If I have 2 attribute columns and I wish to change certain values, is it possible for the second attribute column to automatically update its values based on an expression?


Age |  Status
10  |  Child
14  |  Child

If I change the Age from 14 to 18, I would like the Status to automatically change from Child to Adult, so it would look like the following:

Age |  Status
10  |  Child
18  |  Adult

I must only be able to do this within QGIS and without the use of database functionalities such as PostGIS/SpatiaLite etc. I've looked at Value relations but that only seems to provide drop-down box for the user to select the relating columns. I've also looked at Relation Reference but it won't allow me to select a "Relation" (not even sure what Relation Reference actually does).

Please advise?

I am using QGIS 2.2.

1 Answer 1


What you want is available starting from QGIS 2.6 and is called Virtual Field. Just create a new attribute, select "Virtual Field" and insert the expression used to calculate the new column.

For your case:

CASE WHEN "Age" < 18 THEN 'Child' ELSE 'Adult' END 

You can use a recent nightly build / test build to use this new feature.

The value relation and relation reference widgets are used to show attributes from a first table (layer) on a second table.

  • Almost seems as if QGIS 2.6 is the Holy Grail for all my problems! Thank you Matthias, I will test this with the new build.
    – Joseph
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 14:59
  • @Joseph, I had quite the same problem (gis.stackexchange.com/questions/107090/…) recentely and solved it with QGIS 2.2 and 2.4 by setting up a custom form. In a python script for this form I used the field.textChanged method to update one field based on a change in another field.. However, this cool new 'virtual field' is much more handy!
    – Kay
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 18:30
  • Awesome @Kay, that's an interesting alternative. I will have to try it sometime as it can help me learn more about python. But yes, I am also looking forward to seeing the attributes of layers and joined-layers update automatically!
    – Joseph
    Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 9:29

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