Iт QGIS 3.10 I have imported a CSV which contains a column of numeric data (let's call this attribute "x"). However, it is imported automatically as strings. I can easily create a new field by clicking the Field Calculator and typing to_real("x").

Because I need to repeat this many times, I would like to use PyQGIS to do this.

I've been trying various ways but I still can't get it to work. For example, I was following this: Struggling to use Field Calculator - PyQGIS

Could someone please tell me what I did wrong?

#import data
csv_file = QgsVectorLayer(path_to_csv, 'nameoflayer')

csv = QgsProject.instance().mapLayersByName('nameoflayer')[0]

#start editing this layer
with edit(csv):
    for feature in selected_feature:
        feature.setAttribute(feature.fieldNameIndex('newfieldname'), to_real(feature['x']))

There is no error message but I can't see the new column called "newfieldname" when I open the attribute table after running the above code.

  • Does your table already have newfieldname or do you want to add it using PyQGIS? Do you define selected_feature before using in for loop? Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 22:50

1 Answer 1


to_real is a function belonging to Field Calculator. Its Python equivalent is float. I assume "newfieldname" already exists in the attribute table. Use this script:

csv = QgsProject.instance().mapLayersByName('nameoflayer')[0]

with edit(csv):
    csv.addAttribute(QgsField('newfieldname', QVariant.Double))

    for feature in csv.getFeatures(): # OR csv.selectedFeatures():
        feature['newfieldname'] = float(feature['x'])
  • Thank you! No actually newfieldname does not exist yet! And I did try creating one by using the code below, but it's also not working :( It doesn't show up. csv.startEditing() csv.addAttributes([QgsField('newfieldname', QVariant.Int)]) csv.commitChanges()
    – Jade
    Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 9:41
  • You should use addAttribute instead of addAttributes under edit. Also, when using addAttribute you don't need to use the brackets [...]. And since you use edit, you don't need to use commitChanges(). I've edited the answer. Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 10:06

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