I work with Spatial dataset in QGIS and as usual, it is linked to an attribute table.

What is now unusual to me is that the attributes data is now growing and my client doesn't want the data merged on one table. He needs different tables as the data comes in.

So, I want to know how I can have the spatial data linked to multiple tables without necessarily using a database engine. Just the normal attributes tables in QGIS linked to one spatial dataset?

I need a way to do this without using database (such SQLite, PostGIS, MySQL Spatial etc)?

If QGIS don't support this by default, any suggestion on any Open Source GIS plugin/software is also well come, but no database.

How do I link more than one Attribute tables to Spatial data on my map in QGIS (no database)?

  • 1
    Where is your spatial data stored?
    – Techie_Gus
    Oct 10, 2016 at 17:40
  • Shapefiles on local widows PC
    – Umar Yusuf
    Oct 10, 2016 at 18:16
  • 2
    Did you trie to join those tables through layer properties >> join? You can join more than 1 table
    – PieterB
    Oct 10, 2016 at 19:16
  • join is making the table grow bigger out of hand. That is why I look for a way to keep separate tables related to each other but not on a database.
    – Umar Yusuf
    Oct 10, 2016 at 21:58
  • Are you asking what format you can use to store your non-spatial data? If yes, you can use DBF, or even CSV (text with comma separated values) but you lose editing capabilities in QGIS in that case. I'm also wondering about the reason behind the desire to split the data in multiple tables. Is it to normalize the data (1-Many relationships) or is there some other reason?
    – Techie_Gus
    Oct 11, 2016 at 4:03

1 Answer 1


As I understand well,you have one layer with spatial data and multiple tables. In my example I have one pointlayer and two tables (depA and depB).

enter image description here

Both tables are linked to the point layer

enter image description here

If you change/add data in the linked tables (depA or depB), the changes will be shown in QGIS.

You can send table depA to one department. When you get it back, replace the old table with the new table.

Warning: give it the same name and the referencing field (join field) has to be the same (see picture under).

enter image description here

  • This approach merges the contents of tables (depA and depB) into the pointlayer table. Is it not possible to open one of the tables (depA and depB) and interact with the pointlayer map directly?
    – Umar Yusuf
    Oct 12, 2016 at 20:31

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