From Does QGIS have the equivalent of ArcGIS's Layer (*.LYR) file? my understanding is that these two file types can be considered equivalent in functionality:

  • Layer File (*.lyr) of ArcGIS for Desktop
  • Layer Definition File (*.qlr) of QGIS

There are currently tags for each:

A file with a .lyr extension that stores the path to a source dataset and other layer properties, including symbology.

layer-definition stores information about a layer in a file that can be re-added to a project

Do we need both?

1 Answer 1


I think should be made a synonym of , and have its tag wiki updated to something like:

Layer (*.lyr) or Layer Definition (*.qlr) File that stores path to source dataset and other layer properties, including symbology, for ArcGIS and QGIS respectively.

Some data:

If it works for QGIS layers and ArcGIS layers to be tagged the same, and just distinguished by product co-tagging, then I think it should work equally well for QGIS layer definition files and ArcGIS layer files.

I favour being the master and being the synonym because it is a crisper term, the functionality has been present for a lot longer and is thus better known, and it currently has 50 times the usage. I think it is also much less likely to get confused with the unrelated tag (that has 72 questions).

  • This has been implemented.
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 22:10

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