I have been learning to use QGIS for the last three days. I am graduating from importing shapefiles into Google Earth and I am now at the point where I need to go to the next level. I am in the oil and gas industry and I have three days invested into building my first map. I have been able to download most of the shapefiles from public databases, but I am deadlocked on how to manually draw a 550'X550' red hatched square and place it on my map. I have had to resort to drawing the square in Google Earth and opening the KMZ file in QGIS. Now I am having the issue of how to adjust its position on the map. The KMZs appear to be "grayed out" in my layers panel. Whereas the shapefile databases I have downloaded appear to be darker in the layers panel.

I'd like to salvage some of my weekend.

this is an example of a square I am trying to move a little further to the North.

  • What conditions do these rectangles need to fullfill? Size, positions etc.?
    – Babel
    Aug 14, 2021 at 19:21
  • I need the squares to measure 550 ft. X 550 ft. If you will notice in the screen capture above, the square (drill site) is sitting on top of a pipeline (red dashed line) and will need to be moved to the North in order to clear the pipeline. It also appears the red square above is not "square" Is there a way to select the square and determine the measurements of all four sides and modify to 550'? Also, is there a function which will allow me to select the square and "nudge" it to the North?
    – oilman
    Aug 14, 2021 at 19:50
  • You probably want the Vertex Editor, more specifically the Vertex Editor Panel which allows you to edit the coordinates of each node directly. Also have a look at snapping and topology in the nearby sections. Aug 14, 2021 at 22:57

3 Answers 3


Best choice is to use the "Advanced Digitizing Toolbar" and the "Shape Digitizing Toolbar" together:
(1) and (2) Add both Toolbars->Menue->View->Toolbars or right clicking in the toolbar area to get the context menue
(3) activate the "advanced digitizing tools" in the toolbar
(4) in the widget activate the "Floater" (5)

enter image description here

(1) Select one of the rectangle tools in the "shape digitizing toolbar", for example "Add Rectangle from 3 points"
(2) Draw the first point, then you can lock the distance to the next point with pressing "d" on the keyboard, then entering the value for the distance and press "Enter" -> the distance will be locked. Same procedure for the next point.

enter image description here

see also:



It appears that you want the squares to be centered over the drill site. If that is the case, this approach may help salvage your weekend:

  1. Create a new point layer and digitize the drill site location(s).
  2. Buffer the drill site point(s) by 225 feet. The resulting circle polygon(s) will be 550 feet in diameter.
  3. Run the Processing > Toolbox > Vector Geometry > Bounding Boxes tool.

Voila! You now have a 550-foot box(es) around the buffer, centered over the drill site(s).

enter image description here

  1. Create a square of the appropriate size using Menu Processing > Toolbox > Rectangles, ovals, diamonds. You need an input layer: just create a temporary scratch layer with one point (the square will be built around this point).

  2. Use the Move Feature(s) and Rotate Feature(s) tools to place the square in the right position. Activate snapping to place the corners/edges of the square exactly to vertices of other geometries.

Moving the created square and snapping a corner to a line: enter image description here

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