I have a layer consisting of appr. 30-45 classes. The majority of the classes has an item description containing multiple lines of text. In ArcMap I can achieve a layout like this

enter image description here

Is a similar layout possible in QGIS 3.8?

I know I can split text in a new line by the means of the 'Wrap text on' option described in this question.

I guess I could replace every line break in my text document with * and set * as my 'wrap text on'-character. However this is not very convenient in my case. Besides I can't find a way of adding bold font type to the "header/title" of the class. It would be nice if I could generate a "legend text file" (with tags and breaks) in beforehand and then import it to QGIS in some way.

I have experimented with HTML frame, paste in the legend text and add HTML tags for bold text and line breaks. The problem then is to get corresponding legend symbols (patches). It seems like it would demand a lot of manual editing.

I'm looking for a more automated way of doing it. Is there?

  • The closest way I can think of is to put only the bold text in the legend. Then put the detailed description in a table, and add that to the layout as an attribute table item. You can duplicate the bold text in the table, or you can place the attribute table next to the legend and manually adjust the spacing in the legend (eg by adding multiple line breaks to each item description using the 'wrap text on' method) until the legend and table items line up with each other.
    – csk
    Commented Jul 15, 2019 at 15:20
  • @csk, thanks for your suggestion. I'll give it a shot even though it's not as automatic as I hoped for. I realise that QGIS so far don't have or support "edit description" like ArcMap. Perhaps in the future?
    – 9ls1
    Commented Jul 19, 2019 at 16:54
  • If you want a new feature, you can request it here: github.com/qgis/QGIS/issues. There's definitely room for improvement on the print composer legend.
    – csk
    Commented Jul 22, 2019 at 16:27
  • @csk, thanks for the link - I've just posted a request.
    – 9ls1
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 7:30
  • Cool. You could answer your own question (including a link to the feature request), for anyone who has the same need. It's useful to know that a feature doesn't exist, so they don't waste their time trying to find it.
    – csk
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 15:30

1 Answer 1


There is no edit description in QGIS 3.8. Feature request sent July 30, 2019: https://github.com/qgis/QGIS/issues/30988

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