QGIS 2 plugin to join a shapefile and a table based on a common field and split the columns into different shapefiles
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JoinSplit is a plug-in for QGIS (version >= 2.0; http://www.qgis.org). It joins a spatial layer with a table with no geometry and exports all fields from the table as independent shapefiles. Spatial layer and table must share a common field with the same name.

The original purpose of this plug-in was to generate individual species shapefiles using a single polygon grid for the area and a cross table with species presence per grid ID but without geometry. The plug-in can be useful for other situations as well (e.g. split all fields of a shapefile by joining to itself).

Currently, JoinSplit only support numeric fields.


The JoinSplit plug-in allows to:

  • choose a spatial layer from the table of contents
  • choose a table to join from the table of contents
  • choose a common field between the layers
  • select the fields to export (from the join table)
  • include zeros (useful for limitng exported shapefiles only to presences)
  • select an optional style file (.qml) to display all created shapefiles
  • choose and output folder to export the shapefiles


QGIS plugin manager

The JoinSplit is in the QGIS plugin repository. Using the plugin manager inside QGIS, search JoinSplit and install.

Manual install

Download the files to your computer in a folder JoinSplit. Copy this folder to the plug-in folder of your QGIS instalation. Usually is found in the PATH_TO_YOUR_USER/.qgis2/python/plugins/ (check the QGIS manuals for more details). In QGIS, activate the JoinSplit from the plug-in manager.


The JoinSplit includes an example dataset located in the QGIS plugins folder (usually some form of PATH_TO_YOUR_USER/.qgis2/python/plugins/JoinSplit see QGIS manuals). The example has one shapefile, grid.shp, and one text file, speciesMatrix.csv with a matrix of presence per grid cell. Open the shapefile the usual way in QGIS and the Species Matrix with the Add Delimited Text Layer Button. Open the JoinSplit plugin, either with the icon at the panel or menu Plugins -> JoinSplit, and choose the grid layer as the Spatial layer, the species matrix as Join Table, and GRIDID as Join Field. Select the 5 species in the Fields to Export, and output folder and press OK button.