In QGIS 1.8 I used the plugin "Select features of visible layers by rectangle" to know the layer that owns a visible feature.

In QGIS 2.0.1 this plugin is no more available. I wonder if it is possible to use another way. "Value tool" doesn't seem so useful for the purpose...

  • There is no such "Top down" or other modes available in QGIS 3.28.3. See screenshot from map tools settings section where only graphical "identify" parameters can be set. MultipleLayerSelection in its turn, has Python installation issues with this QGIS version. See following error log: " .../AppData/Roaming/QGIS/QGIS3\profiles\default/python/plugins\MultipleLayerSelection\MultiLayerRectangleSelection.py", line 43, in canvasReleaseEvent layer.selectByRect(lRect, False) TypeError: QgsVectorLayer.selectByRect(): argument 2 has unexpected "type 'bool'
    – Yaïr Levy
    Jun 22, 2023 at 7:56

3 Answers 3


The select features of visible layer has been integrated into QGIS and its toolbar. Just select a layer in the table of contents and click on this little icon: enter image description here

If this isn't the function you wanted than you might have to wait(or pay him) for the original plugins author to adapt the plugin for QGIS 2.0.

  • This is the problem: I have a QGIS project with a lot of layers (example: a network of trails); I want to know the layer that owns a feature; I cannot select the layer because I don't know what is the layer I'm looking for; I would like a tool to select a visible feature (without before selecting his layer) to find the layer.
    – Fabiog
    Sep 26, 2013 at 16:00

You can use the identify map tool (The most left icon in the screenshot of @Curlew). In "Settings" => "Options" => "Map Tools" you can adjust it's mode to "Top down" or "Top down, stop at first", so it will search not only in the current layer.

PS: This solution will only help you to identify the feature but not to select it directly. It seems to me, that despite the title this seems to be the your actual goal.

  • Perfect! Exactly what I need. Sorry for the title! Setting "Top down" I can view the names of all the layers at that point. Thank you
    – Fabiog
    Sep 27, 2013 at 18:26

I think that this Plugin can help you. https://plugins.qgis.org/plugins/MultipleLayerSelection/

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