|Using QGIS Plugins|
This is a beginner tutorial familiarizing the user with QGIS Plugins. QGIS Plugins are additional tools that can be installed to help you perform certain tasks that do not come with the standard QGIS application. These plugins generally add menu items or icons to QGIS giving the user more functionality.
When using QGIS, you will likely need to download some additional plugins to complete your tasks. There are many great plugins that can be accessed through the plugins menu.
Go to Plugins > Fetch Python Plugins…
QGIS may take some time to update the repositories and you will be taken to the “QGIS Python Plugin Installer”. Many plugins come installed with QGIS but there are several others that can be useful, particularly Gdaltools. Gdaltools will give you a raster menu with several raster analysis techniques including raster to vector, vector to raster, creating contours from a DEM, clipping/masking, and more.
Click on the Repositories tab and click “Add 3rd party repositories”. You will get a warning regarding repositories unsupported by QGIS, click OK. This will give you access to many more Plugins including Gdaltools. You should see a list of your repositories. A repository is simply a URL location where the plugins are stored which your computer can access and install on your local system.
Click on the Plugins tab and under Filter: search for “gdaltools”. Make sure you are searching “all repositories”. Select the GdalTools plugin and click “Install plugin”. After the plugin has been successfully installed, close the “QGIS Python Plugin Installer” window.
You must now enable the Gdaltools plugin.
Go to Plugins > Manage Plugins…
Search or find Gdaltools and place a check beside it to enable it. Click OK.
You should now see a Raster menu item.
That concludes our tutorial on using QGIS plugins. The user should now feel comfortable adding repositories, searching for specific tools, installing and managing their plugins.