I would like to make a shapefile where the the districts of London are zoomed. The shapefile should look like this: https://community.qlik.com/legacyfs/online/159644_ua_areas.PNG

The map with UK and the zoomed part of London must be saved as an shapefile (not imagefile like JPG, PNG, SVG , TIFF etc.)

Is it possible to do this in QGIS ?

  • 1
    I dont get your point. You can do what you want to achieve in printcomposer by using two maps and exporting it as image like in your example. What do you mean with "save the shapefile with the zoomed and manipulated city polygons"?
    – MrXsquared
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 21:35
  • 1
    Inset map... but you can't save that layout to a shapefile....you can save it as a JPG/PNG/etc. Commented May 22, 2019 at 0:04
  • Thank for all the comments. I am not sure that the printlayout can be use to solve my issue. I would like to save the splitted map with the zoomed city as a spatial file (like shapefile or geojson). It should look like this community.qlik.com/legacyfs/online/159644_ua_areas.PNG where a part of the map are copy and pasted, moved and zoomed. the file should be saved as an shapefile, not as an graphical imagefile.
    – KIOsvoll
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 21:36
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    What you want to do is not possible at all in any program, and never will be. A shapefile is a spatial vector format. You can not save it on a certain zoom. The only part possible here is to create a copy of your shapefile and delete all polygons except londons in it, so you have a london only file. If you can tell us detailed your final usecase why you need to do this, we can maybe show you another alternative.
    – MrXsquared
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 22:47
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    You cant save symbology inside shapefiles, it is possible though if you change format to geopackage, see Is there any way to include “universal” style/symbology in GeoPackage?
    – Bera
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 7:00

1 Answer 1


As the other comments said, you can do this by creating a print layout and using the print composer. Here is an example of how to do this:

  • Zoom to the area in your project you want to make a map of
  • Go to Project > New Print Layout
  • Now Add Item > Add Map

  • Draw your map on the canvas, it should look like this: enter image description here

  • Go back to your project, zoom into the area of the map you want to make as an inset map (your city, the entire country, etc.)

  • Go go the print composer again, Add item > Add Map again. Now you will have two map items on your print canvas: enter image description here

    I selected both map elements to show you I have 2 separate map items

  • Export as image enter image description here

  • Thanks for comments, but i am not sure if it is possible to save the printlayout in a shapefil (or geojson)?
    – KIOsvoll
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 21:37
  • @KIOsvoll no it is not possible to save a printlayout as a shapefile. The print layout is just an image, so you save it as a .jpg, .tif, .pdf. Shapefiles are the actual data on the map. Once you do editing, manipulating, analysis, etc to your data, you can save it as it is, with the new changes. You do not have to create a print layout. Does that make sense? Commented May 24, 2019 at 11:08

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