At this point you’ve installed QGIS be it on a MAC/Windows/Linux Box and you’ve started it. So what do you see?
The numbered areas as as follows:
- Menu Bar – this is where you can issue commands, change options, and expose more tools.
- Tool Bar – there are a number of toolbars you can use in QGIS. Right click in this area and you can turn them on or off.
- Layers Panel – You data layers appear here.
- Browser – Locate data on your computer or from other sources here.
- Map Canvas – Your data layers display here.
- Status Bar – Get information about QGIS such as Log Files, Projections, and Coordinates.
- Processing Toolbox – Here is where your major processing happens like buffers and clips. Some of these commands are duplicated in the vector and raster menus mentioned in 1.
- Python Interface – Do your scripting here.
- Issue commands from your keyboard like bufers and clips and other things.
There are a lot of buttons and toolbars. How do you know which one does what? Hover your mouse over the buttons and you’ll get a short description. I’m a huge advocate of just playing to see what everything does.
Your most important toolbar starting out will be your Data Source Manager Toolbar:
From let to right.
- Open Data Source Manager
- Create a Geopackage layer
- Create a Shapefile Layer
- Create a Spatialite Layer
- Create a Temporary Scratch Layer
- Create a Virtual Layer
The Data Source Manager is the one stop to add all your data to QGIS. From here you can add, delimited text files, raster files, WMS Sources, and create database connections.