Field calculator has a great function under "Records" called "$rownum" which returns (assigns) the number of the current row.

Is there a way to make it work together with sorting? Lets say I want to sort table by column "length" and get the order (sequence) of lines by length from shortest to longest.

I know I can use some office spreadsheet software easily for this to sort by column and populate new column with order (sequence). But I would prefer to do the whole job in QGIS.

Update: As workaround there is also How to change the order of features in a shapefile? - using mmqgis plugin and function modify/sort and after that use "$rownum" on the new saved file.


So, I've coded a plugin (Sort and Number) to solve your issue. It allows you to select up to 3 fields and order your attribute table according to these fields. Then, it numbers the attribute table in a new field (named "order" by default), starting from 1.

enter image description here

  • It looks awesome. I am going to test this plugin now, thank you. – Miro May 3 '16 at 23:25
  • When installed for the first time in 2.8 it came up with some error but after test in 2.14 and back in 2.8 it works excellent. Thank you. – Miro May 3 '16 at 23:41
  • @Miro: you're welcome. I hope it will be useful for other people too. – ArMoraer May 4 '16 at 6:04
  • @ArMoraer - Great plugin! – Joseph May 4 '16 at 9:29
  • 1
    Can you recode this for Bonn 3 -> i loved this tool! – lowsparked Sep 12 '18 at 22:18

I'm not sure you can with field calculator, but you can use a virtual layer with a query like :

    * ,
    (SELECT count(*) FROM your_layer AS b WHERE a.length >= b.length) AS length_position
FROM your_layer AS a 
ORDER BY a.length
  • Thank you, I still work with long term release 2.8 so it was my first time I discovered virtual layer in 2.14. Apart it was very very very slow it works. Generally this is acceptable though I am going to wait a bit more for some other answers if any. – Miro May 3 '16 at 7:24

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