I'm using QGIS 2.18.4, I wanted to add "scale text" but can't find the tool for adding the scale text on the composer. I only see an option of add text and not "scale text" as in other GIS Software like ArcGIS. Is there anyone who knows this?

  • You dont know what you want. Who need scaled text? Try with font size.
    – Frodo
    Commented Mar 19, 2017 at 13:16

4 Answers 4


If you want to add a numeric scale like 1:10000 you can add a normal scalebar first and then change the style to 'Numeric' under Item Properties > Main Properties of the scalebar element.


You can register expression function to get your map scale. For example:

from qgis.utils import iface 

@qgsfunction(args='auto', group='Custom')
def get_composer_map_scale(comp_window_title, feature, parent):
    composer_views = iface.activeComposers()
    my_composition = None
    for view in composer_views:
        if view.window().windowTitle() == comp_window_title:
            my_composition = view.composition()
    if my_composition is not None:
        # adjust map id below if you have more maps in the composer
        comp_map = my_composition.getComposerMapById(0)
        scale = '{:.0f}'.format(round(comp_map.scale(), 0))
        return scale
        return 'Unknown'

And use it in your HTML box or label:

Scale 1:[%get_composer_map_scale( 'Composer 1' )%]

where 'Composer 1' is your composer title.


In QGis 3.x you can add variables in text item with something like [%'1 : ' || round(map_get(item_variables('Main'), 'map_scale'),0)%]

  • Thanks for posting an updated information. Unfortunatly its not working. Does someone know which function queries the live map scale?
    – Velester
    Commented Oct 20, 2020 at 12:44
  • I have tested, it works. You have to remplace "Main" with the name of your map (you find this information in the field "Item ID - id". You can also add a scalebar and choose the style "numeric" Commented Oct 21, 2020 at 7:17
  • Thanks a lot. You kinda opened a whole new world to me there. Will give the variables closer attention now :)
    – Velester
    Commented Oct 23, 2020 at 9:18

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