I understand how to work with color tables within GRASS - but is there any way to preserve color tables when opening the raster in a different program?

For example, I created a color table in GRASS that is very detailed (certain number ranges get certain colors), but then when I open the file in QGIS, all that work is gone. It does not seem to matter what type of raster file I export as from GRASS (I have tried geotif, ArcGIS Binary, and ArcGIS ASCII). Is there any trick I am missing?

Thanks if you can help.

2 Answers 2


You may find information relative to raster export on the r.out.gdal page.

We can read such things :

r.out.gdal exports may appear all black or gray on initial display in other GIS software. This is not a bug of r.out.gdal, but often caused by the default color table assigned by that software. The default color table may be grayscale covering the whole range of possible values which is very large for e.g. Int32 or Float32. E.g. stretching the color table to actual min/max would help (sometimes under symbology).

You may also read GeoTIFF caveats and Improving GeoTIFF compatibility chapters to make the export fiting with your needs.

By the way, if you don not need georeferenced data you can also export your image as png.


Export as PNG (r.out.png) and select Output World File.

Load up QGIS and import the PNG file. Upon import you will need to select the Coordinate System and QGIS will read the associated .wld file to georeference the image.

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