7.3.5. Layer properties

The properties of one specific layer can be accessed by the main menu Layer > Properties, a right-click on the layer name and choosing the entry Properties in the context menu or simply by double-clicking the layer name. The Layer Properties might vary between different file formats, but every layer will at least have tabs for Style options, General settings and provide Metadata information. Let’s first have a look at the Metadata, the information about the data: opening the Metadata for the layer commune_boundary_FR.shp, the following information appears (Fig. 79):

Apart from the file format, data source, and geometry type, we can also learn something about the number of features (n=51), the coordinate reference system (CRS) used for projection and the spatial extent (minimal and maximal values for X and Y). The current administrative districts are digitized as polygons, displayed with an opaque colour fill. To combine them with our elevation model, the fill colour could be removed and the border set to a bright colour:

  1. Open the Layer Properties window by a method of your choice (see above).
  2. Switch to the tab Style.
  3. Click the button Change to the left and a further window with Symbol properties will open.
  4. Select an appropriate Symbol layer type in the Symbol properties window (dropdown-menu on top) (Fig. 80). By default, polygon layers are visualized by a “simple fill” with a uniform colour for the fill area and black lines representing the polygons boarders. Change the layer type e.g. to Outline: simple line.
  5. Fill with a colour of your choice.
  6. Click to close the Symbol properties.
  7. Click Apply to implement the changes.
  8. Close the Layer Properties with OK.
  9. Move the polygon layer one level higher in the Map Legend on top of the elevation model.

Fig. 79. Metadata of the layer commune_boundary_FR.shp in the Layer Properties.



Fig. 80. Symbol properties for QGIS vector layers. Different Symbol layer types can also be combined for more advanced visualization tasks (Button Add symbol layer to the left).