In QGIS 1.8 and 1.9 I used a plugin called Easy Labels to develop leader lines that would be saved as a memory layer. I have not been able to replicate this with QGIS 2.0, I can't even find the Easy Label Plugin. Assuming it is no longer valid in QGIS 2.

Question: How can I create a leader from a label moved outside a polygon to the centroid of the polygon?

  • Have a look to MMQGIS which offer you to do the same thing. MMQGIS.... CREATE.... HUB LINES
    – user24769
    Dec 10, 2013 at 9:16

2 Answers 2


As a quick morning exercise I hacked a QGIS Python script together, creating lines in a memorylayer from a polygon centroid to a custom moved data binded label.

You need an x and y column in your table to have label coordinates stored. Also setup the data defined label x and y coordinates in labels properties.


Drag the label where you want it, with the label move tool:


Copy the Python code below to a file called Labellines.py to you Python folder. On windows that would be C:\Users\USERNAME\ .qgis2\python.

Generates lines from a data binded label to centroid of a polygon
Created by jakob at lanstorp dot com. Run from QGIS Python Console:

from Labellines import LabelLineGenerator
generator = LabelLineGenerator(qgis.utils.iface)

from qgis.core import *

def run_script(iface):
     ''' Script runner from QGIS uses this driver code '''
     from Labellines import LabelLineGenerator
     generator = LabelLineGenerator(iface)

class LabelLineGenerator:
    def __init__(self, iface):
        """Initialize using the qgis.utils.iface 
        object passed from the console.

        # Set the name of the layer
        self.labelTable = 'Kommuner2006'

        self.iface = iface
        self.log = lambda m: QgsMessageLog.logMessage(m,'Labellines')
        self.log('LabelLineGenerator started ....')

    def createLabellines(self, layerToLable):

         # Polygon layer to label
         vlayer = QgsVectorLayer("D:\data\Kommuner2006\Kommuner2006.shp","Kommuner", "ogr")

         # Iterate base layer
         iter = vlayer.getFeatures()
         i = 0
         for feature in iter:
             # Get data binded label coordinates
             xLabel = feature["x"]
             yLabel = feature["y"]
             # Skip labelline creation if label has not been moved
             if xLabel == NULL or yLabel == NULL:
             # Create label point
             labelPoint = QgsPoint(xLabel,yLabel)
             geom = feature.geometry()
             # Create centroid point
             centroidPoint = geom.centroid().asPoint()
             # Append label line to a memorylayer
             ft = QgsFeature()


    def createLabellineMemoryLayer(self):
         ''' Create a memory layer for handling lines between centroid and label text '''
         self.labellineLayer =  QgsVectorLayer(
         "LineString?" +
         "crs=epsg:25832&" + 
         "field=id:integer&" +


Update line 35 and 65 with your own settings.

Run it from the QGIS Python Console:

from Labellines import LabelLineGenerator    
generator = LabelLineGenerator(qgis.utils.iface)    

This is nothing compaired to the Easy Labels plugin, but did give me this map of some Copenhagen municipalities.


Line 35 - The polygon layer you want to label:

vlayer = QgsVectorLayer("D:\data\Kommuner2006\Kommuner2006.shp","Kommuner", "ogr")

Line 64 - The epsg code of your polygon layer:

"crs=epsg:25832&" +

  • ah... to have the ability to throw this together, awesome. I will give it a try when I have a moment. I assume that the Easy Label plugin just needs to be updated for QGIS 2.O? Just to Calrify, whn I update line 35, is this the layer that I want to label? So I would have to change the script for each layer that I need to label in this way? I get the location part, but what are the last two settings?
    – LandArch
    Dec 9, 2013 at 13:31
  • Don't know the status of the Easy Label plugin. One could suspect that it won't come to QGIS 2, since QGIS 2 has improved label handling a lot. Have updated the answer at the very bottom regarding the two lines for your edit.
    – Jakob
    Dec 9, 2013 at 14:11
  • I get that "D:\data\Kommuner2006\Kommuner2006.shp" is the name of the shapefile to be labeled. But what does "Kommuner" and "ogr" relate to?
    – LandArch
    Dec 10, 2013 at 13:05
  • The doc for the constructor of QgsVectorLayer can be seen here: qgis.org/api/… "Kommuner" is baseName param (The name used to represent the layer in the legend) and "ogr" is the providerLib param (The name of the data provider, eg "memory", "postgres", "ogr"). Should have used my New York dataset and not the Danish municipality map (kommuner=municipality:)
    – Jakob
    Dec 10, 2013 at 16:17

You might also want to look at this post if you want to avoid using Python. See the answer I added below my post. I used the EasyCustomLabeling plugin. I recommend that you download the latest version as some of the older versions only allow you to edit the memory layer in the session when you created it. Let me know if this is not clear!

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