I know that you can have an on-the-fly transformation on a layer when rendering on the canvas, but is there a way to run a tool like Buffer where the layer should be re-projected on-the-fly just before buffering? For example, I have points in WGS84 but I want to buffer them in the linear unit of a specific national grid, or perhaps of the project default CRS.

I have looked around online for this but it is difficult to find any sources which are not referring to the normal "on-the-fly" transformations used when rendering the layer on the canvas.

  • 2
    QGIS documentation states that "The numerical values have to be defined in map units according to the Coordinate Reference System (CRS) used with the data."
    – Erik
    Commented Feb 2, 2021 at 14:20
  • Right-click layer / Export /Save features as... and set the CRS you want to use for buffering. By the way: what QGIS-version do you use?
    – Babel
    Commented Feb 2, 2021 at 14:27
  • @Babel, that's what I'm already doing which is why I was hoping that there was a more streamlined way. Version is 3.10.
    – wfgeo
    Commented Feb 2, 2021 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


You can do that applying geometry generator and first transform from WGS84 to a projected CRS, applying the buffer in meters and than transform back to WGS84. See my case:

  • Project CRS: 3857 (WebMercator)
  • Layer CRS: 4326 (WGS84)
  • CRS used for buffering: 2056 (projected CRS used for Switzerland)

Use this expression in geometry generator to get a buffer of 100 meters (buffer measured in 2056, converted to 4326, transformed "on-the-fly" to 3857):

transform (
    buffer (
        transform (

Screenshot: Point layer in EPSG:4326, Project CRS in EPSG:3857, buffer applyied in EPSG:2056: enter image description here

The same buffers visualized with Project CRS in EPSG 4326: enter image description here

And the same setting with Project in EPSG 2056: enter image description here

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