I am making a map of a continent on QGIS and I have marked some locations. Some of them are very close (making it difficult to read the labels) while some parts of the continent are empty.

I have therefore added an inset map. I would like to remove the labels from that area on the main map, but show them on the inset map.

While I can remove the labels from the inset map (Map 1 > Item properties > Label settings > Label blocking items), I can't seem to find the way to remove the ones on the area shown on the inset map BUT on the main map.

1 Answer 1


Your two maps (main and inset map) in the layout probably are at different scales. You can use this to set label visibility to scale-dependent. However, in the main map, you want some labels to show up, others not. For this, add a condition based on an attribute you create that differentiates between labels to be be shown and others not.

Let's consider the example in screenshot 1 below: main map has scale 1:2'000'000 (some labels visible, others not), the inset map (red highlighted part of the main map) 1:1'000'000 (all labels visible) - it could be any other numbers.

In the QGIS main window, select those locations that are very close/those where labels should be shown only on the inset map. You can manually select them or use an expression to select all features that have a nearest neighbor at a certain maximum distance: overlay_nearest( @layer, max_distance:=[dist]), where [dist] should be replaced by the distance in layer units (screenshot 3).

Create a new attribute called label with field calculator and set it's value to 0 for the selected ones (where labels should be hidden on the main map), to 1 for all others (where labels should always be shown).

Now in the label visibility tab, for Show label use data driven override and insert this expression: "label" = 1 OR @map_scale <2000000 - see screenshot 2. For features with attribute value "label"=1, the label will always be visible. For the others, it will only be shown on maps with a scale smaller than 2'000'000.

Screenshot 1: enter image description here

Screenshot 2: how to set data driven override; the points inside the red circle have an a value of 0 (no show) for the attribute label, all other have a value of 1: enter image description here

Screenshot 3: select by expression to select all features that have a nearest neighbor at max. 50 km (50'000 m) distance: enter image description here

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