[Qgis-developer] Usability of searches

Andreas Neumann a.neumann at carto.net
Wed Mar 9 05:20:34 PST 2016

Hi Paolo,

The multi-attribute edit is already specified and ordered - I am copying 
from the quote below:

****Proposal – Allow simultaneous editing of attributes for multiple 
features through the attribute table**“form” view*

Currently, QGIS attribute form only supports graphical editing of the 
attributes for one feature at a time.
There is no way to set the attributes for multiple features at once 
through the form view. Limited editing
for multiple features can be achieved using the “merge selected feature 
attributes” tool, but this tool is
geared toward statistical calculation for multiple feature attributes 
and it is cumbersome to edit large
amounts of attributes using this tool. Furthermore, the tool only 
provides for simple “text entry” of
attributes, and cannot be used with all the advanced editor widgets 
which are possible to use in QGIS
attribute forms (eg date/time widgets, relation widgets, unique value 
widgets, etc).


Implement a multi-edit mode for QGIS attribute table “form” view, where:

  * Multiedit mode is initiated from the form through a “Multiedit”
    button on the attribute table toolbar. It will work on the existing
    selection done through the general QGIS selection tools.
  * When multi-edit mode is activated, QGIS will scan all selected
    feature to determine whether each feature holds different values for
    a given attribute or whether all features have the same value.
  * If an attribute holds mixed values across the selection, the widgets
    will be update to reflect this. For widget types where it is
    applicable (Eg text edits), the initial value for the widget will be
    set to “mixed values”. Other widget types may indicate this state in
    different ways, eg for checkbox widgets the mixed values state will
    be indicated by the “partially checked” state. This will not be
    possible for all widget types, eg sliders and dials. For these
    widgets the value from the first selected feature will be shown instead.
  * For all widget types, when in multi-edit mode, a tool button with
    icon will be shown to the right of the widget. Initially, the button
    will show an icon indicating whether the selection has mixed values
    for the field (possibly the mathematical “not equal” symbol). If the
    field does not have mixed values, a tick icon will be shown instead.
    When the field has mixed values in the selection, clicking the
    button will show a popup-menu with a single action “Set [field name]
    for all selected features”. Activating this action will force the
    field value for all selected features to match the current widget value.
  * When the value for a widget is changed, the icon next to the widget
    will change to a “!” alert icon. The tooltip for this icon will show
    “Value for [field name] for all selected features will be
    overridden”. Clicking the button when in this state will show a
    popup menu with a single item “Reset to original values”.
  * Read-only widgets will stay disabled in the form and will never be
    changed. These widgets will either be shown in their “mixed value”
    state, or the value for the first selected feature if no mixed-state
  * When saving multi-edits, only attributes that have a changed widget
    state (“!” icon) will be applied. Attributes which remain at their
    mixed value state will not be altered. Before applying the new
    attributes for all selected records the user has to confirm that
    they really want to change the attributes for all selected records
    and changed widgets.
  * All changes will be applied as a single edit command, so pressing
    undo will revert all changes made to all selected features at once.
  * The attribute table section (left panel) of the dual-view dialog
    will be active while multi-editing features. If the selection
    changes, the user will be prompted to save any current changes made
    to the previous selection.

*Important Notes on the Proposed Changes*

  * Multi-edit mode will only be enabled for auto-generated and drag and
    drop forms. Custom forms will not be supported, due to the extra
    complexity added by custom layouts and python logic which could be
    present in these forms.
  * “Relation reference” widgets will be editable in multi-edit mode,
    however “relation editor widgets” will NOT be editable whilst in
    multi-edit mode.
  * The proposed changes will be accompanied by regression unit tests
    covering the non-GUI portion of the changes to ensure that they are
    stable and will not break in future QGIS releases.

This project will be financed by the Kanton Basel Stadt in Switzerland.


For multi-attribute search/selection/filtering there is only a very 
rudimentary idea yet - you can help finalize the specification: see 

For now you can view and comment the document. If you want to help edit, 
please let Denis or me know and we can add you to the list of accounts 
who can edit the document.


On 09.03.2016 13:42, Paolo Cavallini wrote:
> Hi Andreas,
> Il 09/03/2016 12:22, Andreas Neumann ha scritto:
>> I wouldn't say it is bad usability that you have to go through the
>> attribute table to search for features - because usually you want to see
>> the results in the table or form anyway - or you want to do something
>> with the filtered or selected features - such as viewing or modifying
>> their attributes.
> Users working on an highly predictable environment (a vertical solution,
> with a few tables they work on for years) will certainly find this useless.
>> For QGIS 2.16, Nyall will work on the multi-attribute editor and there
>> will also be search directly from multiple attributes in the form. So
>> there is already work going on for improving search from the form with
>> multiple attributes. If you have any input on that, please tell us.¨
> Great news. Do you have a plan to share? Will this solution be much
> different from what Bernhard and me suggested?
> All the best, and thanks.

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