I am using QGIS 2.18.16 on Windows 10.

What I want is a label to appear within the boundaries of a polygon.

I select a layer, then select command Layer>Labelling, and I get:

enter image description here

From here, I can change "No Labels" to "Show labels for this layer".

But I can't actually create label text.

I find a clue in a prior question:

“Labelling polygon using QGIS?”

The answer was: The layer you are trying to label must have at least one attribute field populated with data. You can then turn on labelling in Layer Properties and select which attribute field to use for your labels.

I can enter command Layer>Open Attribute Table, and what I get is:

enter image description here

If I need something in the attribute table in order to apply a label, how do I accomplish that?

  • 2
    You gotta tell us which software you're using. Looks like QGIS? Did you turn editing on for your layer? Layer-->Toggle Editing
    – Jon
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 20:18
  • Please do not include unnecessary thanks and signatures in your posts. Every post is already signed by your user card.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 20:47
  • Does your layer have attributes information? Or is the table truly blank?
    – lambertj
    Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 21:25
  • As far as I can tell, the table is truly blank. Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 0:15

1 Answer 1


You don't need data in the attribute table to apply a label. You can apply an identical text label to every feature in a layer by simply entering text surrounded by single quotation marks.

enter image description here

If you want each feature to have a unique label, that's where you would need information in the attribute table. Add a field to the attribute table, give each feature a value in that field, then use that field in the Layer properties > Labels > Label with... Here's a quick photo guide to adding a field to the attribute table:

enter image description here

These are pretty basic tasks in QGIS. If you take the time to work through these QGIS tutorials, you'll have a much easier time using this program.

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