Created: 2014-05-19 15:03
Updated: 2015-05-02 13:12


Quick Draw icon

A QGIS plugin that allows users to input simple geometries as text coordinates and display them on the map canvas.

Quick Draw dialog

Geometries are entered as coordinate strings and are rendered directly to the map canvas. This makes the plugin suitable for quickly viewing bounding boxes, points and lightweight lines and polygons.

It is important to note that because the geometries are rendered directly to the map canvas they are not saved as layers or any other persistent format. Therefore when QGIS is closed or the plugin is de-activated the geometries disappear. This means Quick Draw is most suitable as a quick and dirty scratch editor and visualiser for geometries.


The plugin requires QGIS v2.0 or greater.

  1. Use the plugin manager to find and install the Quick Draw plugin from the QGIS plugins repository.

  2. Click on the Quick Draw toolbar icon to bring up the Quick Draw dialog.

  3. Enter and edit your geometries in the text area.

  4. Optionally uncheck the Zoom to geometries checkbox if you do not want the map to zoom in to the combined extent of the geometries you have just entered.

  5. Click OK.

  6. Optionally activate the tool again to edit, remove and add to your Quick Draw geometries.

Editing Geometries

Geometries can be input as points, polylines, polygons and bounding boxes in the following formats:

Points: x,y

Polylines and polygons: x1,y1,x2,y2,x3,y3 etc.

Bounding box: xmin,ymin : xmax,ymax

Coordinates are comma separated (whitespace is ignored). It is assumed that coordinates are entered in the same projection as the map.

The difference between a polyline and a polygon is that in a polygon the final coordinate pair must match the initial coordinate pair, thus closing the line. Complex polygons with holes are not supported. The bounding box format is shorthand for creating a rectangular polygon, and is the same format as that used for the QGIS extents shown in the status bar.

Multiple geometries are supported: there is one geometry per line.

Deleting or editing geometries and pressing OK will update the canvas.


When using the plugin, clicking on the geometry text input box with the QGIS What's This? help tool will display the geometry editing information from the previous section.

Installation from Source

The recommended way to install the plugin is to use the plugin manager as described above. However, the plugin can be installed from source, which is useful if you want the very latest changes. This method requires that you have GNU make, pyrcc4 and pyuic4 installed.

  1. Download or checkout the source code from Github.

  2. Change to the plugin directory in the downloaded source package and type make deploy.

  3. Start QGIS. You should find the Quick Draw plugin listed in the plugin manager.

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