Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is it possible to create a Print Composer; then later, after altering the map that it is based on, go back to that print composer and have it show the altered map? In other words, I want to retain the view extent, and the text labels, etc., that I have created—but have the map image be updated with the changes I’ve made since I created it. Thanks TVZ

share|improve this question
up vote 9 down vote accepted

Yes of course!

In the Print Composer of QGIS, there is the option to have the map image displayed in 3 ways:

  • as a blank rectangle with no updates until it is output
  • as a manual refresh based on cache
  • as a rendered refresh

For your case I think you just need check the dialog is not on a rectangle and to be pressing the update button as required.

So click on the map area in Print Composer, that should activate the dialog on the right hand side. Select the tab for Item Properties and the button for Update Preview will be there.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
Really nice and clear explanation! – Andrew Tice Feb 11 '13 at 22:06
Thanks very much, Willy. – TVZ Feb 12 '13 at 0:56
Note that there are also a set of vertical tabs, which depend on the type of item which has been selected (in this case 'Extents', 'Grid', etc). These reveal more functionality. – Willy Feb 12 '13 at 1:23
@TVZ - please mark this answer accepted by clickin on the tick mark left of answer if it helped you – vinayan Feb 12 '13 at 5:32

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.