The QGIS Browser is a panel in QGIS that lets you easily navigate in your database. You can have access to common vector files (e.g. ESRI shapefile or MapInfo files), databases (e.g.PostGIS, Oracle, Spatialite or MSSQL Spatial) and WMS/WFS connections. You can also view your GRASS data (to get the data into QGIS see GRASS GIS Integration).
Figure browser 1:
Use QGIS Browser to preview your data. The drag and drop function makes it easy to get your data into the Map view and the Map legend.
QGIS automatically looks for the Coordinate Reference System (CRS) and zooms to the layer extent if you work in a blank QGIS project. If there are already files in your project the file just will be added and in case it has the same extent and CRS it will be visualized. If the file has got another CRS and layer extent you must first right-click on the layer and choose Set Project CRS from Layer. Then choose Zoom to Layer Extent.
The Filter files function works on a directory level. Browse to the folder where you want to filter files and give in a search word or a wildcard. The browser only shows matching filenames then, other data won’t be displayed then.
It’s also possible to run QGIS Browser as a standalone application.
Start QGIS browser
In figure_browser_standalone_metadata you can see the enhanced functionality of QGIS browser. The Param tab provides the details of your connection based datasets like PostGIS or MSSQL Spatial. The Metadata tab contains general information about the file (see Metadata Menu). With the Preview tab you can have a look at your files without importing them into your QGIS project. It’s also possible to preview the attributes of your files in the Attributes tab.