Pitney Bowes
MapInfo Pro™ Monthly Journal
Introducing the New Layout Designer!

64 bit One of the major improvements in MapInfo Professional v12.5 is the new Layout Designer. Here is an overview...

Getting Started!

Click on the Window menu and choose New Layout Designer Window...

The first thing to note is that we have not eliminated the legacy Layout Window. This is to allow you to continue to use your old Layouts, if desired.

The Layout Designer has a toolbar built into the window.

Window gallery

Here is a quick survey of the commands on the Toolbar. 


Working with a Map - Be Active! The Insert Map Frame button allows you to add maps to your Layout. You can choose from any open map window or you can create a new map.

Useful tip: When an existing map is added to the Layout, a clone of the map is created. The original map window is not impacted and is, in fact, no longer needed. This is a very different way of working as compared to the Layout window from earlier versions of MapInfo Professional.

Double-click in the map frame to "activate" it!

With the new Layout Designer you can change the contents of your map frame without leaving the Layout window. You can access Layer control, the tool buttons, change the zoom and generally speaking work with the map as you would with any Map window.

When a map is active within the Layout Designer the border is changed to blue. 

active map
In the Layout above, the map has been activated. The right click menu for the Map window is displayed.

Setting the scale of the map window

Keeping in mind you can activate the map, this includes the ability to access the Change View dialog box. One way it to bring it up is to use the right-click menu, as above.

Frame Properties

As double clicking in the frame now activates the map, to bring up the Frame Properties right click on the frame.

frame properties

There are some changes to the Frame Properties dialog box. The new dialog box is simpler and shows the relative position of the frame from the top left of the screen.

Something that is new is it is possible to set the border and fill of the frame from this dialog box.

Scale is no longer controlled from here as it is possible to activate the map window and set the scale, as mentioned above.

Bringing Map Legends into the Layout Designer

The right click menu contains a number of important capabilities related to working with your Layout frames. Note this pertains to when the frame has not been activated!

The new Layout Designer incorporates capabilities from the Legend Designer. The command Add Legends... will bring in the Layer frames which you can then arrange as you see fit.  


Bring to Front/Send to Back

Controlling the display order of your Frames is also accomplished from the right-click menu, as in the screen shot above.

Dress up your layouts with images

The new Add Image Frame... button makes it easy to add graphics, logos or images of any type to your Layout window. A number of formats are supported, jpg, gif, tif, png, bmp and icon (.ico) files. As compared to earlier versions of MapInfo Professional these are added with a simple dialog box.

Below is a map of the world with a number of flags.

flag map

Map data is WorldInfo © Pitney Bowes and Stopwatch Maps.

In the Layout pictured above, the new guidelines are being used to help line up the flags.

Tips for working with images

    • It is possible to add multiple images to the Layout at once.
    • It is possible to select and resize multiple images at once (use the shift key to select them and then click and drag one of the corner nodes)
    • Right click on a frame to bring up the Frame Properties dialog box.

Transparency and translucency is supported in these images. You cannot set or edit these properties from within MapInfo Professional but if these characteristics are in your images they will appear this way in the software. We will make this the subject of a future article.

More to come!

We will cover additional tips and tricks for using the new Layout Designer in future issues!

Free trial of MapInfo Professional v12.5

The free trial of the 32 bit release of MapInfo Professional v12.5 is available from our Web site. Click here.

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.