Is there a way to specify a feature of a shapefile or all features within a shapefile to serve as masking features for all other layers within a qgis project? I would like to crop all other features of other layers to the specified extent (hide everything that falls outside of the mask) without having to use geoprocessing tools. I know there is a mask plugin, but that does not allow to achieve what I try to achieve. This should work not just in print composer through the atlas.

It would be great to have that option within the layeer options or even the projects settings.


If you just want to do this visually. And based on your question you do.

You can use the inverted polygon fill on the layer that you want to use as a mask and have that at the top of your layers panel.

See: Inverted shading with polygons in QGIS 2.8

  • I am doing this currently. But it´s far from optimum. When setting tranparency you can still see features outside of the specified geometry. In Arcmap you can control for each layer individually if features outside the mask are visible or not. It would be great if QGIS could do that too – hilpers Feb 24 '17 at 11:09
  • Well you can choose where the mask is. Layers above it will not be impacted, while layers below will. – HeikkiVesanto Feb 24 '17 at 11:37
  • that means having to put an areal map as one of the top layers which then hides all other features. This is not applicable and QGIS desperately needs a mask feature as it works in other GIS Packages – hilpers Mar 8 '17 at 9:42

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