I'm using the latest release of QGIS (2.14). Is it possible to set default attribute field parameters to be used automatically during the creation of new shapefiles/vector files? I'd be specifically interested in a way to do this on the project level, but if there is a way to specify this on the system level that would also be relevant to my needs.


This is an old question, but still one that I've looked in to several times for my own uses. The best solution that I've come up with is to create and save an empty 'default' layer with the attributes/projection/etc. defined as needed. When it's time to create a new layer with those default settings, open that empty layer, then save as the new layer you're creating.

As of QGIS 3 (I'm currently on 3.4.2), there is a way to define default attribute values, as is described here. Open the Layer Properties dialog and select the Attributes Form tab. Select the field from the Available Widgets list, then define the default value in the Defaults section to the right. Check the Apply default value on update box to automatically update the field when the feature is modified.

  • Good workaround. I use a similar method: select a single feature of an existing layer, export selected features as a new layer, delete the one feature from the new layer. – csk Jan 22 at 20:03
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    @csk - The thing I like about the saved default layer is that styling is transferred as well. The question then becomes whether you'd rather make the few extra clicks to load a saved styling profile (your method), or the few extra clicks to open the default layer before the save as (my method) – matt Jan 23 at 20:44

These links might be of some use to you. Here is an option to auto fill on new features. But here might be closer to the mark for what you want to achieve though the data entry occurs after the geometry has been created. Hope it helps.

  • Thanks for the input. Both are good tips, though not exactly what I'm looking for. I want to have default attribute fields when I create a new shapefile, rather than default attribute values when I create a new vector feature. (which would also be cool) – corvus Jun 7 '16 at 19:53

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