I have a question concerning label placement in QGIS. I'd like to rotate every label by 180°. Therefore, I set the rotation value to 180 (I've tried different ones as well as different variable types) according to the description:

Current rotation settings

I also applied every combination of "Preserve data rotation values" (what does that actually mean?) checked/unchecked and Rendering->"Show upside-down labels" (each value). But all this seems not to have any effect on the labels. What am I missing?


3 Answers 3


For QGIS 2.8.2, it works fine. You can turn the labels upside-down:

Line layer without labels

To rotate labels by 180 degrees (or turn them upside-down), from the Rendering tab you can enable the option the Show upside-down labels option which would automatically rotate the labels. You don't need to define a value for 180 degrees:

Make labels upside down

Then that should do it. Remember that 6 and 9 will look like each other when upside down:

Upside-down labels

Hope this helps!

  • Thanks for your effort! But I want to label lines and, consequently, the "Placement"-menu looks different. Nevertheless, I used the same settings as you describe them here (especially this "show always upside-down labels"-option)
    – Johannes
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 10:07
  • @Johannes - It could be because you're using a different QGIS version. I did the exact same for a line layer and got the same results =)
    – Joseph
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 10:19
  • Okay, now I am confused. The screenshot I posted above is looking quite different from yours. But it is from version 2.8.2-Vienna (I guess you just skipped the name "Vienna")
    – Johannes
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 10:28
  • 1
    Actually, mine says 2.8.2-Wien as well. As far as I recall, I used the standalone installer. For sure, it is the Windows version, 64-bit. Are you sure, you're labelling line features? I am confused about the options available for you concerning "centroid"
    – Johannes
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 10:43
  • 1
    @Johannes: Note that Joseph's answer shows the Rendering section and not the Placement section.
    – underdark
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 17:57

As far as I remember, the rotation can only take effect if you also data-define the coordinates. Otherwise, labeling just follows the position defined in the placement section and ignores the data-defined settings.

  • Thank you! This sounds exhausting. Is there a(n easy) way to get the coordinates QGIS would determine automatically? (this is a line layer and I have not yet thought about determining the coordinates by hand...)
    – Johannes
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 9:58
  • In a minimal example I could see that you remember properly: When setting X and Y manually as well, the label is flipped. I just wonder why it's working for Joseph...
    – Johannes
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 12:07
  • 1
    Is this still the case for 3.8? Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 10:24

Since I was not able to realize the rotation I did the following to achieve a comparable solution: I just switched the line direction (How can I switch line direction in QGIS?). This rotated the labels by 180°.

  • Very strange but atleast you found a solution =)
    – Joseph
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 8:48

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