In QGIS, most likely from the SELECT FEATURES BY VALUE...(F3) or SELECT FEATURES BY EXPRESSION...(CTRL-F3), what is the simplest most flexible way to put in multiple values and have QGIS show that selection on the canvas?

I have list of comma separated values which are the values of features I want to select from a spatial dataset. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Because it might be a series of 50 values, I want to quickly paste that into an expression, without adding single quotes or the like.

I'm thinking array_to_string is part of the story, but not seeing any example of how that goes together. Unnest doesn't seem to be a supported function. My test below.

Or possibly in the DBManager as SQL, however I think my colleagues will not adopt that as readily.

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  • 3
    Are the values always numbers if so you don't need single quotes. "targetfield" IN (1,2,3,4,5) will work.
    – Baswein
    Jun 29, 2020 at 23:31
  • Hey @Baswein that's a valid answer! Many thanks.
    – BJW
    Jun 29, 2020 at 23:42
  • Didn't realise I was so close. Now if you could consider a supplementary question, what if the array comes as space separated values, not comma separated?
    – BJW
    Jun 29, 2020 at 23:43
  • 1
    I would have thought that this would work but it doesn't for some reason: "targetfield" IN(string_to_array('1 2 3 4 5',' ',',') Perhaps because it comes out as a string. Not sure. Also tried "targetfield" IN(replace('1 2 3 4 5',' ',',')
    – Baswein
    Jun 30, 2020 at 1:43
  • 1
    @Baswein please add your solution as an answer so people can up vote it and BJW can accept it if it solves his problem
    – Ian Turton
    Jun 30, 2020 at 7:34

1 Answer 1


If the values are always numbers you don't need single quotes so simply using.

"targetfield" IN (1,2,3,4,5)

In select by expression will work.

  • I am not getting consistent results, I put in say 20 values and QGIS selects 50 - 100. Not good.
    – BJW
    Jul 7, 2020 at 8:31
  • That's strange. Are there duplicate numbers? Are they multipart geometries? You should be able to look at the attribute table and see what numbers are being selected and trouble shoot from there.
    – Baswein
    Jul 7, 2020 at 12:00
  • I've put the inconsistency down to something wrong with one install of QGIS.
    – BJW
    Jul 7, 2020 at 20:10

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