I have a projected line layer (Shapefile) in QGIS. For every line segment I want to create a polygon without line end caps. The resulting polygone should not be dissolved to a single one.

I tried fTools buffering tool. This can create a buffer without dissolving, but its not possible to define the line end caps.

I tried also v.buffer of GRASS. This can create a buffer with defined line ends, but I cannot disable the dissolving.

Is there a possibility to have both: not dissolved and without caps at line end? The result should be a Shapefile with polygons (buffer) for every line segment.

  • 1
    Can you draw a picture of what you have in mind?
    – raphael
    Dec 23, 2015 at 15:09
  • Why not write some python to loop through the line segments and run v.buffer on each seperately?
    – Mr Purple
    Mar 10, 2016 at 22:49

2 Answers 2


With GRASS v.buffer press Iterate over this layer button.

Below (RHS) figure shows buffers, a buffer polygon layer per each polyline feature, without dissolved parts. Then merge output buffers. (Vector | Data Management Tools)

enter image description here

  • slightly ridiculous that you have to make a seperate layer for each buffer/line segment. This is simply not feasible for complex geometries
    – user32882
    Jul 26, 2018 at 8:51
  • the graphic above is a bit outdated, but the tool is now simply called v.buffer I believe v.buffer.distance capability was merged into the single user tool.
    – nr_aus
    Jul 18, 2023 at 4:37

I imagine that this might be what you are after:

enter image description here

If so, I think you have to first break up your polylines into lines, e.g. using the 'Explode lines' processing tool.

Then, applying v.buffer as you mention above might leed to success.


What I just saw is that the 'Explode lines' tool shoots a little over the target, because it explodes each polyline into segments with only start- and endpoint and nothing in between...

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