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I have a shapefile with a feature that is non-contiguous. I want to split the areas on the left from the area on the right. However, QGIS's Split Features tool requires you to draw a line over the feature. When I draw a line between the two areas of this feature, it doesn't do anything.

How should I split this feature?

Here's a screen shot. The feature I want to split is in yellow.

qgis screen shot

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From version 2.4 and above, there is a new tool called split parts that can solve this problem. – Alexandre Neto Jul 11 '14 at 18:50
up vote 15 down vote accepted

You could try Multipart to Single Parts in the Vector toolset, which should split what you have there, a multipolyon, into its constituent polygons, from where you should be able to delete the polygons you need to.

You can always recombine them later if you need to.

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It appeared that the multipart-to-singlepart tool wanted to bust apart all the multipart features in my layer, and create a new shapefile. This seemed overkill.

Instead I just copy/pasted the desired feature. Then I moved the copy, so as not to overlap, deleted the extra parts from both the original and the copy, and moved the copy back to its proper location.

So: - edit layer - select feature - copy feature - paste feature - move feature (the copy) - select original - delete part (from original, as necessary) - select copy - delete part (from the copy, as necessary) - move feature (the copy) back to original location

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That's a bit cumbersome approach. QGIS has now a few tools to split multipart features, like Multipart split plugin, digitizing tools plugin and split parts core function in the advanced digitizing toolbar (version 2.4 and above). – Alexandre Neto Jul 11 '14 at 18:39

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