I am a newbie, I think I'm pretty resourceful, but I cannot figure out, or find out by searches, just what "map units" are in QGIS as compared to "decimal degrees". For example I can only navigate by entering coordinates in the status bar with "map units" - decimal degrees do not seem to work? I assume I am missing something? And is there a tool to convert "decimal coordinates" into "map units?"

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map units are the units used in the projection you are using, for example when you use a pseudo Mercator projection EPSG:3857 the map units are meters.

if you want to use the decimal degrees you can choose another projection for example the EPSG:4326

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