Pitney Bowes
MapInfo Pro™ Monthly Journal
Ten Tips for Using the MapInfo Pro Ribbon Interface

64 bit This article covers ten useful tips to help you get the most out of the MapInfo Pro Ribbon User Interface.

  1. Right-click in the Map Window to access the mini-toolbar. Also, while we are on the subject of the map window, the middle mouse button (which may a wheel on your mouse) provides quick access to the Grabber tool.


  2. Preferences for MapInfo Pro are in the Backstage area. The backstage area is the Pro tab on the ribbon. Click on Options to find the preferences. There are some new preferences in the 64 bit version and these were the subject of a previous article.

  3. Customise the User Interface. On the top left of MapInfo Pro is the Quick Access toolbar. You can add/remove tools to this and can modify the ribbon tabs as well. Below is a quick summary, an article with more detail on this is here.
Customise UI
  1. Create your own keyboard shortcuts: The Tool Manager includes a new Command Editor tool that allows you to assign keyboard shortcut combinations to any command in the software! A more detailed look at this can be found in this article...

  2. Use multiple monitors: You have the option of using tabbed, docked or floating windows. This applies to MapInfo Pro's system windows such as the Workspace Explorer, the Info Tool window, the Ruler Tool window etc. It also applies to your Map, Browser and Layout windows.

    If you choose to make a floating window, it can be moved to a wholly separate monitor.

  3. Take advantage of the automatic saving and backup for workspaces: MapInfo Pro now has the concept of a "current" workspace and this brings with it tools to help you automatically backup and auto save workspaces in the event of a mistake or something going wrong with your computer. The settings are in the Workspace preferences (see tip #2 above). Also, more details appeared in this article...

  4. Want more space for your maps? Look on the right side of the ribbon for a little arrow icon to collapse and restore the ribbon. Minimizing the ribbon is also available by right-clicking on it.

  5. Great looking labels in just a click: The Labels tab includes a gallery of labeling options for your region and line layers. The options in the gallery invoke one or more label settings to provide a quick way to try different label options. You can mouse over these to see a preview before deciding on which option to use.

    Label gallery
    The label gallery options for region layers (left) and point files (right)

  6. Performance tip: Are you making a number of Layer Control changes to a map window? There is a Redraw button to allow you to turn redraws on and off. This is on the Map tab and you can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+D to access this command. FYI: This is available in the 32 bit versions of MapInfo Pro, look in the Layer Control window.

  7. Tired of switching back and forth between the map and the Layout? In the new Layout Designer, you can activate a map window by double clicking on it. Once active you can use Layer Control, pan and zoom and in general make all the needed changes to your map window without leaving the Layout Designer! Note that the Layout Designer is also present in the 32 bit release of MapInfo Pro v12.5 and later.
There you have it, ten tips we think you will find quite useful. If you have a tip of your own, why not share it with our Linked In Group?


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.