Why does QGIS appear to have two labelling tools? (Note this is not new and old symbology, but that...) there are two different GUIs, one in the toolbar (which gives the Data Defined Settings option) and then in the Layer Properties a tab which leads to Advanced | Date Defined Placement + others. I can turn both on and have two indenpendent lables.

I ask, because what will be supported in the long term?


  • I'm shifting GIS data to Adobe Illustrator. Using the built-in PDF and SVG export options, vectors arrive intact in Ai, but label text is converted to outlines and is thus not editable anymore. Printing to Adobe PDF instead, text remains intact in Ai (as long as you don't export a bitmap layer at the same time, which leads to flattening). But this is only the case if I use the "old" labeling engine. The new one produces outlines. If the old labeling method is removed in one of the next versions, QGIS may possibly lose a very essential workflow option for map designers.
    – user9393
    Commented Aug 8, 2012 at 9:50
  • @Dirk I think there is a bug already open for this on hub.qgis.org
    – Nathan W
    Commented Aug 26, 2012 at 11:38

2 Answers 2


For long term support you should use the Toolbar based labelling button. This is the v2 labelling engine.

QGIS has two labelling engines due to a upgrade but the old one is yet to be removed, it's on the TODO list however there are still a few things missing from the old labelling that need to be ported over.


I didn't know it was possible to use both labelling tools at the same time. However there are more wholesome ways of labelling using two or more fields, by combining them using the field calculator, for example see:


I think the reason for the existence at present of the two labelling systems is that the old system can't be removed until it is certain that all of its features can be duplicated in the new system. Much the same applies to the two systems currently available for styling I think. Nick.


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