In ArcGIS, when one clicks a feature with the identify tool, it will flash/flicker, which makes the feature really easy to see for a moment. Reportedly, there is also a flash method in its ArcObject API.

Is there a way to flash a set of selected feature to the same effect with PyQGIS (2.x or 3.0)?

I searched around, and couldn't find any mention of this or examples


2 Answers 2


We can build a flashFeatures method in this way (give it a try in the QGIS Python Console):

from qgis.gui import QgsHighlight
from PyQt4.QtCore import QTimer
from PyQt4.QtGui import QColor

timer = QTimer( iface.mapCanvas() )
lstHighlights = []

def flashFeatures( featureIds ):
    global lstHighlights
    for f in iface.activeLayer().getFeatures( QgsFeatureRequest().setFilterFids(featureIds) ):
        h = QgsHighlight( iface.mapCanvas(), f.geometry(), iface.activeLayer() ) 
        h.setColor( QColor( 255,0,0,255 ) )
        h.setWidth( 5 )
        h.setFillColor( QColor( 255,0,0,100 ) )
        lstHighlights.append( h )
    timer.start( 500 ) # Milliseconds before finishing the flash

def finishFlash():
    global lstHighlights
    lstHighlights = []

timer.timeout.connect( finishFlash )

Call flashFeatures method passing it selected features Ids (activate first your layer in the Layers panel):

flashFeatures( iface.activeLayer().selectedFeaturesIds() )

If you want to flash features each time they are selected, you could use:

iface.activeLayer().selectionChanged.connect( flashFeatures )

enter image description here

  • 1
    +1, I wonder if it will be nice to have the features flash x number of times consecutively but this is certainly great :)
    – Joseph
    Jun 29, 2017 at 13:05

In 3.0 you can use QGIS's built in flashFeatureIds method on MapCanvas objects

canvas = iface.mapCanvas()
layer = iface.activeLayer()
my_features_ids = [42, 43, 45]
canvas.flashFeatureIds(layer, my_features_ids)

This method also lets you modify the style of the flashing

  • 1
    +1 Good to know. It's small typo, but in the last line should be 'my_featureS_ids'.
    – DIV
    Sep 19, 2019 at 14:07
  • Good point! Fixed
    – Jared Khan
    Sep 20, 2019 at 10:48

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