Is there a simple tool in QGIS to graphically visualise geometry formatted as text?

Example geometry:

POLYGON((571178 6337246,571178 6402217,598061 6402217,598061 6337246,571178 6337246))


A layer in QGIS showing the polygon from above.


The intention is to do quick and dirty visualisation for debugging purposes - I feel it is easier to relate to a graphical representation than a coordinate list.


Current answer

Try "QuickWKT" Plugin.

Old answer

Try "QuickWKT" plugin. You have to allow experimental plugins to be able to install it.

enter image description here

  • @underdark, will QuickWKT render multiple WKT features in the same "paste"? That is, given your screenshot, can you input multiple features using some sort of delimiter? I tried comma, semicolon, and linebreaks but none of those worked. Any thoughts?
    – elrobis
    Dec 3 '11 at 17:51
  • 1
    @elrobis You can add multiple geometries by splitting them with an linebreak, so that every geom is on a single line. No comma's or other delimiters needed.
    – RickyA
    Jul 10 '13 at 13:05
  • Try clydedacruz.github.io/osm-wkt Mar 6 '18 at 7:32
  • 1
    It does not appear to be "experimental" anymore.
    – jpmc26
    Oct 4 '18 at 22:47

Indeed there is! Look here for how to achieve it with the Add Delimited Text Layer plugin.

Essentially you create a CSV file (although you should use a delimiter other than comma), where one column is the WKT representation of your geometry. Then when you select that file in the plugin, it picks up that there is a WKT column, and does the right thing.

I can't vouch for its robustness, but the sample you gave works fine:

1|POLYGON((571178 6337246,571178 6402217,598061 6402217,598061 6337246,571178 6337246))

enter image description here

  • 1
    In an ideal world, I would imagine a window with a textbox where I could input my string. But apart from my imagination, your solution comes close :) Thanks a lot, I will try it out.
    – Chau
    Aug 9 '11 at 12:46
  • 1
    An option would be to develop a plugin yourself, which would be a fairly simple bit of Python, or sponsor a developer to do it for you. Aug 9 '11 at 13:55
  • 4
    No need. QuickWKT already exists. We're approaching an ideal world ;)
    – underdark
    Aug 9 '11 at 15:22
  • In case anyone else didn't know how to change the delimiter, in Windows go to the control panel > Regional and Language Options > Additonal Settings/Customize > List Separator and type in | instead of ,
    – coelacanth
    Dec 11 '12 at 16:20

No Plugin needed

In QGIS deploy a "Virtual Layer" through Layer > Add Layer > Add/Edit Virtual Layer....
In the Query window simply paste the following expression:

SELECT ST_GeomFromText('POLYGON((571178 6337246,571178 6402217,598061 6402217,598061 6337246,571178 6337246))')

or with an SRID code

SELECT ST_GeomFromText('POLYGON((571178 6337246,571178 6402217,598061 6402217,598061 6337246,571178 6337246))', 4326)

The result might look like this




Quick and dirty: select the record in the table of attributes, ctrl-c and then paste with ctrl-v in a text editor. Along with attributes you will see also the geometry as text.

Probably there are more elegant alternatives.

  • My goal is to visualise the string as geometry in a layer.
    – Chau
    Aug 9 '11 at 12:13
  • Even if this does not solve the question, it is still very useful! So thanks for the information!
    – til_b
    Sep 18 '14 at 13:56
  • It is not the answer that the author seeks, but it is as if you had given me that simple tool that you will always use. ¡¡¡ Thanks, thanks, very much !!! Jan 14 '17 at 11:24

In QGIS 3.18.3 (Windows) we can copy one or multiple WKT strings into clipboard and past them using Edit > Paste Feature As > Temporary Scratch Layer... into map canvas. CRS needs to be adjusted afterwards.

  • 1
    Amazing approach. Quick and straightforward
    – Taras
    Aug 10 at 9:00

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