I am using QGIS.

I have one quite large map (A0 or A1) and I want to print in like atlas (just split it to print on A4 or A3). If understand correctly, I have to use Atlas functionality in Composer. I have done all steps from official manual (inc. creation of coverage grid), but by not very clear reason I am getting 81 almost equal pages. On each page region is just slowly moving up. What am I doing wrong?

Ok, I want to clarify what I want to do. I have one huge map and I want to split it into submaps to print on small papersheets (and I want to specify its size by hand). Each submap should have its own frame with grid values, legend and so on. Or suppose you have detailed map of Earth and want print it like ordinary paper atlas. I think this can be done without working on each separate page. But I can't figure out how to do this in QGIS. But am not an expert:), I am just trying to create my first map for backpack trip. If this feature is not implemented, but nice to have, I can try to write a plugin if I have time.

I have never used ArcGIS, but I found this http://help.arcgis.com/EN/ARCGISDESKTOP/10.0/HELP/index.html#//00s90000002s000000.htm . Looks quite close to my idea.

  • I've made some experiments and figured out that number of pages is equal to number of cells of grid. Does this mean that Atlas generate page for each "future" and I should split map on separate page in some other way(by hands?)? Pages are still empty.
    – hudvin
    Jun 21, 2016 at 22:27
  • Are you able to update this question with the qGis version used?
    – David Bern
    May 15, 2021 at 11:07

2 Answers 2


You can try the plugin “Grids for Atlas”. Make sure you list experimental plugins if this doesn't show up at first. Use the plugin to generate a grid, and then generate the atlas again.

Grid layer in map view

Atlas page in print composer

Atlas page with overview map

Make the size of the composer that suits you and the grid will be generated.

This is a page size:
Page size setting

and this is a frame size:
Item size setting

  • I checked this, but haven't found possibility to specify sizes of pages(or "submaps").
    – hudvin
    Jun 22, 2016 at 20:38
  • Is that ok now?
    – nagib
    Jun 23, 2016 at 16:21
  • This answer seems to be out of date, are you able to update the answer with information about version of qGis used?
    – David Bern
    May 15, 2021 at 11:07

If you're only interested in printing then map onto multiple A4 or A3 sheets then you don't need to do this in QGIS at all. If you have the A0 as a PDF adobe reader will allow you to split it and print it over multiple sheets?

Example below shows print dialog for an A2 map being split over 4 A4 sheets.

enter image description here

  • I am not sure that map scale would be ok.
    – nagib
    Jun 22, 2016 at 12:48
  • Ah no if that's important then it could be an issue. Jun 22, 2016 at 13:10
  • 1
    I thought about this possibility, but I want to have legend and grid values around each "submap". So it's not just image splitting, it's more creating small independent maps from one large one.
    – hudvin
    Jun 22, 2016 at 20:37

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