The release of QGIS 2.6 is planned for October 24, but you don’t have to wait to test new functions in development.
In this post I’ll look closer on two new features that in my mind will make GIS life easier, even if some improvements should be made with the first of the new features described here.
Independent Grid (Print Composer)
To me, this is proof that you can change things by reporting bugs and requesting features. This is a feature that I’ve requested myself (among others – link), which now at least partly has been implemented into QGIS master (the name for the development version of QGIS).
Grids in the print composer can now be added independent of the projection of the map, and you can add as many grids you could possibly want.
However, be careful when you pan the extent of the map to close to the projected grid boundaries. I’ve crashed QGIS quite a few times this way.
In my feature request, which now unfortunately has been closed, I also requested a way to format the grid labels so that a definable number of most and least significant digits could be omitted. This way I wouldn’t have to print “6582000” when “82” would be enough, as long as I could include a complete coordinate label in one or more selectable corners (so called corner labels).
Anyway, this is in my opinion a great improvement to QGIS Print Composer.
(By the way, can you spot something weird with the lat/long grid in the picture above?)
Colour Picker (I’m using the Queens English)
The new colour picker will make it a lot easier to select colours, especially to re-use previous colours.
As before you can pick a colour freely by clicking the colour button, but the right-click menu has been removed. Instead you have a small button to the right of the colour that gives you the option to copy and paste as well as select from recently used colours or a set of “Standard colors”.
The standard colours can be edited in the settings ( Settings – Options ). Not only can you add and remove colours, you can also name them to your content. Your personal standard colours can then be shared by import/export functions (GIMP Palette *.gpl).
Changing colour names may not be revolutionary, but I think you could at least provoke a smile or two.