The project for my class involves downloading a zip (with sharefile documents) + csv file which provide the data and a basic map of Manhattan. As per instructions, I computed a new field and created a map based on it. Whenever I try to save this file as a shapefile, it only shows the information from the original zip file (and none of my work).

Hopefully this makes sense, I'm new to GIS.

  • 1
    Solution here, basically Shapefiles contain geometry, tabular data etc, but not symbology, labels, queries and so on which you need to Save As Layer Definition File.
    – Blerg
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 18:39
  • Do you need to turn in a print/electronic map? If so, you'll want to use the Print Composer to create a new print layout (File>New Print Composer). More on the Print Composer here.
    – Jyler
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 19:03
  • I need to upload it on a website called blackboard, and part of the directions for the assignment was to "zip up the resulting shapefile (all 3-4 files)". Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 19:20
  • Did you open the data directly from the zip file or did you unzip it first?
    – user30184
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 20:27
  • I opened it directly from the zip file Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 12:22

2 Answers 2


In Qgis you save your work into project files which have the file extension .qgs. You do not save your work into a shapefile.

On the file menu if you do Project/Save or Project/Save As you will be able to save your work with a name you choose. If you call the project "homework" the file saved will be homework.qgis.

The project file knows which shapefiles or other data you used for the project and remembers where that data is stored.

  • I saved it this way and uploaded it for my teacher to grade. However, when I download the file myself and try to open it, I get a popup that says "handle bad layers" - then it shows the layer name, type, provide, and data source. Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 19:25
  • This is because the project file now cannot find your original data files. Please see this question gis.stackexchange.com/questions/85544/…
    – David W
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 19:32

I believe that QGIS can't save changes back into the zip. Unzip first and open the uncompressed shapefile for editing. Zip the edited shapefile into a new archive for your teacher. Some teachers do also guide their students if they have problems.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.