I am trying to edit a point shapefile in QGIS and I have editing on for that layer. I have added a new column for the custom data, I have set it to text and have 8 characters allowed in the column, but every time I save and toggle editing off all of the values go back to null.

  • This may or may not help, but sometimes simply closing and reopening the attribute table has resolved this for me in the past. Stupid workaround but nonetheless it has worked. Also, do you have any Joins on the layer while editing? This has also caused similar behavior when editing for me in the past.
    – evv_gis
    Jan 31, 2014 at 17:42

1 Answer 1


There may be something weird with the shapefile, in case QGIS have write access on this file.

In this case, I have two ideas for you:

1) To diagnosticate the shapefile for anomalies, using the shp_doctor tool.

If you are on Windows and you don't want to loose time with the shp_doctor compilation from sources, then you may download a working executable, tested for viruses, from here. (Press the yellow button - Download now, File Size: 567.1 kb)

Below is such a test, with a healthy file, but I'm expecting in your case, to see a hint for your shapefile bad behaviour:

enter image description here

2) I think this is the quick-and-dirty way to solve your problem, regardless of the cause of errors (I hope not to be wrong!):

  • open up the attribute table of your weird shapefile;
  • select only those healthy point features, omitting those with null values;
  • right click the layer name and choose Save Selection As...;
  • choose ESRI Shapefile as Format;
  • choose a name and a location for the new, healty layer;
  • check Add saved file to map and press Ok.

Now, working with the new point layer should be smooth!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.