I am hoping to get some ideas about useful ways to simplify adding vector layers with common attributes, particularly for non-GIS users (i am a borderline non-GIS user) in QGIS Las Palmas.

Generally speaking the group that I deal with know how to add vector layers and draw up polygons of sample sites. However I find that they don't tend to add the attributes required when adding polygons to the model (both in terminology or the right attributes).

The attributes feed into a table in the composer manager , which is used to display site information on published maps. If they don't do this I have to go and make amends, however we have around 50 sample sites going in at one time.

Ideally when they add a vector layer , I would like this to display a fixed set of fields to enter, so that we have common information for each sample site polygon.

I am wondering whether there is either a way to

  1. add layers from a "template"
  2. an existing plugin that could do this
  3. whether I should consider coding something?
  • Why don't you create all of your sampling object into the same file? So your data cannot be inconsistent.
    – YoLecomte
    Commented Oct 10, 2017 at 9:25
  • Thanks YoLecomte, that's definitely an option. The only issue there is I think splitting apart a multipart shapefile into separate polygons (we share these sample sites with other parties) after the fact is probably beyond the other users if I am not around. I like to keep separate shapefiles for security reasons as some sample sites are quite sensitive. Thanks!
    – Nick Brown
    Commented Oct 10, 2017 at 9:33

1 Answer 1


What about this workflow:

  1. Create your template Shapefile (empty) in a way that everyone can access it (on a server for example)
  2. Make people load this empty shapefile in QGIS
  3. Explain you collegue how to save a layer (Right-click --> Save As) with the load saved shapefile option if they don't know enter image description here
  4. Remove the template of the Qgis Layers to avoid confusion
  5. Digitize your object in the saved shapefile which is a copy of your template

So basically, people will create copy of your template shapefile before starting digitizing.

  • Ahh thank you YoLecomte , this would be an ideal solution! Thank you !
    – Nick Brown
    Commented Oct 10, 2017 at 10:17
  • You're welcome! Don't forget to accept the answer so it won't remain unanswered.
    – YoLecomte
    Commented Oct 10, 2017 at 10:25

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