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I'd like to display the same vector data in different ways as different layers. While it's very handy to be able to copy and paste the layer style in 1.8+, it would be nice to be able to select a layer and right-click to copy or duplicate it directly.

Any easy way of doing this, like a Python command?

Update: @dakcarto's suggestion works perfectly. Since I needed to add many duplicate layers, I adapted it to loop as many times as needed:

for n in range(1,5): 
    iface = qgis.utils.iface; vl = iface.activeLayer(); iface.addVectorLayer(vl.source(), + "_clone" + str(n), vl.providerType())

The only problem is that the new layer becomes the activeLayer, so it adds "_clone" and the number to the previous name, ending up with example_clone1, example_clone1_clone2, up to the unwieldy example_clone1_clone2_clone3_clone4_clone5. Need to figure out how to duplicate from the originally selected layer, now.

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This isn't really an answer, but QGIS doesn't mind if you add the same vector layer to a project twice. – L_Holcombe Oct 31 '12 at 21:05
yes, I've added many a duplicate later, but only by "add layer" and browsing to select the layer each time. Minimum 4 clicks and some scrolling, which gets tiresome with needing to duplicate a layer 20 times. – Simbamangu Nov 1 '12 at 3:35
up vote 5 down vote accepted

There are two feature requests regarding this (#5899 and #1483). This is certainly a doable feature, and could likely be included in version 2.0, if a developer were interested in adding it; or, a Python plugin developer gave it some consideration.

The #5899 issue also includes some Python code for duplicating a layer (submitted by developer Giuseppe Sucameli):

In the meantime, select the vector layer then open the QGis python console and run:

iface = qgis.utils.iface; vl = iface.activeLayer(); iface.addVectorLayer(vl.source(), + "_clone", vl.providerType())

The previous code adds to the map the same sublayer.

It's difficult to do it using a one-line python script like the previous one, but if you know the sublayer name you can just replace vl.source() with vl.source().split("|")[0] + "|layername=my_sublayer_name" where my_sublayer_name is the name of your sublayer.

It appears after running the duplication code, you will have to copy/paste the original layer's style.

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Works perfectly. By adding 'v' as the key to paste the layer style, duplication of layer and style takes only a few seconds now. – Simbamangu Nov 1 '12 at 3:38
This feature is implemented in revision c11df1aa79.… – Vladimir Nov 2 '12 at 18:41
The Python binding for that commit to master branch works like so: iface.setActiveLayer( my_layer );iface.actionDuplicateLayer().trigger() where my_layer is a QgsMapLayer that is set to the active, selected layer in the legend; then, the actionDuplicateLayer() is triggered to work on the selected layers in the legend (its default). – dakcarto Nov 2 '12 at 22:09

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