What is the difference between geometry() and $geometry in QGIS?

I didn't find any examples of using this function.

geometry and $geometry

Particularly I'm interested in geometry(), in what cases it is helpful?

2 Answers 2


Right next to the list of functions your screenshot is of, should be the currently selected function's documentation. For me, with QGIS 2.18.12 those read:

$geometry Returns the geometry of the current feature. Can be used for processing with other functions.

geometry() Returns a feature's geometry.

This is like the different of a method versus a function in object-oriented programming. $geometry is this/self's geometry. You can think of it more like an attribute or property maybe.

geometry() on the other hand requires/allows you to pass a feature to it and it will return the corresponding geometry. As the documentation shows, you can use this to get the geometry from an attribute-based feature selection:

  get_feature(layer, attributeField, value)

What else you can do with it is just limited by your creativity and the sources for features to pass to it. :)

  • So, how I can use it when trying to transform separate points that forms line ( (make_line( make_point( "xlbl" -1000, "ylbl" ), make_point(( "xlbl"+ length( ( "time" ))*3000+7000 ) , "ylbl" ),) ... etc I mean that I want to transform every point of line, based on coordinates in attribute table values
    – Jane
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 9:43
  • I suppose I have to represent every point of my line (from make_point func) as geometry, then transform it, so far as the whole constructed geometry make_line transforms wrong gis.stackexchange.com/questions/253002/…
    – Jane
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 9:46
  • Sure thing. This sounds like using the wrong tool though, have you tried the points2one plugin or some other processing? Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 9:53
  • 1
    No, this is a style of the layer, I can't use any plugins in layer properties. I try to solve my problem by dint of qgis built-in functions
    – Jane
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 10:05
  • 2
    The property comparison sounds good but the OO comparison is a bit weak, $geometry is rather a (const) variable, regardless if OO or not. Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 12:59

$geometry returns the geometry of the current feature as in:


geometry() returns the geometry of a specific feature as in

geom_to_wkt(geometry(get_feature('my_layer', 'my_feature', feature_id)))

You would use the second case if you wanted, for example, to process the current feature against a specific feature:

intersects($geometry, geometry(get_feature(layer, attributeField, value)))

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