64 bit: Ten Tips for Using the MapInfo Pro Ribbon Interface

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Ten Tips for Using the MapInfo Pro Ribbon Interface
64 bitThis article covers ten useful tips to help you get the most out of the MapInfo Pro ribbon user interface.  Several of these tips are fleshed out in more detail with their own articles. A link to where you can find these is at the end of this article.
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.

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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 there is an article called "New Preferences in the 64 bit MapInfo Pro" dedicated to this subject. 

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. This topic also has a dedicated article. 

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4) 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!  To get you started, on the HOME tab click on the Tool Extensions button.  Look in the Registered tab.  For more detail, the Command Editor also has a dedicated article.

5) 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. 

When you first create a window, it will start out as a tabbed window.  Right click in it to change it to a floating window or a dockable window.  

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6) 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). This too, is the subject of its own article.

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7) 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.  

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8) 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.

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

9) 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.

10) 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, use Layer control, label the map and in general make all the needed changes to your map window without leaving the Layout Designer!  An article featuring the Layout Designer is available.

Note that the Layout Designer is also present in the 32 bit release MapInfo Pro v15.0.

Have a good tip of your own?
There you have it, ten tips we think you will find quite useful. Have you got a tip of your own?  Why not share it in the Easy Tips discussion area?  Click here to join in.

More articles:
For a list of articles on using the new capabilities and new interface in the 64 bit version (including the articles mentioned above), click here

UPDATED:  June 30, 2017