I'm just beginning to learn how to use SAGA 2.1.2 tools within QGIS 2.12.1 on a Windows 7 64 bit computer by working through exercises in Mastering QGIS by Menke et al. (https://www.packtpub.com/application-development/mastering-qgis). Chapter 7 introduces the SAGA raster calculator and "Clip Grid with Polygon" tool. In both cases we are to save the result as a .tiff file, but the only file type available in the "Save To" dialogue is .sdat.

Is there something wrong with my installation of SAGA (I've tried using both the stand alone QGIS Windows installer and the OsGeo installer), or am I missing something else? Mastering QGIS appears to have been written for an earlier version of SAGA, so the tool dialogues in the book don't quite match those in QGIS 2.12.

How can I save the output of these SAGA tools as .tiffs?

1 Answer 1


It seems that you are correct, SAGA tools in processing always output grids as SDAT format or a temporary file.

If you really need a TIFF file as a final output (you can use SDAT in other processing tools), I advice you use the temporary file option and then use save as... (Right-click the output layer) dialog to save it as GeoTiff.

Other option is to use another processing tool called "Translate (Convert format)". If you pretend chain the tool in some processing model, this will be the best way.

  • Saving to a temporary file worked. When I tried to save as an .sdat file, the routine appeared to stall out. In both, the SAGA routine was unable to locate gdal_MrSID.dll, even though the path to it was correct. Even so, the result matched that produced by QGIS's raster calculator. Thank you. Dec 23, 2015 at 20:21

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