Pitney Bowes
MapInfo Pro™ Monthly Journal
Rummaging in the Toolbox - The Graph Window

toolbox Technically speaking this is not a tool such as the MapBasic add-ons we've profiled in this section of the Journal thus far. It is one of the main windows in MapInfo Professional. However, a survey of you journal readers indicated 30% of you did not even know this capability was available. So here is a quick tour.

Getting Started with Graphing

To start with you need a table that has some numbers in it. You can create a graph of a selection or query. In this article a graph will be created with this table.


Step 1: Window > New Graph Window

In the Window menu choose New Graph Window. In the first step you will choose the type of graph you wish to create.

step 1

For this example we will create a 3D Round Column graph

After pressing Next > you get to step 2. In this dialog box you choose the table and column(s) you wish to graph in. It is possible to choose multiple columns.

step 2

Click OK and you get your initial graph window.

Series in columns maintains the same colour for each data variable.

Resizing and Customising the Graph

The graph window behaves in a similar fashion to the other document windows in MapInfo Professional. This includes resizing the window. In addition note that on the menu bar you will now see a Graph menu whenever your graph window is in front.

If you resize the window to make it larger, the text labels will also resize. It is often the case that MapInfo Professional will not have made an optimal choice for all of your labels. If the labels are too big or there are too many items being labelled they will crowd each other out. This is easily fixed.


The Titles... command allows you to change the text for all of the title elements on the map. Also, these are optional, you can choose to omit any that you do not need.

Remember, double clicking on the title lets you change its style (font, size, colour). If you want to change the text you have to use the Titles command.

The Titles dialog box is accessed from the right-click menu in the Graph window or from the Graph menu.

Diving a little bit deeper

There are a lot of options and flexibility when customising your graph. Here are a few additional tips.
  • If nothing is selected in the graph window, the Formatting command will allow you to change the background of the Graph window.
  • When choosing a style for a background or the graph series , gradient fills, patterns and pictures can be used.
On the left: A gradient fill was set for the background. On the Right, an alternative 3D viewing angle was chosen.
  • Use the 3D Viewing Angle command for a different perspective.
  • In the General Options dialog box, use the Show Data Labels option to have labels appear with each item in the graph. (This option is usually best when a relatively small number of items are being graphed.)
  • The Series option command can be used to change the style of the graph. For example from a round column graph to using square columns, floating spheres, etc.
  • The Save As Template command saves your settings to a new graph option that will appear the next time you create a graph window.
  • Graph windows are saved when you save a workspace provided the table or query they are built on will also be saved when you save a workspace.
  • A Graph window can be used in a Layout window.
  • The Main toolbar has a graph Select tool that will allow you to make a selection from the items in the Graph window.
And that is just one of the ten types of graphs that can be created in MapInfo Professional!!!

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.