The North arrow shortcut in the layout environment is very useful and I wonder if I can edit the default symbol and change it, with another symbol, from SVG library?

1 Answer 1


Select the north arrow, and go to the Item properties tab. In this tab, there is a section with a name Search Directories, expand this tab and wait until the preview loads all the symbols. From there you can change the north arrow as you like.

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I recommend to update your question based on the information in your comments.

If you want to change the default arrow, you need to do the following:

  • Go to Settings -> Options -> Advanced, and click I will be careful, I promise!
  • Then go to the Search box at the top left corner of the window and write north
  • Update the path in the following location to the desired North symbol (.svg) that you want, and click OK.

Note: Copy the path of the default north arrow and paste somewhere in any text editor, just in case it did not work properly.

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Now when you go to the layout out -> North arrow shortcut, it will be updated based on the new svg file that you have identified.

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  • Thanks, but not like this. Your answer is the reason of my question. To reduce the button clicking. To pre-choose our default North symbol that we commonly place in our maps.
    – Pitheas
    Dec 9, 2020 at 8:51
  • @Pitheas It is not my fault that you did not find my answer useful, it is yours. You didn't mention clearly that you want to reduce button clicks in your question. Your question is asking how to change the symbol with another symbol, you are not asking how to reduce the clicks so that you can access the north arrows conveniently from other paths.
    – ahmadhanb
    Dec 9, 2020 at 8:59
  • I wrote down "the north arrow shortcut in the layout environment" and my title is about QGIS 3.10. It's more clear than the crystal water.If you are using Qgis 3 and go to the layout, you will notice under the scalebar shortcut button that there is a North arrow shortcut button.When you click it, the default arrow that appears on screen, is inside the svg library of Q. That is my question, if I can pick another svg, for the default North arrow symbol, when I press that button. Anyhow, I told you, thanks, others may find your answer useful.
    – Pitheas
    Dec 9, 2020 at 11:36
  • 1
    @Pitheas Check the updated answer.
    – ahmadhanb
    Dec 11, 2020 at 9:22
  • Thank you very much!
    – Pitheas
    Dec 11, 2020 at 15:44

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