Raster Properties Dialog¶
To view and set the properties for a raster layer, double click on the layer name in the map legend, or right click on the layer name and choose Properties from the context menu. This will open the Raster Layer Properties dialog.
There are several tabs in the dialog:
Live update rendering
The Layer Styling Panel provides you with some of the common features of the Layer properties dialog and is a good modeless widget that you can use to speed up the configuration of the layer styles and automatically view your changes in the map canvas.
Because properties (symbology, label, actions, default values, forms…) of embedded layers (see Nesting Projects) are pulled from the original project file and to avoid changes that may break this behavior, the layer properties dialog is made unavailable for these layers.
The Information tab is read-only and represents an interesting place to quickly grab summarized information and metadata on the current layer. Provided information are:
based on the provider of the layer (format of storage, path, data type, extent, width/height, compression, pixel size, statistics on bands, number of columns, rows and no-data values of the raster…);
picked from the filled metadata: access, links, contacts, history… as well as data information (CRS, Extent, bands…).
The Source tab displays basic information about the selected raster, including:
the Layer name to display in the Layers Panel;
setting the Coordinate Reference System: Displays the layer’s Coordinate Reference System (CRS) as a PROJ.4 string. You can change the layer’s CRS, selecting a recently used one in the drop-down list or clicking on Select CRS button (see Coordinate Reference System Selector). Use this process only if the CRS applied to the layer is a wrong one or if none was applied. If you wish to reproject your data into another CRS, rather use layer reprojection algorithms from Processing or Save it into another layer.
QGIS offers four different Render types. The renderer chosen is dependent on the data type.
Multiband color - if the file comes as a multiband with several bands (e.g., used with a satellite image with several bands).
Paletted/Unique values - for single band files that come with an indexed palette (e.g., used with a digital topographic map) or for general use of palettes for rendering raster layers.
Singleband gray - (one band of) the image will be rendered as gray; QGIS will choose this renderer if the file has neither multibands nor an indexed palette nor a continuous palette (e.g., used with a shaded relief map).
Singleband pseudocolor - this renderer is possible for files with a continuous palette, or color map (e.g., used with an elevation map).
Hillshade - Creates hillshade from a band.
With the multiband color renderer, three selected bands from the image will be rendered, each band representing the red, green or blue component that will be used to create a color image. QGIS automatically fetches Min and Max values for each band of the raster and scales the coloring accordingly. You can control the value ranges with the help of the Min/Max Value Settings section.
A Contrast enhancement method can also be applied to the values: ‘No enhancement’, ‘Stretch to MinMax’, ‘Stretch and clip to MinMax’ and ‘Clip to min max’.
When adding GRASS rasters, the option Contrast enhancement will always be set automatically to stretch to min max, regardless of if this is set to another value in the QGIS general options.
Viewing a Single Band of a Multiband Raster
If you want to view a single band of a multiband image (for example, Red), you might think you would set the Green and Blue bands to Not Set. But this is not the correct way. To display the Red band, set the image type to Singleband gray, then select Red as the Gray band to use.
This is the standard render option for singleband files that include a color table, where a certain color is assigned to each pixel value. In that case, the palette is rendered automatically.
It can be used for all kinds of raster bands, assigning a color to each unique raster value.
If you want to change a color, just double-click on the color and the Select color dialog appears.
It is also possible to assign labels to the colors. The label will then appear in the legend of the raster layer.
Right-clicking over selected rows in the color table shows a contextual menu to:
Change Color… for the selection
Change Opacity… for the selection
Change Label… for the selection
The pulldown menu, that opens when clicking the … (Advanced options) button below the color map to the right, offers color map loading (Load Color Map from File…) and exporting (Export Color Map to File…), and loading of classes (Load Classes from Layer).
This renderer allows you to render a single band layer with a Color gradient: ‘Black to white’ or ‘White to black’. You can define a range of values to color other than the default Min and Max values of the whole raster, thanks to the Min/Max Value Settings option.
