Using QGIS 2.6.1 Brighton. I am trying to set the CRS for the project to display Decimal Degrees, where it is defaulting to Feet. I can change it in the Properties Dialog, but it does not change it, it is just staying on Feet. How do I change it?

Edit: this layer was imported from a shapefile where it was internally set to Feet. I was able to get the vendor to supply one with Decimal Degrees so my problem is gone. Still would love to know if there was a way to do it myself from within QGIS.

  • I just tried the same thing using a shapefile in State Plane Feet and with the project properties > Canvas Units > Degree option and it worked just fine... Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 20:19
  • @mapBaker I don't have a Canvas selector in Project Properties - Thanks
    – DonA
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 1:44
  • Resurrecting this one. Anyone know how to do it in 3.2?
    – Kingfisher
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 20:56

4 Answers 4


Within the Project Properties > General dialogue box, you should have an option to set the Canvas Units:

enter image description here

However: it seems for using Decimal Degrees as your display units, your map must be projected 'on the fly' to WGS 84 / 4326:

enter image description here

Keeping your map in your original coordinates seems to limit the use of decimal degrees, while you can still use DMS, Degrees Minutes, etc.

  • That was the first thing I tried. Thanks though.
    – DonA
    Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 19:41
  • @DonA did you ever get this to work? Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 15:00
  • No, but i have moved on. I don't use QGIS currently.
    – DonA
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 19:29

(I am not allowed to comment that's why I am writing it here.)

I had the same problem in QGIS 3.2.3 as DonA had. The solution of DPSSpatial did not work for me at first. Only when I closed QGIS, started it again with a new project, and then set the menu to the following (which is basically the same as DPSSpatial described):

enter image description here

Then I loaded the data I wanted it and it worked.


If you load the data into QGIS, and the units are in feet, you better leave that untouched.

You can use Rightclick -> Save As ... to another filename and choose EPSG:4326 as new CRS for that. Add the new layer to the canvas, and delete the old one.

You can use Rightclick -> Set Project CRS from Layerto get the coordinates displayed in the layers units.

  • Thanks, I tried it once, been busy, did not work - but will try it some more when I can.
    – DonA
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 1:40

I think quickfinder plugin is the best as you can have customer search field defined. Also you can have OSM place search result including administrative boundry.

  • 1
    How does this answer the question? Commented Jun 4, 2016 at 17:56

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