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    By David Crowther

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    QGIS 3.10 has just been released. Visit the QGIS download home page to find this latest release.

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    I downloaded this version as I had read it now ships with the ability to save a GeoPDF!

    I have been waiting for this one for a while as I commonly used this function within MapInfo and now thanks to the work done by North Road we have the ability to export from QGIS to GeoPDF format, thus allowing the end user options to tick to hide and display spatial layers,…. as if using a GIS 

    Export from Map –

    To create a nice simple GeoPDF, load the layers into your Map window. For example below I have loaded a basemap, some points, lines and polygons.

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    To export this map as a GeoPDF, from the Project menu choose Import/Export > Export Map to PDF.

    This provides options to:

    • choose the map extent to export e.g. the current map extent or a user defined extent
    • change the scale of the output map
    • define a resolution for the output image
    • as well as simplify geometries so that the saved pdf isn’t too large!

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    Note – ensure you tick to Create Geospatial PDF (GeoPDF).

    Having chosen Save, give the output file a relevant name and then save into your chosen location. When opened the GeoPDF file will now have the list of layers on the left hand side of the image.

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    Use the Layers Panel to now hide and display layers as required.

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    Export from Print Layout –

    For more advanced options it is suggested that you export to GeoPDF from within the Print Layout window.

    In this example we have now added:

    • Thematic Styling to the Points and Polygons
    • Labels to the County Polygons

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    Then within the Print Layout window we have now added a title and other useful print options – legend, north arrow and scalebar.

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    Having completed the changes to the Print Layout, choose Layout > Export as PDF.

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    Now once the GeoPDF is opened you will have the thematic styling, labeling and the other map elements e.g. Title, Scalebar and Legend as added via the Print Layout window.

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    Note – the Layer Names now reflect their names within QGIS.

    Again the end user can choose to hide and display the layer as they wish. E.g. choose to hide the School Points and Road Lines.

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    Finally before your Export and Save the GeoPDF you can also group similar layers together. For example if we add BRoads and Motorways to the map, then in the Save options choose to add them to a PDF Group called ROADS.

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    The resultant GeoPDF now groups the ARoads, BRoads and Motorways into their own ROADS group, so they can more easily be hidden and displayed by the end user.

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    One last gem!!!!

    If you ensure that the Append georeference information setting is ticked……

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    …. you can now also drag and drop the exported GeoPDF back into QGIS and the image will be georeferenced to the correct location. This means you can share a GeoPDF with someone else and they can then open that as an image within their QGIS project!

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    Once it has been dropped into the map canvas it will georeference to the correct location and by adding other map layers e.g. the School Point objects we can see the GeoPDF is in the correct location.

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    Many thanks to the team at North Road for making this happen and if you wish to read their blog here it is - https://north-road.com/2019/09/03/qgis-3-10-loves-geopdf/