong_air_dog_squeakair_tennis_ball  # specify label list

# semantic segmentation example
cd examples/semantic_segmentation
labelme data_annotated/  # Open directory to annotate all images in it
labelme data_annotated/ --labels labels.txt  # specify label list with a file

For more advanced usage, please refer to the examples:

Command Line Arguments

  • --output specifies the location that annotations will be written to. If the location ends with .json, a single annotation will be written to this file. Only one image can be annotated if a location is specified with .json. If the location does not end with .json, the program will assume it is a directory. Annotations will be stored in this directory with a name that corresponds to the image that the annotation was made on.
  • The first time you run labelme, it will create a config file in ~/.labelmerc. You can edit this file and the changes will be applied the next time that you launch labelme. If you would prefer to use a config file from another location, you can specify this file with the --config flag.
  • Without the --nosortlabels flag, the program will list labels in alphabetical order. When the program is run with this flag, it will display labels in the order that they are provided.
  • Flags are assigned to an entire image. Example
  • Labels are assigned to a single polygon. Example



pip install hacking pytest pytest-qt
flake8 .
pytest -v tests


git clone
cd labelme

# Install anaconda3 and labelme
curl -L | bash -s .
source .anaconda3/bin/activate
pip install -e .

How to build standalone executable

Below shows how to build the standalone executable on macOS, Linux and Windows.

# Setup conda
conda create --name labelme python==3.6.0
conda activate labelme

# Build the standalone executable
pip install .
pip install pyinstaller
pyinstaller labelme.spec
dist/labelme --version

How to contribute

Make sure below test passes on your environment.
See .github/workflows/ci.yml for more detail.

pip install black hacking pytest pytest-qt

flake8 .
black --line-length 79 --check labelme/
MPLBACKEND='agg' pytest tests/ -m 'not gpu'


This repo is the fork of mpitid/pylabelme, whose development has already stopped.

Cite This Project

If you use this project in your research or wish to refer to the baseline results published in the README, please use the following BibTeX entry.

  author =       {Kentaro Wada},
  title =        {{labelme: Image Polygonal Annotation with Python}},
  howpublished = {\url{}},
  year =         {2016}

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