Using QGIS 2.10.1, I open an attribute table. How do I rearrange the field display order? For example, a table's default display order (from left to right) is State, County, City. But I would like to see them displayed as City, State, County.

I'm not interested in rearranging the table's internal structure, rather just the table's display.

  • 1
    You mentioned you don't want to rearrange the internal structure but I would say that it's very simple using the Refactor fields tool in the Processing Toolbox. There are arrow buttons which allows you to move fields up/down and you can save it as another shapefile to use for displaying :)
    – Joseph
    Oct 23, 2015 at 10:46
  • Yes, or alternatively to saving as another shapefile, you can create a temporary layer. Sure wish the Refactor tool had some documentation; I'm not really sure what's going on there...
    – Stu Smith
    Oct 28, 2015 at 15:36
  • You can create a temporary shapefile if you leave the Refactored box blank :). But yes, would be nice if there was comprehensive documentation for each tool.
    – Joseph
    Oct 28, 2015 at 15:49

3 Answers 3


You can't, as far as I know, at least in table view. But you can customise forms and use them in the attribute editor to make it easier to view and edit records.

UPDATE as of 2.18 this is possible, see answer from Dan.

Form-based attribute table

There's an alternative form-based view which you might find easier to use (less scrolling than the normal table view).

If you look in the bottom-right corner of the Attribute Table, there's a couple of small icons. Very small icons. Blink and you'll miss them :)

icons to switch between form and table views

Clicking on one of these will show the form-based view, the other the table based view. Here's the standard form view.

attribute table form-based view

Easier to use than your standard 'spreadsheet' view, but still not sorted.

Drag and drop form editor

You can create custom forms for use with attribute editor.

Go into layer properties, "Fields" panel. Change from "Autogenerate" to "Drag and drop designer".

Here, I've used the Natural Earth dataset, which has a lot of columns. You create 'groups' (categories) on the right hand panel using the plus (+) icon. In my case I chose categories 'Population', 'Coding' and 'Names'. You then drag the fields over and drop them on the corresponding category.

using drag-and-drop form editor in qgis

Once the fields are copied over, you can nudge them up and down with the 'up' and 'down' arrow icons. This changes the order.

Now, when you go into attribute editor in 'form' mode, the form editor has one tab per category, and the fields in whichever order you want.

example of custom form in attribute editor

It doesn't affect the default 'table' view, though. Hope that helps!

  • Steven, although your response didn't directly answer my question, your idea was very useful . Thanks for the help.
    – Stu Smith
    Oct 28, 2015 at 15:34

In QGIS 2.18 (Windows 7):

Open Attribute Table > Select Toggle Editing Mode > Left mouse click top row > Select organize columns >

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Using the mouse move columns up or down >

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Press OK > Save Edits

  • thanks for the update, things move fast in QGIS land and new features often go un-noticed :-) do you know which version this was added? i've updated my answer to link to yours but i didn't note which version i was using at the time
    – Steven Kay
    May 22, 2017 at 20:13
  • 1
    Not sure which version this was added. It should be noted here that this fix will not permanently save the table edit (at least in my QGIS version). In order to permanently save the table edit you will need to find an additional method (i.e., edit original csv or dbf file using excel or libreoffice calc).
    – Dan
    May 23, 2017 at 13:13
  • 1
    Not working permanently
    – GeoF
    Oct 29, 2019 at 8:13

Temporarily rearranging the order in which QGIS attribute fields are displayed does not appear to be possible.

However, permanently rearranging the field order is possible. For me, the easiest solution (for shapefiles) was the Table Manager plugin. With it, you can easily reorder the fields, from which the plugin creates an updated .dbf file. The original .dbf is renamed to .dbf~

Note that I have only tried this with shapefiles.

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