I am trying to export a map with a transparent background in QGIS (Using a slightly older version). I looked all around in the print composer but I couldn't find a place to set the background to transparent. I have already unselected the "background" box so I don't think that's it. If someone could direct me to the menu to make the background transparent, that would be great!

1 Answer 1


If you want to export the composer with transparent background it takes more than setting the map background off (or transparent). You must also change:

Composition tab - Paper and Quality box - Page background.

You can set transparency there to 100% (or other like set fill to outline only and set outline wide to 0 etc.).

enter image description here

  • I think that the version I am operating with is too old to have that option. It just jumps straight from orientation to export resolution (I believe its version Dufour). Is there another way to accomplish this if I don't have the "page background" option? Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 21:58
  • @SarahPowell Free upgrade to newer version? :) I just checked version 2.2 Valmiera which is the oldest I have available installed and it is in it. So if Dufour doesn't have it than it was the last version without that. Other option is to export to PNG and make white transparent in any graphics editor - of course that will make all the white transparent.
    – Miro
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 1:20
  • Sadly it's a university computer so I can't install the newer version. Just editing it in photoshop was going to be my next resort. It's pretty easy to get rid of the background around the map it's just a bit harder with the legend but I can deal with that. Thank you so much! Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 14:17
  • I noticed that on the Item properties tab, I needed to uncheck Background for the transparency page settings to work.
    – mfink
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 15:56

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