In my line of work I receive excel spreadsheets with records of notable/protected species in a particular area.

I would like to style them so that the shape denotes their Taxon Group, and their colour denotes their Common Name.

I realise I could separate the taxon groups out into different shapefile layers and style them that way, but I use 'point displacement' and don't want the points to stack on top of each other.

I have also tried using the field calculator to combine 'Taxon Group' and 'Common Name' but this changes how they appear in the key.

3 Answers 3


Here I have used Rule-based symbology to define the shape (for the taxon). Then used the Data Defined Override for the symbol fill colour within each rule (for the common name). I had the colours added as an attribute in the table, but you could use an expression to define them.

  • Double-click a rule to edit its symbology and choose your desired shape
  • Then for the Fill Colour, click the data-defined override button and choose Edit:

enter image description here

My expression was just "colour" as I had already defined the colours in the attribute table using the field calculator. I did this for each of the 3 rules:

enter image description here

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An example expression to define the colours:

    WHEN "common_name" = 'grass snake' THEN 'lightblue'
    WHEN "common_name" = 'adder' THEN 'darkblue'


Here's how I would do it :

In the style tab, use Categorized and in the value,

if count(concat("taxon group", "common name"))>0, concat("taxon group", ' - ', "common name"), null)

Then, hit Classify and you should get a certain number of classes in random color where a combination of taxon group and common name can be found at least once.

For example, here I have geolocalized pictures classified by brand and model : enter image description here

For the shape part, I don't know how to randomize that except by maybe using the geometry generator as a symbol or set up manually a shape for each taxon group/common name.


Taking into account what you have already done, I find several options, I will start with the ones that could be simpler, although not for that reason better:

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