I'm having trouble getting the right render for the tertiary roads and service roads look in my map render. I'm trying to get road edges like in the old USGS topo maps:

Old topo

Notice how the road interior is empty. You can see boundaries and contours through the road. So the trick of using a thick white line with two thin dark edges wont work for me.

So I set up two lines with offsets in opposite sides of the road. My version shows overlaps between road segments:

Map I have

The rendering in QGIS is incredible, so I'm wondering if there's a style approach that I haven't discovered to get the appearance of connected road edges.

1 Answer 1


You need to use Symbol levels to have nicely rendered crossing lines. Using symbol levels you can sort the symbol levels and thereby control the order in which the different symbol layers are rendered. Then under the rendering tab, use the multiply Layer to get the effect of seeing the rivers under the road network.

before applying symbology levels:

enter image description here

Using Symbology levels:

enter image description here

Apply Multiply Layer rendering:

enter image description here

It gives the following output:

enter image description here

  • In the linked help document, symbol levels are used to render a wide white line above black line borders. But the OP wants a hollow interior, not white. How would that be accomplished?
    – Stu Smith
    Jun 29, 2020 at 5:15
  • @StuSmith I updated my answer. Thanks for your comment.
    – ahmadhanb
    Jun 29, 2020 at 5:36
  • This looks like the right solution. Any idea why this option isn't available in QGIS 3.14. The "Advanced" dialog only has "Clip Features to Canvas Extent" They must have moved it in this version. Jun 29, 2020 at 12:14
  • Update: I found it in the Style Panel instead of the style dialog. It worked great, thanks! Jun 29, 2020 at 12:32

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