I am curious to know if it is possible to dissolve only the selected features in a layer in QGIS. In ArcGIS this is the default behaviour (which was actually someone annoying most of the time), but it can be useful to avoid having to export all the features to be dissolved to a new file, dissolving them, and then pasting them back into the original. Is this possible in QGIS? I do not see it in the Vector > Geoprocessing Tools > Dissolve dialog.

2 Answers 2

  • Select the features
  • Launch the Dissolve tool

It should as simple as that. No checkbox, the default behaviour is to use selected items, I think.

  • Oh wow, strange, I thought that this wasn't working but I just tried it again and it does indeed behave as you described. I must have accidentally had the selection on the wrong layer earlier. Thank you.
    – wfgeo
    Sep 29, 2017 at 15:54
  • On 3.28, this does not work (any longer?). Even when you manually check 'selected features only', that will result in a layer with only the selected features dissolved. Neither the native nor the gdal dissolve tool can do this from what I can tell.
    – Roel
    Mar 31, 2023 at 12:09

Select edit mode. Make sure to display the advanced digitizing toolbar (NOT the panel). Use view->toolbars-> adv..... Refer to https://docs.qgis.org/3.16/en/docs/user_manual/working_with_vector/editing_geometry_attributes.html#merge-selected-features. Attribute fields/columns can be updated with values selected from a feature or with a value combined from the features. Works just fine.

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