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

I have a layer of topographic contour lines, graduated by color (using QGIS). My legend wants to display every level and its color. This is not feasible. I need to simply show one representative line, which I'll edit to be labeled "Topographic contour lines: 5-meter intervals". How can I include one representative line, but not all of the various levels? Thanks TVZ

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

In the Legend editor, expand your Contours item. Highlight all but one of the sub-items (i.e. contours) and click the green minus button at the bottom of the Legend items pane. This will delete all but one of your contours, just in the same way as you can delete and entire legend item.

Just an idea, but instead of only having one contour, you could leave three contours to suggest the colour and height range (the lowest, the middle and the highest) and label the main item "Topographic contour lines: 5-meter intervals:" and just have the heights for the actual contours. This would be a bit more informative as somebody reading your map will instantly know the height range which is visible.

Alternatively, add a duplicate layer for contours and given them all the same symbology. With the layer visible, go into Map Composer and add it (green plus button at the bottom of the legend items). Edit the text to suit. Then go back to the Main QGIS window and deactivate the layer. This will leave it in the Lengend but prevent it showing on the map. You need to have it active initially otherwise you won't be able to add the item.

share|improve this answer
Great ideas/information! Thanks! – TVZ Mar 1 '13 at 13:48

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.