In a project in which I am using a specific shapefile with data from a specific date multiple times (around 100 times) with different legends each time, every few months, I save the shapefile with new data, and hence have my maps updated.

I now want to keep the old data still available and am looking for a way, in which I can easily exchange the one shapefile I use multiple times in one project, in one batch, so as not having to change it 100 times.

I am using QGIS 2.14.14 Essen.

  • Could you add information relating to the software you are using? Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 9:06
  • I am using QGIS 2.14.14-Essen.
    – Doris S.
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 9:08

2 Answers 2


If I understand this properly...

Assuming you have a shapefile file called myshapefile... Right-click myshapefile in the layer panel and save as "myshapefile-historic".

You should now have myshapefile and myshapefile-historic.

Then enter the new data in myshapefile. As this is the file already referenced 100 times by the project, 1 change should be reflected in all the layer duplicates.

  • Hi, thanks for your answer. that is kind of how I did things before. however I am looking for a way to keep the historic data in a project as well. Ideally I would exchange in one batch, all myshapefile in the project with myshapefile-historic, and save them in a seperate project-historic. is that in any way possible in QGIS? I tried to explore how this could be done in the project text file, but all shapefiles there seem to be referenced not only with their filename but also with a number, that changes, so I don't know how I could do a find and replace operation there. would anybody know?
    – Doris S.
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 4:59
  • Does the geometry change, or just the attributes? Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 6:42
  • no, the geometry does not change, just the attributes.
    – Doris S.
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 7:46

As your geometry does not change, I would recommend that you use a shapefile to keep your geometries and a separate csv table to keep your attributes. You would have an id column in both tables that match so that a relationship can be defined in QGIS to join the tables.

This way each time you add a new line in the csv, it will automatically be joined to the feature in your shapefile with the corresponding id. See the documentation for a full explanation on 1-N relationships.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.