I am currently working proactively for a big upcoming project at work, where I am utilizing the bookmarking function in QGIS. My problem is that after a certain extent my "save new bookmark" function does not create a new bookmark for the specified location; instead it marks an already existing bookmark and wants to overwrite the name of said bookmark.

Currently I have 256 bookmarks in my project and I will need at least 4-5000 more in order to have all the specified locations needed for the project.

Is there a way around this "invisible cap" or is the only solution to export my 256 bookmarks, delete the list from the project, create a second wave of bookmarks (rinse and repeat) and import them as needed - or is there a more elegant solution to my problem?


1 Answer 1


I don't know if there's a limit to the number of bookmarks you can have, but if they are that important and there are that many then I would suggest a more permanent solution.

You could create a new layer and whenever you need to add a 'bookmark' just use the shape digitizing toolbar to add a rectangular feature (easiest would be the 'Add rectange from Extent') the same size as your current canvas extent.

The advantages of this are that the 'bookmarks' are saved off permanently as data, you can add notes and type fields so you can filter them, and they can be used later in an Atlas if necessary.

EDIT: Step-by-step instructions

Enable the Shape Digitizing Toolbar in 'View' > 'Toolbars' > 'Shape Digitizing Toolbar'

Create a new layer:

  • 'Layer' > 'Create Layer' > 'New Shapefile Layer' (I'm personally not a fan of this format but it's good for starting off)
  • Choose a location and name for the shapefile, set the geometry type to polygon
  • Add any fields (columns in the attribute table) that you would like (you can also add these later)
  • Click OK

Add a feature:

  • Select the new layer in the Table Of Contents on the left
  • Enable Editing by clicking the yellow pencil icon (you should see some editing buttons turn from grey to coloured)
  • On the Shape Digitizing Toolbar click the drop down arrow to the right of the rectangle and choose Add Rectangle From Extent
  • Click once in the top left of the current map view and once in the bottom right to draw the rectangle, right click to finish, add any attributes you want (if you added fields).
  • After you've added the features you want click the Save Edits icon (different to the save project icon!) next to the pencil and then click the pencil to stop editing.
  • 1
    Hi, Thanks for your input. I am quite new to QGIS so not exactly sure how to follow your instructions - but it surely sounds like a workaround my current issue.
    – SimonFTI
    Jul 15, 2019 at 12:44
  • @SimonFTI - No problem, see my edit for step-by-step instructions. Jul 15, 2019 at 13:44
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    This is an excellent "frame challenge" answer. I fully agree that storing the bookmarks as a layer will be a more versatile solution than making 4-5 thousand bookmarks. That's an unusually large number of bookmarks, and anytime you use a program in an unusual way you end up being a sort of beta tester. Even if you can get past the "invisible cap," it's quite likely that you'll discover new bugs that haven't been found or fixed yet. Whereas having a vector layer with 4-5000 polygons is quite a normal, well-tested use-case.
    – csk
    Jul 15, 2019 at 15:05
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    @TeddyTedTed thanks so much for your edit and clarification, I have been attempting to make it work, however, I've run into some issues (see ibb.co/k8pr4Bg); the "save edits icon" is grayed out and I cannot figure out how to make it able to save the changes. Also, will I be able to save more edits under the same filter or do I have to go through the same process again in order to save all my remaining "bookmarks"?
    – SimonFTI
    Jul 16, 2019 at 8:05
  • 1
    @TeddyTedTed Thanks again for your assistance, the issue seems to be resolved and it will actually be a lot smoother adding extent rectangles instead of zooming to get the view I need. I feel like a young padawan in the GIS jedi universe; much appreciated!
    – SimonFTI
    Jul 16, 2019 at 8:50

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