Outdated version of the documentation. Find the latest one here.

The Attribute Table Item

It is possible to add parts of a vector attribute table to the Print Composer canvas: Click the openTable Add attribute table icon, click and drag with the left mouse button on the Print Composer canvas to place and size the item. You can better position and customize its appearance in the Item Properties tab.

The Item properties tab of an attribute table provides the following functionalities (see figure_composer_table_1):

Figure Composer Attribute Table 1:


Attribute table Item properties Tab nix

Main properties

The Main properties dialog of the attribute table` provides the following functionalities (see figure_composer_table_2):

Figure Composer Attribute Table 2:


Attribute table Main properties Dialog nix

  • For Source you can normally select only ‘Layer features’.
  • With Layer you can choose from the vector layers loaded in the project.
  • In case you activated the checkboxGenerate an atlas option in the Atlas generation tab, there are two additional Source possible: ‘Current atlas feature’ (see figure_composer_table_2b) and ‘Relation children’ (see figure_composer_table_2c). Choosing the ‘Current atlas feature’ you won’t see any option to choose the layer, and the table item will only show a row with the attributes from the current feature of the atlas coverage layer. Choosing ‘Relation children’, an option with the relation names will show up. The ‘Relation children’ option can only be used if you have defined a relation using your atlas coverage layer as parent, and the table will show the children rows of the atlas coverage layer’s current feature (for further information about the atlas generation, see Generate an Atlas).
  • The button [Refresh table data] can be used to refresh the table when the actual contents of the table has changed.

Figure Composer Attribute Table 2b:


Attribute table Main properties for ‘Current atlas feature’ nix

Figure Composer Attribute Table 2c:


Attribute table Main properties for ‘Relation children’ nix

  • The button [Attributes...] starts the Select attributes menu, see figure_composer_table_3, that can be used to change the visible contents of the table. After making changes use the [OK] button to apply changes to the table. The upper part of the window shows the list of the attributes to display and the lower part helps to set the way the data is sorted.

    Figure Composer Attribute Table 3:


    Attribute table Select attributes Dialog nix

    In the Columns section you can:

    • Remove an attribute, just select an attribute row by clicking anywhere in the row and press the minus button to remove the selected attribute.
    • Add a new attribute use the plus button. At the end a new empty row appears and you can select empty cell of the column Attribute. You can select a field attribute from the list or you can select to build a new attribute using a regular expression (expression button). Of course you can modify every already existing attribute by means of a regular expression.
    • Use the up and down arrows to change the order of the attributes in the table.
    • Select a cell in the Headings column and, to change the heading, just type in a new name.
    • set a precise Alignment (mixing vertical and horizontal alignment options) for each column.
    • Select a cell in the Width column and change it from Automatic to a width in mm, just type a number. When you want to change it back to Automatic, use the cross.
    • The [Reset] button can always be used to restore it to the original attribute settings.

    In the Sorting section you can:

    • Add an attribute to sort the table with. Select an attribute and set the sorting order to ‘Ascending’ or ‘Descending’ and press the plus button. A new line is added to the sort order list.
    • select a row in the list and use the up and down button to change the sort priority on attribute level. Selecting a cell in the Sort Order column helps you change the sorting order of the attribute field.
    • use the minus button to remove an attribute from the sort order list.

Feature filtering

The Feature filtering dialog of the attribute table provides the following functionalities (see figure_composer_table_4):

Figure Composer Attribute Table 4:


Attribute table Feature filtering Dialog nix

You can:

  • Define the Maximum rows to be displayed.

  • Activate checkbox Remove duplicate rows from table to show unique records only.

  • Activate checkbox Show only visible features within a map and select the corresponding Composer map to display the attributes of features only visible on selected map.

  • Activate checkbox Show only features intersecting Atlas feature is only available when checkbox Generate an atlas is activated. When activated it will show a table with only the features shown on the map of that particular page of the atlas.

  • Activate checkbox Filter with and provide a filter by typing in the input line or insert a regular expression using the given expression expression button. A few examples of filtering statements you can use when you have loaded the airports layer from the Sample dataset:

    • ELEV > 500
    • NAME = 'ANIAK'
    • regexp_match( attribute( $currentfeature, 'USE' )  , '[i]')

    The last regular expression will include only the airports that have a letter ‘i’ in the attribute field ‘USE’.


The Appearance dialog of the attribute table provides the following functionalities (see figure_composer_table_5):

Figure Composer Attribute Table 5:


Attribute table appearance Dialog nix

  • Click checkbox Show empty rows to fill the attribute table with empty cells. This option can also be used to provide additional empty cells when you have a result to show!

  • With Cell margins you can define the margin around text in each cell of the table.

  • With Display header you can select from a list one of ‘On first frame’, ‘On all frames’ default option, or ‘No header’.

  • The option Empty table controls what will be displayed when the result selection is empty.

    • Draw headers only, will only draw the header except if you have chosen ‘No header’ for Display header.
    • Hide entire table, will only draw the background of the table. You can activate checkbox Don’t draw background if frame is empty in Frames to completely hide the table.
    • Show set message, will draw the header and adds a cell spanning all columns and display a message like ‘No result’ that can be provided in the option Message to display
  • The option Message to display is only activated when you have selected Show set message for Empty table. The message provided will be shown in the table in the first row, when the result is an empty table.

  • With Background color you can set the background color of the table. The Advanced customization option helps you define different background colors for each cell (see figure_composer_table_6)

Figure Composer Attribute Table 6:


Attribute table Advanced Background Dialog nix

  • With the Wrap text on option, you can define a character on which the cell content will be wraped each time it is met
  • With Oversized text you define the behaviour when the width set for a column is smaller than its content’s length. It can be Wrap text or Truncate text.

Show grid

The Show grid dialog of the attribute table provides the following functionalities (see figure_composer_table_7):

Figure Composer Attribute Table 7:


Attribute table Show grid Dialog nix

  • Activate checkbox Show grid when you want to display the grid, the outlines of the table cells.
  • With Line width you can set the thickness of the lines used in the grid.
  • The Color of the grid can be set using the color selection dialog.

Fonts and text styling

The Fonts and text styling dialog of the attribute table provides the following functionalities (see figure_composer_table_8):

Figure Composer Attribute Table 8:


Attribute table Fonts and text styling Dialog nix

  • You can define Font and Color for Table heading and Table contents.
  • For Table heading you can additionally set the Alignment to Follow column alignment or override this setting by choosing Left, Center or Right. The column alignment is set using the Select Attributes dialog (see Figure_composer_table_3 ).


The Frames dialog of the attribute table provides the following functionalities (see figure_composer_table_9):

Figure Composer Attribute Table 9:


Attribute table Frames Dialog nix

  • With Resize mode you can select how to render the attribute table contents:
    • Use existing frames displays the result in the first frame and added frames only.
    • Extend to next page will create as many frames (and corresponding pages) as necessary to display the full selection of attribute table. Each frame can be moved around on the layout. If you resize a frame, the resulting table will be divided up between the other frames. The last frame will be trimmed to fit the table.
    • Repeat until finished will also create as many frames as the Extend to next page option, except all frames will have the same size.
  • Use the [Add Frame] button to add another frame with the same size as selected frame. The result of the table that will not fit in the first frame will continue in the next frame when you use the Resize mode Use existing frames.
  • Activate checkbox Don’t export page if frame is empty prevents the page to be exported when the table frame has no contents. This means all other composer items, maps, scalebars, legends etc. will not be visible in the result.
  • Activate checkbox Don’t draw background if frame is empty prevents the background to be drawn when the table frame has no contents.