Welcome to another QGIS Tutorial for Beginners. In this article, we are going to learn how to create a new shapefile in QGIS. As you might known already, QGIS supports many kind of spatial files including shapefile. Shapefile (.shp) is a well known spatial file format that was made popular by ESRI with their ArcGIS product. You can read more about shapefile format from this link.
If you are new to QGIS, don’t worry we are here to help. First, make sure you have installed QGIS on your system. If you are running Ubuntu Linux, you can follow this article to install QGIS on Ubuntu. Or, you can also download and install QGIS for other system. All you need to do is to check their official website.
Steps to Create a New Shapefile in QGIS
- Open QGIS
- Go to Layer >> Create Layer >> New Shapefile Layer
- Specify the file name, Geometry type, projections
- Add new fields as necessary
- Click OK
Once you click OK, you should see your new shapefile layer shown in the QGIS layer list on the left. QGIS supports several geometry types such as polygon, point, multipoint, and line.
Please note that when you choose polygon as your geometry type for the new shapefile, this mean that the layer will only store polygon features only. You cannot draw or store point features in a polygon geometry layer. So, make sure you know what kind of data that will be stored in your new layer.
How to edit the shapefile in QGIS
To edit the new shapefile layer, simply right-click the layer and then select Toggle Editing from the menu. Then, choose the add feature button. If you choose to edit the shapefile with polygon geometry, you will see add polygon feature tool available.
If you have point layer, the tool will looks like this one
Once you finish editing your layer, you can save it and then disable the editing tool.
cédricDecember 10, 2020
thanks very much
Robert McMullenDecember 12, 2020
Thank you Admin, I have trouble in that I cannot get the new layer (point or polygon) following above steps, I guess I don’t understand what fields, projections or other items to fill in, because I get this message every time (and I’ve tried about a dozen times to make new point or polygon shapefile layers that have resulted in only 2 viable polygon shapefiles:
“Layer creation failed: Failed to create a file “myshapfilename”.shp: Permission denied”
Alicia WallaceMarch 8, 2021
I get the same message trying to create a polygon shape layer, “failed to create layer: permission denied
isabelJune 30, 2021
For me this happens when i do not specify where to save the file. It tries writing it in a non editable library. Try saving to your desktop
RobertSeptember 23, 2022
In drawing a polygon within a shapefile QGIS will only let me use a square format to draw it. It will not let me draw in a “freehand” format. Is there some designation to change this draw tool format? Thanks