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I have a shapefile A with a group of polygons, lakes.
Now I want to select the polygons(lakes) that are within a specific distance to a polygon in a second shapefile, B, with the polygon a city.

In other words, I am looking for something like ArcGIS "Select By Location" and "are within a distance of the source layer feature"

I tried Select by Location, and also Select by Radius, but didn't manage to get any of them to work.

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One way to achieve this is to first buffer your city polygon and then use the Spatial query plugin with intersect.

Adding a "within a distance of" option would be a nice extra for the Spatial query plugin.

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    A strong +1 to your comment about adding the "Within distance of" option to the spatial query plugin. That seems like a basic facet that GIS software needs to be able to handle without first creating a buffer layer of your features. – Get Spatial May 5 '16 at 19:18

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