Line Label Placement: Our gift to the QGIS community!

If you’re a follower of North Road’s social media accounts, it probably comes as no surprise to hear that we love sharing regular tips and useful suggestions about working with spatial data on these channels. Recently, we realised we were close to a new milestone of 4k followers of our Twitter stream. This milestone gave us the perfect excuse to give something back to all these followers! So we ran a little promo, where we promised that if we hit 4k followers we’d implement a new feature in QGIS, as determined by a popular vote:

Given we’ve now reached the target milestone, it was our turn to deliver! So we’re proud to introduce a new feature coming in QGIS 3.16: the ability to control exactly where labels are positioned along line feature! Let’s take a look!…

In previous QGIS releases, whenever labels are enabled for a line layer these labels will automatically gravitate towards the center of the line features:

In certain situations, it’s desirable for these labels to be positioned in specific positions along these line features (e.g. at the start of lines, or at the end of lines). With this new feature gift to the community, QGIS users have to option to precisely control the label placement for these lines:


There’s new options for placing the labels at the start of lines, end of lines, or at a custom offset along the line.

This option can be super-handy when combined with Rule Based Labelling, as it allows you to have different labels at the start versus end of lines:

So there we go! Another great QGIS cartography enhancement, heading your way in QGIS 3.16, and just a little thank you back to the community for all your support of North Road.

And if you’re not following us on social media yet, it’s a great to start… because who knows when our next little giveaway will be?!