I recently looked at Applying four colors theorem in polygon map using ArcMap which relates to this topic but as far as I can tell there is currently not a working plugin or script for QGIS 2.0 to achieve a four color theorem for styling polygon vector data (it doesn't necessarily have to be 4 colors, just so that each neighboring polygon is a different color, though keeping it at a minimum number of 4-6 colors would be elegant).


3 Answers 3


This is natively supported in QGIS 3.

  • View → Panels → Processing Toolbox
  • Select Topological coloring
  • Set parameters as preferred. Run.
  • This will create a new layer with an additional color_id column but still the same color.
  • Edit the properties of the new layer, Symbology section.
  • At the top, drop down to select Categorized.
  • Define the column as color_id.
  • Select your color scheme.
  • Click Classify to create the categories and assign them the colors.
  • 1
    As of Qgis 3.26 this does not necessarily achieve 4 colors. In my first test using the counties of NM as the input layer, the algorithm required 5 colors regardless of parameter choices.
    – Llaves
    Commented Feb 22, 2023 at 16:24
  • @Llaves, I did check my own maps and got the exact same result with older and latest versions of QGIS. I initially tried a map that required 6 colors but it was the same with the older version of QGIS and it seems that it was required. Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 19:59

You could try the Map Coloring plugin. You need to enable experimental plugins in the Plugin manager to get it, and look for Coloring a map in the manager. For some strange reasons, you get a blank icon, so use Plugins -> Map Coloring -> Map Coloring from the menu.

The output looks like this, after switching to Categorized styling on the COLORID field:

enter image description here


Use the TopoColour plugin, which is already compatible with QGIS 2.x but is not yet available in the official repository:


Download the zip file and unzip it in the QGIS plugin directory:

  • Linux: ~/.qgis2/python/plugins
  • Windows: C:\Users\{username}\.qgis2\python\plugins

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.