Is it possible to lock the scale in the QGIS 2.0.1 print composer? Every time I resize the map, the scale is adjusted. This makes trying out different map layouts really annoying.

  • What do you mean with "resize the map"? Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 20:01
  • In the print composer I can change the size of the map on the page. If the page is A4-format I can make it the size of the page or leave a border. When I do this the scale always changes. Commented Nov 10, 2013 at 20:28

5 Answers 5


Update 27/07/2018: As of QGIS 3.2.1, my workaround below no longer works! If I find an alternative solution I will post here again. This is very, very annoying...

There is a way to do this.

  • In the Item properties tab for your map item, click on the black-and-yellow "data defined override" icon to the right of the "scale" box.
  • Click on "Edit".
  • In the "Expression" box, type your desired scale (for example, 50000) and hit OK.

The item's scale will now be fixed at 1:50000 and will remain so no matter how much you move or resize it.

Jyler's suggestion simply doesn't work (QGIS 2.6.0 Brighton) while I can only assume that Ardit either has the world's fastest PC and/or only works on very simple maps with a handful of layers. The automatic rescaling "feature" is incredibly annoying and I cannot imagine why the developers thought it was a good idea.

  • Your solution continues to work in 3.8 and 3.4 though so that may have been a temporary bug.
    – she_weeds
    Commented Aug 10, 2019 at 14:16
  • 1
    I can confirm this solution works in 3.10 and 3.12 as well.
    – amcaninch
    Commented Jun 3, 2020 at 14:54

This function was not added to QGIS until version 2.2, so it's a surprisingly recent development. In the most recent version the print composer behaves a little bit more like what we're used to with graphics editors - simply hold shift while you resize your map frame.

If it's a great inconvenience you can upgrade, otherwise you'll have to deal with this frustration. Here is a blog post that provides an overview of print composer improvements in 2.2, as well as a list of additions slated for future releases.

  • 3
    "Holding shift while resizing items locks their aspect ratio" not the scale.
    – underdark
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 21:48

You can type in the desired scale manually in the scale text box every time you change the paper size. This can be done in a split of a second and I wouldn't call it annoying as far as you don't change the paper size let's say more than 20 times.


This can be achieved in 3.0.2 by setting the 'unit' dropdown menu in the Symbol Style options panel to "meters at scale".


I was looking how to do this today. If you're happy with the scale and the position of the upper-left corner of your map, then you can copy and paste your Scale, X min and Y max values as data-defined values.

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