I have two vector layers:

A first one with all cadastral parcels of a region. This layer has several attributes, it's only the geometry and 3 of the attributes I'm intrested in.

My second layer is a selection of parcels from the same region. This layer has 7 attributes. The first 3 attributes are identical to 3 attributes from the first layer with all cadastral parcels. The 4 other attributes are filled in afterwards.

How can I copy a parcel from the first layer to the second one, only with the geometry and matching attributes in the right field of the attribute table?

2 Answers 2


When copying features from one layer to another, attributes are copied and pasted in the same order they appeared in the original attribute table. Attribute/column names are not considered.

This is how you could make it work:

Your original parcel layer should be restructured so that the the 3 attributes you care about are first in the attribute table.

If you then copy features from the original layer to the target layer, all attributes will still be copied but at least your attribute values of interest will end up in the correct columns. The rest can be deleted or written over.

  • This seems to work but I have problems with restructuring my attribute tables. I use the plugin Table manager and works fine for most of my shapefile, except for 1, the original layer with the cadastral parcels. This shapefile is 100MB and every time I try to start the plugin QGIS crashes. I also noticed that sometimes when I copy a feature QGIS copys the attributes of this feature, but the geometry of the feature I tried to copy before. Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 10:59

If you are having problems with the method suggested by underdark, the following might be an alternative approach:

  • Select the features from the original layers. You can do this manually or using e.g., the (advanced) search function in the attribute table window. Save the selection as a new layer (save selection as).
  • Optional; remove columns you are not interested in with Table manager
  • Merge the new layer with your target layer (see this gis stackexchange question about merging multiple shapefiles).

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