Something a bit more Advanced: Converting DFX/DWG files to MapInfo Tab Format.

MapInfo Pro™ Monthly Journal
Something a bit more Advanced: Converting DFX/DWG files to MapInfo Tab Format.
User-added imageClients have often asked the question "Can I bring in DXF/DWG files into MapInfo Pro? And if so how?" There are multiple file types that can be translated into the MapInfo Tab format and our example in this article is translating a DXF/DWG File into MapInfo TAB. 

To do this we will use the FME Quick Translator. This is included with MapInfo Pro.
This article pertains to both the 32 and 64 bit interfaces of MapInfo Pro.

How to use the FME Quick Translator in MapInfo Pro 15.2 

  1. Create a folder for the original files you wish to translate and a Folder to convert the files into. It is always best practice to do this so files do not get lost in translation. 

  2. Now that you have your DWG/DFX files in a folder and created a Translated Folder for the translated Tab files, (if needed) launch MapInfo Pro.

32 bit version: If you are using a 32 bit version, you will find the MapInfo Universal Translator command in the Tools menu. Note that the command will bring up the FME Quick Translator. We switched to the FME Quick Translator as of MapInfo Pro v12.0 but chose to keep the menu command the same to avoid confusion. The FME Quick Translator provides a better user interface as compared to the older Universal Translator. The contents of this lesson generally apply if you are using the Universal Translator as found in older versions of MapInfo Pro.

64 bit version: If you are using a 64 bit version on the Home Tab, click the Tools button to bring up the Tool Manager. Find the FME Quick Translator on the Running tab. You can right-click on it or double click it. 


Side note: Auto-run (what to do if you don't see the command as described above)

For both versions, the FME Quick Translator is usually set to run automatically whenever MapInfo Pro is started. This is the default behaviour when MapInfo Pro is installed. If you don't see the translator as described above then the auto-run has probably been turned off. If that is the case you will need to run the tool. In the 32 bit interface click on the Tool Manager. In the 64 bit ribbon interface click on the Registered tab to find and run the FME Quick Translator.
  1. Once FME Quick Translator launches, click on the Translate Data button.

    translate button
  2. The Set Translation Parameters dialog box is where you specify the input file you want to translate and the name and output format you want the file translated to.
main dialog
  1. Click OK to start the translation.

    In the FME Quick Translator window, you will see information about the progress of the translation. If successful, the following will appear at the end.
translation successful

When the files have successfully translated to TAB, you can open the table. 

If there was an issue with the input file, you can examine the log to try and determine where the problem may lie. 

Translate from MapInfo Tab to other formats 

It is possible to translate from MapInfo tab to the other formats that are supported by the FME Quick Translator. 

Help file 

The FME Quick translator includes a help file. Note that this file includes information on the full range of formats offered by Safe Software, it is not limited to just the formats included with MapInfo Pro. For your information, Safe Software ( are the vendor that provides the FME Quick Translator to Pitney Bowes. 

User-added image

Article by Matthew Wilming - Encom Discover Lead - Software Support Analyst 

When not writing articles for the MapInfo Pro journal, Matt enjoys finding solutions for clients using Pitney Bowes software as well as creating a quality client experience.
UPDATED:  June 30, 2017