I have a shapefile which contains many polygons and because I work on a large geographical extent, I'd like the polygons to be slightly bigger, for presentation purposes. Basically keep their extent and enlarge them by, say, 30% for example. I was thinking of using the SAGA "transform vector layer" tool. However I get lost when I need to put the X and Y coordinates, as shown in the picture below:

enter image description here

I understand that the scale factor will enlarge the polygons by whatever factor I want, but when it comes to the X and Y I wonder what I should put. I can't seem to find the x and y coordinates of my shapefile. I read this post Enlarge a Polygon without changing its shape or position but it gives details for doing so for just on polygon.

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    Can you not just increase the size of the boundary with symbology? You could also use the geometry generator to buffer the polygons. Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 17:17
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    If it is for presentation purposes only, why not work with the ability to style the layer instead of trying to modify the data?
    – Gabriel
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 17:22
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    I'm puzzled... If you enlarge them by some amount (I'm thinking buffer) then, by default, their extent must correspondingly increase. Yet you want to "... keep their extent ...). Maybe you could edit your post and include a drawing of what you have in mind.
    – Stu Smith
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 18:34
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    I think you can union all the polygons and use the centroid of the result for the x and y. That is the reference point from which everything is scaled. Otherwise you would need to do it in a loop. Why not just buffer the polygons using mitre joins to keep the corners sharp?
    – jbalk
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 19:51
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    @HeikkiVesanto Yep, that's all I used to do. Just increase the symbol's border thickness (and not have it black - usually use the same colour as the polygon itself).
    – user25730
    Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 23:16

1 Answer 1


The simplest approach would be to increase the size of the polygon outline in the appearance of the layer, or buffer the polygons by an amount that would give the look you're going for. You could put the buffer on the map for the images, but provide the original data for the people who actually need to work with it.

  • I've followed your approach, I've saved my shapefile and gave it a new name, and worked on that new layer without modifying the previous one. I put a buffer of 100m around each polygon, and it comes out more explicitly in the map, thanks.
    – Tim56
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 9:21

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