I’ve run into an issue with creating categorical maps in QGIS.

I’m creating a map of soil types of a 2500ha region. The shp file has the expected attribute table but was originally clipped from a much larger shp file. As soon as I go into properties and change the symbology to categorized (or anything other than single symbol) the layer vanishes. Which is to say I cannot view the layer in the mapping window, but it still appears in the layers panel, and only returns when I change it back to single symbol. I'm using 2.18.3

Has anyone else had this issue?

1 Answer 1


You probably haven't classified the renderer yet. After switching the the Categorized (or graduated) renderer, you then need to:

  1. Select a column from the "Column" drop down (or enter an expression there)
  2. Click the "Classify" button below the list. This will populate the list with all categories taken from the selected column.
  • 1
    I'm embarrassed how easy that was! I must remember to click classify. Thank you! Feb 16, 2017 at 23:38
  • 5
    @ACABotanic Don't forget to click the green tick to acknowledge the help this answer gave you.
    – PolyGeo
    Feb 17, 2017 at 8:38

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