I working with QGIS 3.20. I want to write a PyQGIS script to automate switching the field used for labeling in numerous layers. Currently the layers are labeled from values of a field that is different for each layer.

I thought I will follow this procedure:

  1. Get the field name that is currently used for labeling (say field "X") in a variable
  2. Add a new field "Label" and populate its values according to the values in field "X"
  3. Set the labeling field to the "Label" field

I know how to do number 2 and I am looking for a way to do number 1 and 3. So my questions are: how do I get the labeling field name (to store in a variable)? How do I change the labeling field?

In the UI this is the labeling field I want to access and change (however its name is different for each layer):

Labeling field

What would be the way to go?

1 Answer 1


My answer is based on two answers :

Getting label feature with PyQGIS? from Leo Cardona for step 1

QgsPalLayerSettings error from ndawson for step 3

This is the code used for step 1 and step 3 :

layer = iface.activeLayer()    
# STEP 1
labeling = layer.labeling()
palyr = labeling.settings()
currently_used_field_name = palyr.fieldName
print (currently_used_field_name)
# this will print : X

new_label_field = "Label"
label_settings = QgsPalLayerSettings()
label_settings.drawLabels = True
label_settings.fieldName = new_label_field
  • Thank you very much! That was exactly what I needed! Could you also tell me how to distinguish if a layer has single labelling (based on the values of a field) or rule based labeling?
    – mikmar
    Jul 13, 2021 at 13:56
  • @mikmar you can use palyr.getLabelExpression().isField() wich is going to return a boolean, TRUE if your label is based only on a field and FALSE if your label is based on an expression. See the doc of QgsExpression. qgis.org/pyqgis/master/core/…
    – JULESG
    Jul 13, 2021 at 16:17

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