Using QGIS 2.4, I have tried labeling a polygon using the layer properties>label function but it doesn't show my label.
How and where do I type the text I want and get it to show?
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The layer you are trying to label must have at least one attribute field populated with data. You can then turn on labelling in Layer Properties and select which attribute field to use for your labels.
Have a look here as well: http://docs.qgis.org/2.2/en/docs/training_manual/vector_classification/label_tool.html