Again, a Contrast enhancement method can be applied to the values: ‘No enhancement’, ‘Stretch to MinMax’, ‘Stretch and clip to MinMax’ and ‘Clip to min max’.
This is a render option for single-band files that include a continuous palette. You can also create color maps for a bands of a multiband raster.
Using a Band of the layer and a values range, three types of color Interpolation are available:
Discrete (a <= symbol appears in the value column)
Exact (an equal symbol appears in the Value column)
The Color ramp drop down list lists the color ramp in your QGIS. You can add a new one, edit or save the one you changed. The name of the color ramp will be saved in the configuration and in the QML files.
The Label unit suffix is a label added after the value in the legend.
For the classification Mode ‘Equal interval’, you only need to select the number of classes and press the button Classify. In the case of the Mode ‘Continuous’, QGIS creates classes automatically depending on the Min and Max.
The button Add values manually adds a value to the individual color table. The button Remove selected row deletes a value from the individual color table. Double clicking on the value column lets you insert a specific value. Double clicking on the color column opens the dialog Change color, where you can select a color to apply on that value. Further, you can also add labels for each color, but this value won’t be displayed when you use the identify feature tool.
Right-clicking over selected rows in the color table shows a contextual menu to:
Change Color… for the selection
Change Opacity… for the selection
You can use the buttons Load color map from file or Export color map to file to load an existing color table or to save the color table for later use.
The Clip out of range values allows QGIS to not render pixel greater than the Max value.
Render a band of the raster layer using hillshading.
Band: The raster band to use.
Altitude: The elevation angle of the light source (default is
Azimuth: The azimuth of the light source (default is
Z Factor: Scaling factor for the values of the raster band (default is
Multidirectional: Specify if multidirectional hillshading is to be used (default is
Setting the min and max values¶
By default, QGIS reports the Min and Max values of the band(s) of the raster. A few very low and/or high values can have a negative impact on the rendering of the raster. The Min/Max Value Settings menu helps you control the values to render.
Available options are:
User defined: The default Min and Max values of the band(s) can be overridden
Cumulative count cut: Removes outliers. The standard range of values is
98%, but can be adapted manually.
Mean +/- standard deviation x: Creates a color table that only considers values within the standard deviation or within multiple standard deviations. This is useful when you have one or two cells with abnormally high values in a raster grid that are having a negative impact on the rendering of the raster.
Calculations of the min and max values of the bands are made based on the:
Statistics extent: it can be Whole raster, Current canvas or Updated canvas. Updated canvas means that min/max values used for the rendering will change with the canvas extent (dynamic stretching).
Accuracy, which can be either Estimate (faster) or Actual (slower).
For some settings, you may need to press the Apply button of the layer properties dialog in order to display the actual min and max values in the widgets.
For every Band rendering, a Color rendering is possible.
You can also achieve special rendering effects for your raster file(s) using one of the blending modes (see Blending Modes).
Further settings can be made in modifying the Brightness, the Saturation and the Contrast. You can also use a Grayscale option, where you can choose between ‘By lightness’, ‘By luminosity’ and ‘By average’. For one hue in the color table, you can modify the ‘Strength’.
The Resampling option makes its appearance when you zoom in and out of an image. Resampling modes can optimize the appearance of the map. They calculate a new gray value matrix through a geometric transformation.
When applying the ‘Nearest neighbour’ method, the map can have a pixelated structure when zooming in. This appearance can be improved by using the ‘Bilinear’ or ‘Cubic’ method, which cause sharp features to be blurred. The effect is a smoother image. This method can be applied, for instance, to digital topographic raster maps.
At the bottom of the Symbology tab, you can see a thumbnail of the layer, its legend symbol, and the palette.
QGIS has the ability to display each raster layer at a different transparency level. Use the transparency slider to indicate to what extent the underlying layers (if any) should be visible through the current raster layer. This is very useful if you like to overlay more than one raster layer (e.g., a shaded relief map overlayed by a classified raster map). This will make the look of the map more three dimensional.
