Fairly competent ArcGIS user here, very new to QGIS.

What I am trying to do is create a one-mile buffer around the highlighted parcel in QGIS 2.14 (from a .shp). Seemed straightforward enough: select polygon, click 'use only selected feature' (said polygon), input buffer distance in meters (I will reproject if needed, but I haven't even got that far yet), browse to output folder, and..."No feature selected, please uncheck 'use selected' or make a selection"

I did select a feature. It's right there, highlighted. Or is there some other way to 'select a feature' that I don't know about? Attached is a screen capture of what happens when I thought I had it figured out.

enter image description here

  • Also, perhaps a caution from looking at the image you included would be to make sure you have the "Distance" field set properly. Right now it is set to an OBJECTID_1 field, which unless you chose it just for a test, may give you some undesirable results. Apr 22, 2016 at 22:48

1 Answer 1


You haven't selected the feature, you used the Identify tool. The Select tool icon 2 over to the right in your toolbars

enter image description here

  • OK, I think I figured it out. Only thing is, the buffer (which should be 1 mile, about 1610 m) is HUGE- larger than the entire county. I recall reading somewhere that you have to reproject sometimes (which confuses me somewhat because I don't recall ArcGIS requiring that step to make a buffer). Something about reprojecting from meters to degrees?
    – dlunsford
    Apr 28, 2016 at 20:15
  • QGIS uses the project CRS for the units. Since you have your project in WGS84 (EPSG:4326) the distance for the buffer will be in degrees. In order to calculate a correct distance, you do need to set the CRS to a projected grid, like UTM or Psuedo Mercator that use meters as their units
    – HDunn
    Apr 29, 2016 at 18:24

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