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No matter what I do I can,t seem to be able to transform several shape files (all vector) to a CRS that works. What is recommended for British Columbia for forestry purposes is NAD83 BC Albers. When I use that in both the settings-Project Properties area and project the layers individually I don't get the work on the composer screen. The size info etc. show normally but nothing comes on the screen. With WGS84 everything looks fine on the canvas but measuring tools measure in mm and the composer scale bar is way out to lunch. This is qgis 1.8. Any suggestions?

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The CRS transformation of a vector layer is not done by simply changing the CRS of the layer.

Instead, right-click on the layer, and Save As ... to a new file with the desired CRS.

Make sure to change the layers CRS back to the correct WGS84 before you do it.

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