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.