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Despite setting the layer or the symbology of the features to semi-transparent, when performing a selection, the features become solid. I want to edit those features based on properties of the features/background image below them. How can I set a transparency when features are selected?

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Make selection color transparent by reducing opacity in Set Selection Color window.

Settings menu > Options > Canvas & Legend > Selection color

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The same setting is available on a project-specific basis in the Project > Properties menu. You may need to restart QGIS to see the changes.

Here are another few options for making the background visible behind selected features:

Use an outline symbol type:

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You can pair this with centroid fill:

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Or add multiple, offset outlines for a more filled polygon appearance. The example image below has 6 symbol layers with offsets of 0, 1.5, 3, 4.5, 6, and 7.5 mm.

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  • Brilliant workarounds! I also managed to get it to be semi-transparent by changing the colour properties themselves under … choose colour... opacity. – user3386170 Jul 4 '18 at 2:30
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    Nice! I didn't think to look for transparency in the color selection window. I'll edit my answer to include that info. – csk Jul 4 '18 at 16:50

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