I would like to be able to specify an order of label placement priorty in QGIS. Rather than just saying 'label in the top left', I would like to be able to say 'prefer to label top left, but if not then label bottom left'.

There is already an option to be able to do this in ArcMap.

ArcMap Label Placement Priority

I cannot see a way to replicate this in QGIS. My current workaround is to use the offset placement from point, but with some exceptions using data defined placement coordinates. This starts to get very time consuming after a few large datasets!

Any suggestions or best practices would be welcomed here.

QGIS Label Placement Priority

  • I do this with a data defined placement for the Quadrant. So alter any that I do not like the placement of. But yeah it is not as automated as ArcGIS. Requires a bit more manual work. Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 15:26

1 Answer 1


I was wondering the same with 3.18 and it turns out the cartographic placement option is already prioritized as it follows:

  1. top right
  2. top left
  3. bottom right
  4. bottom left
  5. middle right
  6. middle left
  7. top, slightly right
  8. bottom, slightly left.

So, if you want labels to show at a distance from the points but not equally placed, use the cartographic option and set a distance. I used callouts to make it easier to see

enter image description here

If you want to change the position priority order, you have to use an expression, for example I'll use 'T,B' to make it go top then bottom

enter image description here

Hope this was helpful because it took me a while to realize it could be so simple, since I´m new in QGIS.

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.