Currently I am compiling a FAQ for my company on QGis, since some people feel the need to work more with QGis. I am the person to go to, when some specific problems appear, but I see a need to give people something to consult with instead of letting them blunder along.

Currently I have the following topics in my FAQ (either already fully explained or at least with some notes):

  1. Limits of QGis
  2. Terms & User Interface, e.g. layer & layer properties, vector vs. raster, CRS, tools, snapping,
  3. Data types, as shape, dxf, kml/kmz, csv, images, qgis-style, project files, geopackage, wms
  4. important, reoccurring tasks/workflows, as georeferencing, manipulating attribute tables, geometry validity, clip, dissolve, buffer, creating geometries

I also try to include all tricks I use regularly or built for others in my company, like automatically adding attributes to a newly created feature, or trying to determine if a polygon is about the desired size.

  • 3
    Composer, labelling, db manager and show them the way towards the processing toolkit – Lennert De Feyter Aug 1 '18 at 13:21
  • 2
    Way too broad, it depends on; your audience, your time, your goals. – HeikkiVesanto Aug 1 '18 at 13:26
  • How to work with Print Composer and how to build a well designed map can be very useful. Maybe creating an atlas is interesting as well.
  • How to batch-process a certain tool

Some ideas:

  • QGIS and Grass GIS. Differences between and advantages to both
  • PyQGIS. How to integrate python within QGIS and the limits of PyQGIS
  • 3rd party plugins. Where to find them and how to enable them
  • Creating maps with QGIS (especially if they come from ArcMap)
  • where to find online resources for help (gis.stackexchange, QGIS user guides, online tutorials, etc)
  • 1
    IMO, PyQGIS is a rather more advanced topic than the others you've mentioned. I would probably leave it out of a beginner's guide, especially if the team is not comfortable with looking at code. I'd want to ease them in with the expression builder instead. – she_weeds Aug 2 '18 at 3:29

Some of the most common causes of confusion that I see with new users of QGIS:

Projections and coordinate reference systems

  • the theory (including examples of different map projections)
  • the practice in QGIS, especially the difference between the following:
    • setting a layer's CRS in the layer properties
    • changing the project CRS
    • on-the-fly reprojection
    • re-projecting a layer (either using the Reproject layer tool or by saving as a new file with a different CRS)
    • changing a layer's CRS in the layer properties - lots of new users do this instead of reprojecting

Measurements and units

  • Which QGIS tools use the units of the layer's CRS, and which ones use the default units
  • how to change default units
    • for the project: Project menu > Project Properties
    • for all QGIS projects: Settings menu > Options

WMS/WFS inclusion, QGIS browser usage


You should also mention the possibility of expanding QGIS with a lot of useful plugins.


The limitations for using Qgis or any GIS software is mainly due to the lack of the knowledge about GIS, informatics and programming by users. For users who are not specialist in cartography or advanced geographic sciences, QGIS is a very good option; its interface is friendly. QGIS is more flexible to manipulate vector format (e.g. shapefile ) and support many vector formats https://www.gdal.org/ogr_formats.html. In addition, there are several plugins that improve the functionality of the software. In addition, the processing toolbox lead to access to funcionalities of the other softwares such as GRASS, SAGA and OTB.

QGIS have a complete set of utilities for editing vector files, including what you have mentioned (georeferencing, manipulating attribute tables, geometry validity, clip, dissolve, buffer...). For complex process there is a graphic modeler that lead perform some process automatically http://www.qgistutorials.com/es/docs/processing_graphical_modeler.html.

Qgis can be installed on any operating systems and have a big community that will help us to learn more and solve problems related with QGIS.

For beginners there are many resources to learn; from basic to advanced features like spatial analysis. Video courses can be found at https://www.udemy.com.

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