enter image description hereI have a problem with identifying shapefiles in the layer list. I am working on one project with about 50 different shapefiles representing fishing areas placed upon a nautical map. I don’t know what all of them are called by head so I would like to be able to click on them in the map canvas and somehow see which one it is in the layers section.

I hope I could explain the problem clearly. I have tried to find a tool for this but not successful. There must be a simple solution I hope.

  • Are you hoping to use the Identify tool for that?
    – SaultDon
    Nov 1, 2014 at 19:42
  • exactly, this is what I am looking for. Something that enables me to select a layer and shows me which layer this is. How do I use the identify tool?
    – kwai
    Nov 1, 2014 at 19:47

2 Answers 2


You can start by clicking on the canvas using the Identify tool and let it open the Identify Window with the results.

Then at the bottom of the identify window, there is a pulldown which you can change the "Mode" to "Layer Selection".

enter image description here

Now when you use the identify tool, it should produce a list of layers that were found where you clicked.

  • Thanks a million! this was what I was looking for! I have attached a screenshot of the project I am currently working on. When using the above described method it does now show the name of the layer or layers on the place which is great but does not highlight them in the layers section. Is this possible?
    – kwai
    Nov 1, 2014 at 20:01
  • 1
    I don't think it highlights them in the layer list, which would probably be helpful. That might be a good feature request, which can be filed at hub.qgis.org/projects/quantum-gis/issues once you register.
    – SaultDon
    Nov 1, 2014 at 20:13
  • For complete newbies, like me, the Identify tool is part of the Attribute toolbar, and is sometimes greyed out, depending on which layer is selected. It's a little blue i with a mouse pointer on it Jun 9, 2021 at 13:06

After selecting Identification Tool---> Right click on any layer in the Identify Result menu---> Select Active Layer. This will highlight the layer you selected in the Layers window. enter image description here

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