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I have a shapefile polygon that shows the extent of a state. I need to highlight only the boundary of the state. Can I do that in QGIS?

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    Your question is unclear, could you add a screenshot?
    – BERA
    Jan 15 '19 at 13:48
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    yes, of course qgis can do that. What have you tried so far? what went wrong?
    – Ian Turton
    Jan 15 '19 at 13:48
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Visual option:

  • right-click the layer, choose properties
  • choose the tab symbology
  • set the fill style to none

Your polygon is now transparent but for the edges.


Data-level option

  • go to vector -> geometry tools -> polygons to lines and run the algorithm on your polygon

Your polygon is now a line-ring.

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    I think there is no need to convert the polygon into a polyline, a simple polygon with none fill and some outline style will probably be enough. Of course, it depends on further processing.
    – Taras
    Jan 15 '19 at 13:54
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    I think so too, but some people like grand solutions to minor issues.
    – Erik
    Jan 15 '19 at 13:55
  • Hahahah..that is so true!
    – Taras
    Jan 15 '19 at 13:58
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For display purposes, you can always set the boundary to be a color and the fill style to be none.

If you'd like to change the underlying data from polygon to line, there's a tool to do this. In ArcGIS the tool to complete this is Feature to Line. Using that tool name as a search on this site, I found a similar question: QGIS equivalent to "Features to Line" ArcGIS tool which has good screenprints in the answer (use Vector | Geometry Tools | Polygons to lines to convert the polygon shapefile to a line).

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  • Smiller posted like half a minute after I did, and his answer if written more conclusive @Taras.
    – Erik
    Jan 15 '19 at 13:59
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    The answers were posted simultaneously, and since I'm not a QGIS user I included my sources. Personally I find it helpful to know how an answer was derived.
    – smiller
    Jan 15 '19 at 13:59
  • No problem! (I mostly haunt the QGIS threads to learn the similarities and differences in the programs for my own use.)
    – smiller
    Jan 15 '19 at 14:10

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