I have a print layout of four A3-sized Maps showming different areas of the same QGIS-project. When I try to export them via Layout > Export as PDF ...' and check the option 'Create Geospatial PDF (GeoPDF)' the export works just fine (i.e. without error messages), however it always prints the first page only.

When I try via Print > Microsoft Print to PDF the output results in all pages being printed into a single PDF, however I'm lacking the geospatial PDF functionalities.

Now I wonder: why does it work the one way, but not the other (more straight forward) way?

I tried using the "Atlas function" (even though that is not what it is supposed to be used for, how I understand it), but it was suggested here: How to make multipleQGIS mapbook pages in 1 pdf?

I also found someone having the same issue, but in a Python script: Python script exports only first page of composer template

Unsure if I'm overlooking something here, or of this may be a bug?

EDIT: attached an image of my print layout and what I would also like to see in a single PDF (or at least in 4 seperate PDF's one for each page)

enter image description here

  • Can you please provide a screenshot of your layout for clarity? Currently I understand it you added four pages to your layout, is this correct?
    – Erik
    Commented Jun 30, 2021 at 12:45
  • You understood correct. I edited my question by including an image
    – Vincé
    Commented Jun 30, 2021 at 12:49
  • 6
    GeoPDF-export attaches the spatial extent of the map to the PDF, so you may drag & drop it into QGIS, you can't export several pages showing different areas to a GeoPDF, since each page is situated differently. If your output must be a GeoPDF, you probably have to print each map separately, since the atlas-feature doesn't allow for GeoPDF export.
    – Erik
    Commented Jun 30, 2021 at 13:05
  • 1
    @Erik after your comment I tried to export without the GeoPDF-functionality and voila - it worked right away. So that solved the initial question, why it does not work. Thanks. I still wonder, how I may be able to choose to just export the 2nd/3th page? As it always exports the 1st page.
    – Vincé
    Commented Jun 30, 2021 at 14:23

1 Answer 1


As your layout doesn't change (position of the scale bar and size) atlas could be a good option and will permit to produce one Geopdf for each atlas feature or all in one pdf (but you may have the same problem).

You can create a layer that will be used as atlas cover. Two solutions :

  1. If you have the same scale for all your 4 maps, then you may create point in the center and fix the scale.
  2. If you have different scale, then you may create a polygon layer and create a feature that will be the limit of the view you want.

After you have produced this layer, you can duplicate your layout, keep only one page and one map.

In the tab Atlas select the layer produced as Coverage layer, check the option : Hidden coverage layer and in output, you must uncheck the option : Single file export when possible.

Select the map and in item property, select Controlled by Atlas. Use the atlas preview to verify it will work well and adjust your layer if needed. Then use Atlas > Export atlas as pdf.

  • Thanks for this elaborate answer. I will mark it as solving my question as it is the answer to what I was looking for. I wonder now, for such a small print layout: is there a quicker way by exporting the 2nd, or 3th page individually as GeoPDF. It seems that it will only allow to export the 1st page as GeoPDF when choosing the standard way via Layout > Export as PDF ...
    – Vincé
    Commented Jun 30, 2021 at 14:26
  • @Vincé I have added information : "in output, you must uncheck the option : Single file export when possible." I think you need this to get only one PDF per atlas feature and then export it as GeoPDF Commented Jun 30, 2021 at 16:53

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