When my homebrewed style for road symbology and labeling is saved to a qml file, I am unable to load the labeling information from the qml file onto the same shapefile. This is the case for both the same map document and a new map document. The saved style loads but the labeling is blank. Here is a tar.gz with the roads shapefile, qml layer, and interstate symbol. Is this a bug or am I doing something wrong?


QGIS version - 2.12.3-Lyon Compiled against Qt 4.8.6 - Running against Qt 4.8.6 Compiled against GDAL/OGR 1.10.1 - Running against GDAL/OGR 1.10.1 Compiled against GEOS 3.4.2-CAPI-1.8.2 - Running against GEOS 3.4.2-CAPI-1.8.2 r3921 PostgreSQL Client Version 9.4.4 SpatiaLite Version 4.1.1 QWT Version 6.0.0-svn PROJ.4 Version 480 QScintilla2 Version 2.8.4

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    Oops. Your QML doesn't work because you missed the .dbf out of the tarball so your roads don't have any attributes...
    – Spacedman
    Feb 19, 2016 at 15:33
  • I can't get QML to restore labelling settings either, even though the settings are written to the QML file. I think it works if you save the layer as a Layer Definition File and reload it... Bug? Possibly...
    – Spacedman
    Feb 19, 2016 at 15:43
  • The shapefile didn't have a dbf file to begin with... Ok so, I saved the shapefile as another shapefile, it made a dbf file to go with it but the label styles still fail to load on this new shapefile. Feb 19, 2016 at 15:43
  • Weird. The QML you bundled was clearly trying to do some styling based on attributes, it must have had one at some point!
    – Spacedman
    Feb 19, 2016 at 15:45
  • You're right, @Spacedman! I saved the shapefile as a new shapefile, which added a dbf file. The qml was then able to load labeling information just fine. Thank you. Feb 19, 2016 at 15:49

2 Answers 2


It's a bug. Use the following workaround:

  • Open the layer properties dialog

  • Load the style

  • Cancel the dialog


  • That works for me. Note the style doesn't change at first so you might not think its worked, I have to update the map window (drag, zoom) and the new style (with labels) appears.
    – Spacedman
    Feb 19, 2016 at 15:49
  • This workaround worked the first 2 times I tried it. Now it no longer works. As of now, there is no reliable workaround for this bug. None. Zero.
    – Tim Brown
    Jul 2, 2016 at 19:43

As far as I know copy and paste styles between different project files is the only workaround for this issue in QGIS 2.14.3. See also: http://hub.qgis.org/issues/14224

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