Pitney Bowes
MapInfo Pro™ Monthly Journal
MapCAD improvements in MapInfo Professional v12.0

64 bit With every new release of MapInfo Professional, enhancements are made to the MapCAD tool set. Version 12.0 added two useful new tools and an important new option to have MapCAD use the bounds of the editable layer.

Orthogonal Polygon tool
The standard drawing tools of MapInfo Professional allow for drawing angles at 45 and 90 degree increments but only in relation to the top of the screen. What is new in MapInfo Professional v12.0 is that the MapCAD tool set includes a new toolthat allows you to start with a line at any angle and then specify 45 degree increments in relation to that line. As you can see in the screen shot below, one application for this is to trace building outlines from imagery data.


Using the Orthogonal Polygon tool

Choose the Orthogonal Polygon tool. It is on the Objects toolbar.


To automatically generate right angles (or 45 degree angles):

  • If Snap mode is on, turn it off.
  • Starting with the second node, press and hold down the Ctrl key.

A dialog box warning will appear if Snap mode is on and/or you have not used the Ctrl key. You can choose the option to ignore the warning and it will not reappear for the duration of your session.


Complete digitization with a double-click to the last corner point (NOT back to the starting point). The last line segment is automatically generated with a right angle to the first line segment (by moving the first digitized node).

New Undershot/Overshot tool
A second new tool has been designed to help clean up line work. One possible scenario is some digitised line work was brought into MapInfo Professional and the intersections were not snapped together correctly.

The following screen shot demonstrates the concept.


The Undershot/Overshot tool supports Line, Polyline, Polygon, Rectangle, Arc and Ellipse objects.

Using the Undershot/Overshot tool

Choose the Undershot/Overshot tool. It is on the Objects toolbar.


First, select all the lines or polylines that are to be extended or cut.

Note that objects in the Cosmetic layer are not supported.

Select the Undershot/Overshot tool

A dialog box appears. Enter the maximum distance that the selection objects should be extended or cut. Internally, this is acting like a buffer although you will not see it on the map.


Click OK to continue or click Reset to clear the object buffer.

As instructed in the dialog box you then need to select your reference object (only one is permitted at a time). This is the object the lines will be extended or reduced to match.

Press the Undershot/Overshot tool again and your lines are extended or trimmed.

New Option to Use the Bounds of the Editable layer

In previous versions of MapCAD, it was not possible to specify that the bounds of the editable layer should be used. If this option is chosen and there is no editable layer then MapCAD defaults to using the maximum boundaries of all of the layers.

For more on what is new in MapInfo Professional v12.0 please see previous issues of the journal.

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Article by Tom Probert, Editor of "The MapInfo Professional" journal

When not writing articles for "The MapInfo Professional", Tom enjoys talking to MapInfo Professional users at conferences and events. When not working he likes to see movies with car chases, explosions and kung-fu fighting.