[QGIS-Developer] multi-layered pdf, attribute support in pdf outputs

Neumann, Andreas a.neumann at carto.net
Fri May 12 01:19:51 PDT 2017

Hi Hilpers, 

I'll explain why this isn't so easy to solve - even with GDAL. 

QGIS has a very rich set of symbology and labeling options. For PDF
generation it relies on the qt libraries - which did not support
attributes and layered PDFs so far - at least in version 4 that QGIS
used so far. I don't know if qt5 improved in that respect. GDAL/OGR has
a quite limited set of feature styling options. There is no easy
translation between the two - and in 95% of the cases your map would
look different when translating to OGR/GDAL - unless you rasterize all
layers - which is probably not what you want. 

So unless either qt supports output in layered PDF and supports
attributes, it won't happen any time soon. Alternatively, QGIS could use
an alternative PDF library, which probably isn't trivial either. 

Unless someone would heavily invest in development time or money, or
better both - this probably won't happen. 

Your best option would be to try to improve qt5, so that it supports
layered PDFs and attributes or try to switch to a different PDF renderer
- not sure how feasible that would be. 


On 2017-05-12 08:18, hilpers wrote:

> Hello everyone, 
> i am wondering whether it is going to be possible to generate multi-layered
> pdfs using print composer anytime soon. While GDAL supports that QGIS does
> not seem to do so yet. For making maps available to the public it would be
> practival to implement layer attributes within pdf (similarly to ArcGIS). Is
> this technically possible using GDAL?
> Thanks, 
> hilpers
> --
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