We currently use ArcGIS 9.2, and we are looking at moving forward with other software, and we have been testing QGIS recently.

Basically we are trying to copy the existing projects we have, and re-create them in QGIS.

But I have came across quite a big problem, re-created a project which has a couple of polygon shapefiles. They came into QGIS fine as always. I then opened up the .mxd project in ArcGIS, and noticed a couple of deadlinks... they were the two shapefiles I had just brought into QGIS!

Tried a couple of other random shapefiles and the same thing happens... seems a single shapefile can't be used in both QGIS and ArcGIS at the same time? Looking at the shapefile in catalog and it shows as a green question mark. If I close QGIS the shapefile opens fine again in ArcGIS.

I could of course create a copy of each shapefile and point QGIS to the copies, but it means duplicating A LOT of shapefiles, which is far from ideal.

Anyone else come across this? And if so, is there a solution/work around?

  • Using QGIS 2.0 and ArcGIS 10.0, I do not experience this same locking issue. I could open the file in QGIS, then in ArcGIS without issue. Same result when opening vice-versa. This even worked in an ArcMap edit session on that layer. – RyanDalton Nov 12 '13 at 0:17
  • I'm having the same problem. I have a .shp file that was opened in QGIS and Arcmap 10.2 just gives me an error every time I try to open it. – Hgotwald Mar 27 '16 at 23:46

QGIS also locks the shapefile. As long as it is opened in QGIS, you can not delete it from the file system (even if it is not in editing mode).

ARCGIS might not be pleased with that lock, and refuses to open the shapefile.

  • It's strange that Arc wouldn't be able to even open the shape file. It should only need the read flag. QGIS (OGR) only opens with read until you go into edit mode. – Nathan W Oct 28 '13 at 23:33
  • That is strange because certainly two QGIS instance can both read the same shapefile at the same time as can two instances of ArcGIS (though the lock would prevent editing in each case of course). However, the comments in [this question] gis.stackexchange.com/questions/34148/… suggest that opening in Arc and QGIS simultaneously is possible! – MappaGnosis Oct 29 '13 at 9:22
  • So it's just a case of QGIS and ArcGIS can't use the same shapefile at the same time... Far from ideal :( – GIS Oct 31 '13 at 11:04

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