I am working with a shapefile that has all the address points for a municipality - it has over 500,000 features. I would like to search the attribute table for specific addresses and save those somehow so I can sort and only show the ones I want - likely around 1000.

After searching for one property I can move it to the top of the list, but when I search for the next and move it to the top, it replaces my first result. How can I flag or select a series of search results and then only save those in my attribute table?

P.S. I am using QGIS v. 2.4


  • Would you be able to edit your question to include the GIS software and version that you are using, please?
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 22:07
  • Okay all done !
    – user35127
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 16:55
  • You could simply add a new field and for each found address, edit it with distinctive value. In the end, all you would need to do would be filter or select all addresses by that value. Also, you can also save selected features to a memory layer in Edit > Past Selected Features as > Memory Layer Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 22:39
  • Thank you Alexandre, I ended up saving the original address point shapefile as a new layer so it was editable, created a new field just as you said for sorting and that did the trick! I don't have enough reputation to like posts I believe but you and Barrett have helped a lot!!
    – user35127
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 15:49

2 Answers 2


Updated and re-worded answer:

Create a new shapefile based on address point template, so that all the fields are the same.

Edit the new shapefile, and then when you find an address you need, select the feature and copy the feature to the new shapefile.

The feature attributes should transfer over since the field names are the same. In-fact, in ArcMap, if you only kept one field name the exact same - say "Address" to "Address" - only that field would map when you copy the features.

QGIS Copy & Pasting - They also say you can copy directly to a CSV... that might be the best option for your case.

  • I create a new shapefile layer and the empty attribute table is empty, however, after I select 'Copy selected rows to clipboard' I do not know how to paste it into the empty attribute table. Ctrl+V didn't paste it...
    – user35127
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 19:44
  • See updated answer? tl;dr - copy the entire feature to the new shapefile, not just trying to copy the attributes.
    – Barrett
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 19:47
  • Sorry Barrett for my inexperience - do you know how I would copy the entire feature to a new shapefile in QGIS? I have not yet figured out how to do it.
    – user35127
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 19:59
  • Perhaps visit the link that I just added to the answer - its from QGIS docs.
    – Barrett
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 20:07

You could include all the values you want to search in your query, but that's impractical for large numbers of records. Using python, you could run a loop and save them out to a file. I don't know of any way to select them all in the attribute table itself other than manually. If they all shared a common feature (e.g. the field value all started with 'abc123') you could select on that. Is there a criteria for selecting the features that you could code?

  • No unfortunately they don't. I was thinking of putting a 1 or something in one of the null columns so I could go back and find them easily, however, the attribute table is not editable and I am not sure if I can make it editable.
    – user35127
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 18:23

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