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I have datasets (OS Opendata to be precise) which are broken down into tiles, for some data as small as one square km.

I'm creating maps from these datasets and I wanted to know if there was a simpler way to manage their appearance / styles when instead of one layer for (for example) terrain, or roads, you have a hundred or more.

While grouping them allows me to turn them off and on as a single layer and navigate the list of layers more easily, it doesn't help when it comes to managing the symbology, you can't edit the symbology of a whole group and so still have to set the style for each layer individually.

Being able to copy/paste styles helps a bit, though it's still more time-consuming than I'd like, especially if you want to tweak the symbology, each time you want to adjust the colour or thickness of a line or somesuch you have to then go layer by layer pasting the style.

Another 'solution' is to merge the tiled layers into a single shapefile, however I would like to stick to non-destructive editing if at all possible. The OS Data is updated around every 6 months and I would rather just be able to download the new data, place it in the folder overwriting the old data and hey presto, the map now uses the new data, rather than have to create my new shapefiles each time the data is updated.

I may be missing something, but is there a better way of doing this, for example of setting the symbology for an entire group, or of having a layer, the definition for which is a union query so that I can include several individual layers in a single layer?

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