Does anyone know of a way, when using the Node tool in QGIS to edit a polygon, to choose or toggle which feature (within the same layer) is being selected if they share a boundary?

It seems to just select whichever feature is on higher order in the table...

It's not an issue if the feature has a boundary somewhere else that doesn't share a boundary with another object, but when using layers that have complete coverage (no gaps) there are often objects that are completely surrounded by other polygons and difficult or impossible to select/edit without first 'hacking' one of the surrounding objects...

In MapInfo there is a shortcut key (hold Ctrl) and then as you click it will work it's way through all the objects in the layer at that location...

  • Hi Jamie, Did you get an answer to this or work out how to do it? I've just encountered the same issue myself.
    – JamesD
    Jul 15, 2016 at 14:22
  • No... never got an answer. Only workaround if you really can't select was to move a node from an adjacent polygon to 'free up' a side in order to select. Not ideal but we found no other alternative like there is in mapinfo
    – Jamie
    Jul 20, 2016 at 11:56
  • This workaround is the best solution in QGIS 2.x. Update to QGIS 3.0 for a true solution.
    – csk
    Apr 26, 2018 at 17:07

1 Answer 1


This issue is fixed in QGIS 3.0.

With no features selected, the vertices of the feature on top (the left feature in this example) are available to edit with the vertex tool:

enter image description here

With the lower feature selected, the vertices of the selected feature are available to edit:

enter image description here

Note: in QGIS 3.0, the node tool is now called the vertex tool. There are a few other changes to this tool, which are documented here.

Also, if you want to edit polygons with a shared boundary, topological editing is your friend. This feature allows you to move nodes of contiguous features simultaneously. enter image description here

Topological editing can be enabled from the snapping toolbar (QGIS 3.0) or snapping options menu (QGIS 2.x).

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