I'm running into an issue georeferencing a number of PNG image files. The files simply contain an image where each pixel is either transparent or a single color, forming a coverage mask. In the past, when I've georeferenced these images, the 'use 0 for transparency' checkbox masked off the transparent parts of the images and I was able to polygonize the colored parts. However, with a number of images in a recent patch QGIS will simply not mask off the transparent sections. I've opened the files with an image editor and resaved them to no effect, so it's not a formatting problem with the input png.

I can somewhat work around this by setting the value of the transparent section to the no data value, thus masking off the image in the raster layer. However, when I polygonize the raster, the no data value still gets polygonized into the .shp file.

How do I polygonize the raster and specify only the single band I want to polygonize?

  • if this worked before, then please file a bug report at hub.qgis.org/issues , preferably with one of these PNG images to test with. Also note the last version you remember where it still worked. Commented Jul 6, 2012 at 15:18
  • @lynxlynxlynx -- that's the odd thing, I've got some of the old png files and they /still do/ import properly, though I can't find any real difference between the files. They're both two-color PNGs, every pixel is either transparent or red. However, QGIS pulls the transparency pixels from one as the data and the red pixels from the other as the data. I updated from 1.7.3 to 1.8.0 to try to resolve it, which didn't have any effect,
    – Oesor
    Commented Jul 6, 2012 at 15:28
  • 1
    Still sounds like a bug or at least something the devs would like to know about. Commented Jul 6, 2012 at 19:37

1 Answer 1


Issues with georeferencing aside, I can just delete the polygons once polygonized by:

  1. Toggle editing on on the layer
  2. Select all of the unwanted polygons with a search in the attribute table
  3. Delete the selected polygons
  4. Toffle off editing and save the resulting shapefile when prompted

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