I'm currently updating some Python code from QGIS 2.18 to QGIS 3.4

in 2.18 I used the following code :

#First off I created a virtual layer using an sql query here

vlayer = QgsVectorLayer( "?query=....", "virtual" )
# Then I assign the properties of the polyline layer here

props = { 'width' : '3', 'color' : '255,0,0' } 
sl = QgsSymbolLayerV2Registry.instance().symbolLayerMetadata("SimpleLine").createSymbolLayer(props)
s = QgsLineSymbolV2([sl]) vlayer.setRendererV2( QgsSingleSymbolRendererV2( s ) )

I know there have been a number of changes in QGIS 3, for example QgsSymbolLineSymbolV has become QgsLineSymbol and setRendererV2 has become setRenderer. So, with the help of this blog, this GitHub repo, the API and the most recent docs on the QGIS site, I've put the script below together:

layer = QgsProject.instance().mapLayersByName("t_alpha")[0]

single_symbol_renderer = layer.renderer()

symbol = single_symbol_renderer.symbol()

symbol.setColor(QColor.fromRgb(255, 0, 0))



But this returns an error:

AttributeError: 'QgsCategorizedSymbolRenderer' object has no attribute 'symbol'

I've dug through the docs and otherwise tried to remodulate the code but I'm a bit stuck (I'm still learning Python).

  • 1
    Your code works if the initial style uses simple symbology. If it was categorised then that error would appear. You should probably set which style you want to use and then apply the relevant settings. The documentation should help.
    – Joseph
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 13:08
  • @Joseph Thanks, that helps - i was trying to modify a layer which had a categorised style! Ok I'll dive back into the doc - so i need to modfiy the layers style setting first (i.e. catagorised to simple) and then apply the above script?
    – lhowarth
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 15:44
  • Yes or you could modify it via your script if you add the logic. I think the example code in the docs I linked to shows how you can apply a simple symbology to your layer without you having to manually change it.
    – Joseph
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 15:50

2 Answers 2


In QGIS 3.4.x is:

layer = QgsProject.instance().mapLayersByName("t_alpha")[0]
  • To update the layer tree view: iface.layerTreeView().refreshLayerSymbology(layer.id())
    – aurel_nc
    Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 3:00

In QGIS 3+:
For single symbology renderer: renderer = QgsSingleSymbolRenderer(symbol) iface.activeLayer().setRenderer(renderer) iface.activeLayer().triggerRepaint()

For categorized symbology: create categories with QgsRendererCategory doc
create renderer with QgsCategorizedSymbolRenderer and the categories doc
and iface.activeLayer().setRenderer(renderer) iface.activeLayer().triggerRepaint()

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