I am constantly moving layers in and out of my projects, I was able to set default style for layers and they all the layers I drag and drop to my project get the same style by default.

Lately I have discovered that I can create rule based symbology as a layer style which allows me to hide unselected features while I'm working on a selected feature.

I am wondering if it's possible to save rule based symbology as default for imported vector layers? When I use save symbol as default it saves a QGIS configuration file next to me shapefile but that's good for only one layer, as soon as I change the project I need to set everything up from scratch again by going to rule based symbology, create two rules, fill them in with the expression etc.

2 Answers 2


You can save a style, and then load that style to another layer.

  • Go into the layer properties > symbology (the same place where you saved the style as default), choose the option to "save style" to save the style as a QML or SLD file.
  • In the other layer, go to the same place and choose "load style" to load that style into this layer.

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If you already have a layer in the current project with the style you want, you can copy and paste that style onto another layer in the same project.

  • Right click on that layer in the Layer panel > Styles > Copy Style > 'all style categories' or choose one style category from the list.
  • Right click on the other layer > Styles > Paste Style > 'all style categories' or choose a category

Unfortunately it doesn't seem like you can add a saved style to the default styles or to the style manager. The default styles only allow you to choose a simple symbol type, they don't allow the more complicated symbology types. The style manager only accepts XML files. It doesn't accept either format in which you can save a style (QML and SLD).

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If you want, you could request that feature be added to future releases of QGIS.

  • Hey, sorry for late response and thank you for your answer & time. Very much appreciated. As you mentioned it's not exactly what I'm looking for but these are some good workarounds. I hope they add something similar in the upcoming releases. Thanks again.
    – puredata
    Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 16:29

Usually, if you have a style named like a dataset, that one gets loaded and applied, too. You could link one style in the filesystem (to other filenames).

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