I know I can open my QGIS .dbf files in Excel (which converts them to .xlsx files). Can I then convert the edited file back into a .dbf file for use in my QGIS project? In other words, can I use the familiar functions, such as find & replace, in Excel, in order to edit my QGIS dbf files?

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    If you want to do some data handling in Excel, you can use CSV files in between QGIS and Excel. Ypu can take the geometry with you in CSV as WKT or you can join back the geometry if you have an id. – Jakob Feb 8 at 14:21
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    Not a direct answer, but you may find that there are better ways which are definitely worth the learning - despite the initial lack of familiarity. There are some powerful and fairly simple tools on QGIS directly (field calculator for example). I'd suggest creating a test dataset and just playing with these tools. Also (more advanced) I've recently been using SQL to update data - although (I think) you'd need this in a database - which is fairly easy to achieve (but not entirely intuitive) using Spatialite. Again, worth playing with this. Main point: Excel tools look very limited after this. – Rostranimin Feb 8 at 14:36

Natively you can't. But there are addons / plugins for excel to support .dbf format such as http://exceltodbf.sourceforge.net/

Libre Office supports .dbf files natively.

However, I do not recommend editing .dbf files (connected to .shp) outside of a GIS. Also never edit column names or add or delete rows unless you really know what you are doing there.

I prefer using .csv files instead. You can open them with excel, use excel functions and all that stuff (but not saving formulas as .csv is a text file format).


The recent Excel version could open/read dbf but no longer save to dbf file.

Anyway if you have an older excel version or use other tool to convert back to dbf be very carefull trying to edit shapefile data this way. You easily could corrupt your data (the link between the .shp (geometry) and .dbf (attribute table) repose only on the order of data and not on any ID/key) so reordering or sorting the dbf will result in corrupt shapefile where data and geometry didn't match anymore.

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    similarly, never ever add or delete any row – JGH Feb 8 at 14:31

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