I have received some shapefiles which I believe are from ArcGIS. Each "file" consists of a number of physical files, e.g.


I need to extract the coordinates from these files. I am trying to use QGIS and the instructions here:

How to get Shapefile point coordinates into .xls?

I am opening the files using Add layer >> Add vector layer

My first question is which file or files should I open?

When I try to carry out the command

Vector >> Geometry tools >> Add/Export Geometry Columns

Once I click OK I get the error message:

Currently QGIS doesn't allow simultaneous access from different threads to the same datasource. Make sure your layer's attribute tables are closed. Continue?

Neither option (yes/no) provides the coordinates.

Could someone explain what it is I am doing wrong?

  • You should add the .shp file. The warning is not an error message, just continue. – AndreJ Jun 22 '16 at 17:38
  • @Vince - With Iant's help I have exported the attribute table but all that is included is ident area PERIMETER : 27 459078.1223 3921.444532 I believe this means the attempt to add the coordinates has failed? Correct? – user2177934 Jun 24 '16 at 6:10

You could use the save as option and select csv as the output format.

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  • Hi @Iant Thanks - that exports the attribute table for the layer as required. Thanks again P – user2177934 Jun 24 '16 at 6:13

Not sure this strictly answers the original question but it has resolved my problem which was to extract the coordinates into a file I could use.

Firstly I did as suggested and opened the .shp file as a vector layer (Add layer >> Add vector layer)

Then I enabled the MMQGIS plugin

Finally I selected MMQGIS >>Import/Export >>Geometry Export to CSV File

This produces two files 1) an attribute file 2) a nodes file

The nodes file contains the coordinates for the shape

Thanks for everyone's help.


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  • Thanks for this answer! It worked perfectly for me as well. – Carl Schildkraut Nov 21 '17 at 1:07

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