I am making a map with two main maps and a single inset map for context. My scalebar appears to be showing the correct scale for the inset map, but when I add a scalebar to one of the main maps it is wrong. The project CRS is NAD 83/UTM 11N so the issue shouldn't be anything with degrees like other people have noted.

As you can see in the image, the lower selected scalebar is very similar to the upper inset map scalebar, when it should be showing 100s of meters rather than 1000s of kilometers. On the far right of the image you can see the selected scalebar is supposed to be associated with map 3 (which is correct) but just in case I tried changing the map setting to each of the three maps but nothing changed.

How do I get a correct scalebar on multiple maps in a single map layout in QGIS?

enter image description here

  • Have you tried to select between the inset map and the other maps in the object property - Maps drop down? Jun 22, 2022 at 19:15
  • @MortenSickel Do you mean the Item Properties - Maps menu in the lower right of the image? I tried that and while the scalebar slightly changes in size it's still clearly wrong regardless of which of the three maps is selected.
    – ia200
    Jun 22, 2022 at 23:16

1 Answer 1


I believe there was some sort of bug going on here but I don't know exactly what was going on. I now realize that all the scalebars appear to wrong (I had initially thought the locator map was correct) and the scales were changing when I would use the 'Interactively Edit Map Extent' button even though that doesn't affect the scale.

I resolved the issue after downloading the newest stable release (3.22.8) and creating a new layout. Instead of creating all the maps in one layout, I created three separate layouts, exported each map, and used PowerPoint to create a single layout of the three maps. It's possible that simply creating a new layout in my old version of QGIS would have fixed the issue but I got the newest release and separated the maps just in case (3.16.15).

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