We have recently switched from ArcGIS to QGIS and I'm trying to simply limit the amount of data that shows to a defined area.

In ArcGIS this is simply 'data frame clip'.

Can I do this in QGIS?

I don't want to delete any data, just limit what is shown by clipping to a rectangle or view.

  • @Keith have you already tried this funtionality Vector > Research Tools > Select by Location ... – Taras Aug 7 '18 at 8:12
  • Hi Taras, I haven't! I was hoping I could just clip to view or clip to a box without having to clip each layer. Does this function exist? I just want to limit the amount of data the machine is regenerating each time. Its knowing what to search for on this system! – Keith Aug 7 '18 at 8:33
  • @Keith - do you mean in the map view or in the print composer? Looking at Data Frame Clip that seems to be a print composer type thing for producing printed maps but I may be wrong. I don't think QGIS can handle non-rectangular composer windows at present. – Ed Rollason Aug 7 '18 at 10:38
  • Hi, no, in map view. – Keith Aug 7 '18 at 11:24
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    What's the purpose of limiting the data view? Speed up loading times? Remove visual clutter around your area of interest? – csk Aug 7 '18 at 19:06

This is quite easy by using the inverted polygon renderer - it simply renders the outside of a polygon with a fill color instead of the standard inside fill.

I suppose you would like to clip your map content to some kind of region defined by a polygon. You could create this region polygon either from your existing data or edit one yourself. Then you choose the inverted-polygon renderer in the symbology tab in the layer properties or styling panel (access via F7) and set the fill color to white (or whatever color the surrounding map should have).

Here is an example screenshot

Screenshot using grey color is provided by this answer

You can also adjust which layers are excluded in the 'clip' by moving the inverted polygon layer up or down in your collection of layers.

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You could use the plugin MASK. With the advantage that this mask can be dynamic when used with the "atlas" of the layout, generating multiple maps visually clipped.

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