Additionally, you can enter a raster value that should be treated as NODATA in the Additional no data value option.
An even more flexible way to customize the transparency can be done in the Custom transparency options section:
Use Transparency band to apply transparency on an entire band.
Provide a list of pixels to make transparent with the corresponding level of transparency:
Click the Add values manually button. A new row will appear in the pixel list.
Enter the Red, Green and Blue values of the pixel and adjust the Percent Transparent to apply.
Alternatively, you can directly fetch the pixel values directly from the raster using the Add values from display button. Then enter the transparency value.
Repeat the steps to adjust more values with custom transparency.
Press the Apply button and have a look at the map.
As you can see, it is quite easy to set custom transparency, but it can be quite a lot of work. Therefore, you can use the button Export to file to save your transparency list to a file. The button Import from file loads your transparency settings and applies them to the current raster layer.
The Histogram tab allows you to view the distribution of the bands or colors in your raster. The histogram is generated when you press the Compute Histogram button. All existing bands will be displayed together. You can save the histogram as an image with the button.
At the bottom of the histogram, you can select a raster band in the drop-down menu and Set min/max style for it. The Prefs/Actions drop-down menu gives you advanced options to customize the histogram:
With the Visibility option, you can display histograms of the individual bands. You will need to select the option Show selected band.
The Min/max options allow you to ‘Always show min/max markers’, to ‘Zoom to min/max’ and to ‘Update style to min/max’.
The Actions option allows you to ‘Reset’ or ‘Recompute histogram’ after you changed the min or max values of the band(s).
In the Rendering tab, it’s possible to:
apply a Scale dependent visibility to the layer: You can set the Maximum (inclusive) and Minimum (exclusive) scale, defining a range of scale in which the layer will be visible. Out of this range, it’s hidden. The Set to current canvas scale button helps you use the current map canvas scale as boundary of the range visibility. See Scale Dependent Rendering for more information.
Refresh layer at interval (seconds): set a timer to automatically refresh individual layers at a matching interval. Canvas updates are deferred in order to avoid refreshing multiple times if more than one layer has an auto update interval set.
You can set the Maximum (inclusive) and Minimum (exclusive) scale, defining a range of scale in which the layer will be visible. Out of this range, it’s hidden. The Set to current canvas scale button helps you use the current map canvas scale as boundary of the range visibility. See Scale Dependent Rendering for more information.
Large resolution raster layers can slow navigation in QGIS. By creating lower resolution copies of the data (pyramids), performance can be considerably improved, as QGIS selects the most suitable resolution to use depending on the level of zoom.
You must have write access in the directory where the original data is stored to build pyramids.
From the Resolutions list, select resolutions for which you want to create pyramid by clicking on them.
If you choose Internal (if possible) from the Overview format drop-down menu, QGIS tries to build pyramids internally.
Please note that building pyramids may alter the original data file, and once created they cannot be removed. If you wish to preserve a ‘non-pyramided’ version of your raster, make a backup copy prior to building pyramids.
If you choose External and External (Erdas Imagine) the pyramids will
be created in a file next to the original raster with the same name and a
Several Resampling methods can be used to calculate the pyramids:
Finally, click Build Pyramids to start the process.
The Metadata tab provides you with options to create and edit a metadata report on your layer. See vector layer metadata properties for more information.
The Legend tab provides you with a list of widgets you can embed within the layer tree in the Layers panel. The idea is to have a way to quickly access some actions that are often used with the layer (setup transparency, filtering, selection, style or other stuff…).
By default, QGIS provides transparency widget but this can be extended by plugins registering their own widgets and assign custom actions to layers they manage.
QGIS Server Properties¶
The QGIS Server tab displays a wealth of information about the raster layer, including statistics about each band in the current raster layer. From this tab, entries may be made for the Description, Attribution, MetadataUrl and Properties. In Properties, statistics are gathered on a ‘need to know’ basis, so it may well be that a given layer’s statistics have not yet been collected.