I have two shapefiles: one point and one polygon. The point shapefile have five attributes that describe the points. The polygon shapefile have one attribute: name of the polygon.

I am a beginner to QGIS. I know how to bring both shapefiles up on the screen. Here's where I need help. I need to add a column in the point shapefile, and update the records of the name of the polygon that particular point happens to reside in. This way, I can detach the point shapefile and send it somewhere else without giving up the polygon shapefile.

If this can be done, then how?

3 Answers 3


Excellent answers provided by @ChrisW and @CAccesible, both describe techniques which should do what you want. Just to add on what @ChrisW mentioned, a spatial join tool called Join by location would provide your points layer with another attribute column containing the names of the polygon it resides in, regardless of how many points there are in a polygon. I use this function many times with the following parameters to obtain results similar to what you want:

Join by location


SAGA GEOALGORITHMS>SHAPES-POINTS> Add polygon attributes to point

With this tool you must select the points.shp, the polygon.shp and the attribute (column) that you want to extract to the points.shp.


If there is more than one point in any given polygon, that relationship will affect available methods.

A simple Intersect will get the polygon names on the points, regardless of the number of points in a polygon.

To get the point attributes on the polygons will likely require a Spatial Join. If there is more than one point in a polygon, you have to decide whether to use the first matched point for the entire polygon, duplicate the polygon once for each point within it, or some other method of dealing with multiple values for the same shape.

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