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I am working on a project in qgis with my distance and coordinates units set to degrees and decimal degrees. However the shapefiles I work with have meters listed in their 'units' section (under information option). Therefore when i use 'export geometry columns' I always get the xy coordinates in meters. However I need these in decimal degrees. Is there anyway to get them in the units I need? I can't change the units in each shapefile (I might now have found a way to do that).

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It looks like the CRS of the shapefiles use meter units (Projected CRS). You need to change the CRS of your shapefiles to geographic which uses decimal degree unit.

To do that, you need to use Save as to change the CRS of your shapefiles and and use EPSG:4326 - WGS 84 as you can see below:

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After loading the shapefiles to your project, you can use Export geometry columns tool and use Layer CRS

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However, if the QGIS project uses EPSG:4326 - WGS 84 and the shapefiles are in meter projection, you can skip the above and in Export geometry columns tool select Project CRS under Calculate using as you can see below:

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