Using QGIS 3.6.3, I have a layer with ten polygons. I want to use split vector layer to split the file into ten shapefiles, But the result output file is a Geopackage.

How can I get ten shapefiles by using split vector layer?

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2 Answers 2


If you look at the Split vector layer tool script, you will see that .gpkg is hard-coded inside the script. This means there is no way to change the output format of the file directly from the GUI of the script tool.

However, if you want the output to be shapefile not Geopakage, you need to change that inside the script. The script is called VectorSplit which is located - inside my machine - in the following path:


When you open the script in a text editor like Notepad++ look at the last defined function which is the following:

def processAlgorithm(self, parameters, context, feedback):
    source = self.parameterAsSource(parameters, self.INPUT, context)
    if source is None:
        raise QgsProcessingException(self.invalidSourceError(parameters, self.INPUT))

    fieldName = self.parameterAsString(parameters, self.FIELD, context)
    directory = self.parameterAsString(parameters, self.OUTPUT, context)


    fieldIndex = source.fields().lookupField(fieldName)
    uniqueValues = source.uniqueValues(fieldIndex)
    baseName = os.path.join(directory, '{0}'.format(fieldName))

    fields = source.fields()
    crs = source.sourceCrs()
    geomType = source.wkbType()

    total = 100.0 / len(uniqueValues) if uniqueValues else 1
    output_layers = []

    for current, i in enumerate(uniqueValues):
        if feedback.isCanceled():
        fName = '{0}_{1}.gpkg'.format(baseName, str(i).strip()) # Change gpkg to shp for shapefile
        feedback.pushInfo(self.tr('Creating layer: {}').format(fName))

        sink, dest = QgsProcessingUtils.createFeatureSink(fName, context, fields, geomType, crs)

        filter = '{} = {}'.format(QgsExpression.quotedColumnRef(fieldName), QgsExpression.quotedValue(i))
        req = QgsFeatureRequest().setFilterExpression(filter)

        count = 0
        for f in source.getFeatures(req):
            if feedback.isCanceled():
            sink.addFeature(f, QgsFeatureSink.FastInsert)
            count += 1
        feedback.pushInfo(self.tr('Added {} features to layer').format(count))
        del sink

        feedback.setProgress(int(current * total))

    return {self.OUTPUT: directory, self.OUTPUT_LAYERS: output_layers}

Change extension in the following line

fName = '{0}_{1}.gpkg'.format(baseName, str(i).strip())


fName = '{0}_{1}.shp'.format(baseName, str(i).strip())

Then save the script.

Finally, close QGIS and open it again and run Split vector layer tool. The output should be shapefiles not geopakage.

As a good practice, make a backup of the script tool before doing the above process.

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Starting from QGIS 3.10 there is no need to edit the tool's source code. It was a bug that was fixed in QGIS 3.10. It means you can select the format directly from the GUI of the Split vector layer tool.

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  • 1
    It works,thanks very much. May 29, 2019 at 6:19
  • You are welcome. Glad it worked :)
    – ahmadhanb
    May 29, 2019 at 6:30
  • 1
    looks fantastic! smart approach
    – Taras
    May 29, 2019 at 6:32

In QGIS 3.1 VectorSplit.py is using "context" to determine output format.

output_format = context.preferredVectorFormat()

Yuo can set it up: enter image description here

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