I have a project with several layers, each of which has several quite complex virtual fields in order to analyse a particular site. I'd like to perform a similar analysis of a new site in a new project. Normally, I would copy the old project, delete all the data and then add the new site's data, but on this occasion I've been given some of the first layers in an already existing project.

What I'd like to do, therefore, is copy some of the layers from my old project, including styles and virtual fields, to the new project. Ideally I would just copy the style and virtual fields, but if need be I could copy the whole layer and delete the old data.

Unfortunately, 'Save As...' converts virtual fields to fixed fields and '.qlr' and '.qml' files only save styles. Am I missing something?

I'm using Qgis 2.14.0

1 Answer 1


At the moment unfortunately not directly.

Possibilities you have are

  • Copy the project file and use this as a starting point (just like you pointed out yourself)
  • Open the layer properties, go to the fields tab and copy/paste the expression
  • Wait for QGIS 3 or backport/sponsor someone to backport this to QGIS 2.18
  • 1
    Just to add something I've just discovered should anyone else come across this question; because of the relative paths, if you copy a project file to another directory containing shapefiles with all the same names (but another site's data), the project file (with all your virtual fields and styling) will pick up the new data automatically. This is how I ended up partially solving the problem, I just arranged and re-named all the shapefiles I'd been given to match the directory of my previous project, then copied the .qgs file over.
    – user39790
    Aug 15, 2016 at 7:10

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