I am using QGIS 3.2.0 on a Mac (and also have QGIS 2), and I have a fishnet grid (probably created in Arc) that comprises of nearly 2 million grid cells. As a result, every change I make to the attribute table takes hours, so I can't experiment as I would usually.

I need to label each grid cell such that the north-westernmost cell is "1", and the numbers proceed by rows, until the last number goes into the south-easternmost cell. Using the row-number doesn't work, as that's not how the table is sorted. I've done this before, but cannot remember how.

  • You want to give each fishnet an ID, starting from top left, ending at bottom right?
    – Bera
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 18:31
  • Yes, exactly that. Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 18:37
  • See also this here: gis.stackexchange.com/a/361838/88814
    – Babel
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 19:00

1 Answer 1


You can use pyqgis.

Script will:

  1. List all centroids x, y coordiantes with each features id
  2. Sort list by x and y
  3. The ids are now in correct order - create a dictionary of id and sequential number using enumerate: attrMap = {feature id: {field index: order}, ...}
  4. Use dictionary with id as key and update field

Add your layer to the map, add a integer field to hold the numbers and execute.`

layer = iface.activeLayer() #Click layer in layer tree
idfield = 'fishnetID' #Change to match the name of your field

coords = [[round(f.geometry().centroid().asPoint().x(),0),round(f.geometry().centroid().asPoint().y(),0),f.id()] for f in layer.getFeatures()]
coords.sort(key=lambda k: (k[1],-k[0]), reverse=True)
order = [i[2] for i in coords]

i = layer.fields().indexFromName(idfield)
attrMap = {id: {i:e} for e,id in enumerate(order,1)}

enter image description here


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