This page is part of Oslandia’s QGIS lab.


The addition of a colored buffer around a label or a marker symbol is a common technique in digital cartography that improve readability. In order to further enhance the rendering quality, we propose to add to QGIS the ability to cut up background vector layers around labels or marker symbols.

The idea would be to add a new rendering option for labels or marker symbols with which the user could select, as for a buffer, a radius around the label or marker symbol. He could then select which symbol layers from other layers are to cut up.


Raw rendering of a dark label on a background made of dark lines

Rendering of the same label, but with a buffer

Rendering example with a selective masking

Rendering example of selective masking around a point marker

Elements of user interface

With this new functionality, a new rendering option would be added to labeling properties (“selective masking”) with parameters very close to existing parameters used for the buffer.

A new parameter would allow to select symbol layers from other layers that are to cut up.

Example of user interface for the selection of symbol layers

For marker symbols, a new type of point symbology will be developed that will allow to choose a shape and size. As for labeling, a selection of symbol layers to cut up will be possible.


A technical analysis has previously been done and this subject has been discussed in a QEP.

Cost and co-funders

The total cost for the development of this new functionality is 20 000 € (excl. VAT)

The minimal participation amount is set to 1000 €.

The co-funding campaign will end on the 19th of May 2019.

The following companies and organizations are willing to share the cost to see this feature implemented:

The funding goal has now been reached !

Our work has started and this new feature will be included into QGIS 3.10.

If your company or organization is interested in sharing the overall cost to have a chance to see this functionality land in a future version of QGIS, do not hesitate to contact us !