I have a shapefile with a feature that is non-contiguous. I want to split the areas on the left from the area on the right. However, QGIS's Split Features tool requires you to draw a line over the feature. When I draw a line between the two areas of this feature, it doesn't do anything.

How should I split this feature?

Here's a screen shot. The feature I want to split is in yellow.

qgis screen shot

  • From version 2.4 and above, there is a new tool called split parts that can solve this problem. Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 18:50
  • 1
    I'm trying to use it but I can't find out how.
    – Juan
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 21:35

2 Answers 2


You could try Multipart to Single Parts in the Vector toolset, which should split what you have there, a multipolyon, into its constituent polygons, from where you should be able to delete the polygons you need to.

You can always recombine them later if you need to.


It appeared that the multipart-to-singlepart tool wanted to bust apart all the multipart features in my layer, and create a new shapefile. This seemed overkill.

Instead I just copy/pasted the desired feature. Then I moved the copy, so as not to overlap, deleted the extra parts from both the original and the copy, and moved the copy back to its proper location.

So: - edit layer - select feature - copy feature - paste feature - move feature (the copy) - select original - delete part (from original, as necessary) - select copy - delete part (from the copy, as necessary) - move feature (the copy) back to original location

  • 3
    That's a bit cumbersome approach. QGIS has now a few tools to split multipart features, like Multipart split plugin, digitizing tools plugin and split parts core function in the advanced digitizing toolbar (version 2.4 and above). Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 18:39
  • 3
    I'm now using 3.14 and the Split parts tool doesn't work on separated multiparts, although the delete parts tool does. So I used a variation of user34450's workaround. I copied and pasted the multipart but didn't move, then clicked on and used the delete parts on one of the parts and then on the other.
    – John
    Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 17:59

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