Is there a tool in QGIS which populates fields within the attribute table?

I know I can edit it manually but what I want is to include that tool in the workflow automation process.

I want to label the output rather than putting in on the key of the map. In order to label I need to have a field where I can add the label. Since this is part of a larger process in the Graphical Modeler I need to automate it rather than adding the field and name manually. What I'm interested in is if there is a tool or Expression in the Field Calculator that can return the name of the input layer and add it to the attribute table of the new/ output layer of the Field Calculator tool

  • 3
    Populate them with what? At which point of your workflow? What is your workflow? What have you tried? How do you populate the fields currently?
    – Erik
    Nov 26, 2020 at 15:09
  • 1
    I'm guessing you are looking for the Field calculator...
    – Albert
    Nov 26, 2020 at 15:33
  • 2
    Do you want to add a "calculate field" step to a processing model ? You need to give a lot more detail on your workflow to get answer
    – J.R
    Nov 26, 2020 at 23:24
  • My model adds a field but at the moment it's just an empty field. I want to add a certain string so I can label the feature. Nov 27, 2020 at 8:13
  • 2
    Is the any logic behind the label? We need more details still.
    – MarcM
    Nov 30, 2020 at 8:40

1 Answer 1


There are several options I may refer you to

  1. "Field calculator": qgis:fieldcalculator

Opens the field calculator. You can use all the supported expressions and functions.

A new layer is created with the result of the expression.

The field calculator is very useful when used in The graphical modeler.

  1. "Refactor fields": qgis:refactorfields

Allows editing the structure of the attribute table of a vector layer.

Fields can be modified in their type and name, using a fields mapping.

The original layer is not modified. A new layer is generated, which contains a modified attribute table, according to the provided fields mapping.

Refactor layer fields allows to:

  • Change field names and types
  • Add and remove fields
  • Reorder fields
  • Calculate new fields based on expressions
  • Load field list from another layer
  1. Advanced Python field calculator: qgis:advancedpythonfieldcalculator

Adds a new attribute to a vector layer, with values resulting from applying an expression to each feature.

The expression is defined as a Python function.

  1. Execute SQL: qgis:executesql

Runs a simple or complex query with SQL syntax on the source layer.

Beside a simple query, you can add expressions or variables within the SQL query parameter itself. This is particulary useful if this algorithm is executed within a Processing model and you want to use a model input as a parameter of the query. An example of a query will then be SELECT * FROM [% @table %] where @table is the variable that identifies the model input.

The result of the query will be added as a new layer.

Answering the question "Expression in the Field Calculator that returns the name of the input layer?"

As was mentioned by @Alexandre Neto:

you can get the layer name using the variable /@layer_name, there is also the /@layer_id.

Check this article for more details: "Exploring variables in QGIS pt 3: layer level variables".

  • Thanks for this, it's very helpful! Is there an expression in the Field Calculator that returns the name of the input file? Nov 30, 2020 at 9:45
  • sorry for asking, do you mean file or layer?
    – Taras
    Nov 30, 2020 at 9:46
  • sorry the input layer name. Thank you Nov 30, 2020 at 10:39
  • @CuriousGirl you can get the layer name using the variable /@layer_name, there is also the /@layer_id Dec 7, 2020 at 1:21

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