Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most frequent chronic idiopathic interstitial pneumonia in adults. The management of rare diseases in France has been organised by a national plan for rare diseases, which endorsed a network of expert centres for rare diseases throughout France. This article is an overview of the executive summary of the French guidelines for the management of IPF, an initiative that emanated from the French National Reference Centre and the Network of Regional Competence Centres for Rare Lung Diseases. This review aims at providing pulmonologists with a document that: 1) combines the current available evidence; 2) reviews practical modalities of diagnosis and management of IPF; and 3) is adapted to everyday medical practice. The French practical guidelines result from the combined efforts of a coordination committee, a writing committee and a multidisciplinary review panel, following recommendations from the Haute Autorité de Santé. All recommendations included in this article received at least 90% agreement by the reviewing panel. Herein, we summarise the main conclusions and practical recommendations of the French guidelines.