I'm using QGIS 2.8.4 and I can't seem to figure out adding more than one legend to my Print Composer. Say I want a larger map and then an inset map -- showing perhaps a different classification/color scheme -- on the same page of my Print Composer. For whatever reason, despite checking the lock button(s), my "locked" legend will change according to whatever my original Q map shows. Therefore, if I want to add two legends, I'm really just adding the most-recent one and duplicating it.

I've tried every possibility of the locked buttons/cache/etc.

  • how are you displaying 2 different maps with 2 different renderings on the same layer? That sounds like it wouldn't work though... Jan 28, 2016 at 22:04
  • I can "lock" the first map, ensuring that it's like an image displayed on the Print Composer. Then, I make whatever alterations I feel like in the original Q document and I add a "new" map. The problem is that for whatever reason, the legend for the first map appears like it's locked - but then, as soon as I make the alterations (in this case, change the classification scheme color), the legend changes as well.
    – Hillary
    Jan 28, 2016 at 22:11

2 Answers 2


At least in QGIS 2.12 this can be done by setting what map to populate the legend from in the legen item properties. In the Map dropdown box.

enter image description here

  • Yes, in 2.8.4, that option exists as well... It just doesn't actually work - just refers to the most-recently-created map. I'm wondering if this is a bug but if so, I'm sure others must have the same issue!
    – Hillary
    Jan 28, 2016 at 22:29
  • Works withou issue for me in QGIS 2.12.0. Jan 28, 2016 at 22:57

I think the key is to make sure both:

  • Map has 'lock layers for map item' and 'lock layer styles for map item' checked
  • Legend has 'Auto-update' unchecked

Here is a print composer where the top (pink) map is set as described above, and the 2nd map is being drawn from the same layer as the 1st map:

enter image description here

  • OP: Thanks for the reply, mapBaker. Unfortunately, I tried that (both with and without locking the maps and legends in the "Items" window above "Items properties") -- it still, for whatever reason, doesn't work. I know that adding multiple legends to a single Print Composer has worked for me in the past but I used a different version of Q. I'm wondering if that's the issue here.
    – user66214
    Jan 29, 2016 at 18:34
  • @hilldawg-co do you have any data you can share? Jan 30, 2016 at 2:01
  • Select the legend in the print composer. Then In the "Layout" tab under 'General Settings' ensure you have the correct 'Reference Map' set.
    – JohnF
    Jun 15, 2021 at 2:26

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