At work with the Ontario Geological Survey where we use ArcMap (10.6), I can select a number of annotation text and change the properties of the selected text.

To date, at home using QGIS 3.18 (Linux), I am unable to figure out if this is even possible, let alone how to do it.

Sorry for not being clear enough, here's some additional info.

Easting and Northing labels at the end of each line (nodes) whereby the Easting labels at the top of the map are centered on the node 1mm above the neatline, the Easting labels are centered 1mm below the neatline, the Northing labels on the right side of the map are 1mm right of the neatline and the Northing labels on the left side of the map are 1mm left of the neatline.

In ArcMap, I can select the left Northings and apply right alignment, select the right Northings and apply left alignment, etc. It appears that alignment works differently in QGIS but I've figured out that Placement>Offset from point using the top/bottom/right/left quadrants with a 1mm offset does exactly what I want it to do but I don't know how to select the labels on the left and apply their specific Placement settings that are different from each of the groups of labels.

  • 1
    Please describe more detailed, what you are trying to achieve.
    – Erik
    Apr 14, 2020 at 13:24
  • what 'change the properties of the selected text.' (size,font type, alignment? etc)
    – Mapperz
    Apr 14, 2020 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


Changing my answer based on your update.

Basically I would assign attributes to your data and use those columns to define how the labels are placed using the expression builders for each property you're controlling.

So if we accept the step of 'manual selection' of your data to define what direction it resides (in relation to the map), then here's what I would do:

  • Create in your database / dataset two columns:

    • DIR_HOR (ie. horizontal)
    • DIR_VERT (ie. vertical)
  • The values for DIR_HOR would indicate LEFT or RIGHT

  • The values for DIR_VERT would indicate UP or DOWN)

Again, assuming you're already manually assigning annotation values, instead you'll now assign data values for QGIS to use to render the data.

In the case of alignment of a label, check the expression, and build something like this:

enter image description here

It's then a matter of building out rules for your labels based on your attribution. Now you need only update the attribution for a point rather than manually editing an annotation value.

I would even suggest creating two label 'rules' (using rule-based labeling) where you can create a label rule for EASTING and NORTHING labels seperately.

  • I must admit I haven't had any success with alignment like that, I presumed that it was because it was part of the Multiple Lines group of attributes and each Easting and Northing take only one line. However, I have done something similar whereby I've created a "Side" field, populated it with N, S, W or E as appropriate and then created 4 Rules and that works perfectly fine
    – jrickards
    Apr 14, 2020 at 20:38

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