64 bit: Customise the User Interface in MapInfo Pro!

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Customise the User Interface in MapInfo Pro!

User-added imageThis article will show you how to tailor the interface of MapInfo Pro to suit your requirements. There are two different aspects to this covered in this article. One is the Quick Access Toolbar. The second is the ribbon tabs. 

The information in this article pertains to the 64 bit versions of MapInfo Pro.

As we worked with customers on creating the new user interface for MapInfo Pro we had a lot of feedback about which commands and capabilities should appear on which of the ribbon tabs. We've worked hard to come up with a logical and efficient design but in matters of software user interfaces, one size never fits all! 

The good news is that you, dear user, have control. And before we go on, it is worth mentioning, that all of this customisation is done through a user interface, no programming required.

Part One: The Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)

In other articles it has been pointed out that certain aspects of the new user interface behave in similar ways to other software applications, particularly Microsoft Office® applications. The ability to customise the user interface in MapInfo Pro is another example of this.

The Quick Access toolbar appears in the top left of the MapInfo Pro screen. By default it only has a few commands on it but you can change this to add whatever you will find useful. 

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Clicking More Commands brings up an easy to use dialog box to add any MapInfo Pro command to the Quick Access Toolbar.

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In the screen shot above, a number of additional commands have been added to the Quick Access Toolbar.

Part 2: Customising the Ribbon

MapInfo Pro also provides capabilities to customise the Ribbon. First, the following screen shot will introduce you to a bit of terminology. 

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The map in the background is StreetPro UK © TomTom BV.

Note that all commands are part of a group and all groups are part of a tab. With this in mind, the Ribbon can be customised in the following ways.

You can:

  1. Add your own new custom tabs to the ribbon.
  2. Create your own custom control groups. These can be created on the standard tabs or on your own custom tabs.
  3. Add any of the MapInfo Pro commands to your own custom groups. You cannot add commands to the standard groups. Also, it is not possible to change the standard gallery controls.
  4. Rename the standard tabs and standard groups (and of course, your own custom groups). It is not possible to rename the existing commands. You can rename the commands you have added to your custom groups.

In the screen shot below a custom tab called "My Favorites" has been created. It has a number of commands in it. 

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An example of a custom tab.

Can I set up my own customized keyboard shortcuts?

Yes, this is possible. To do this, run the Command Editor tool in the Tool Extensions window.  A separate article on this topic is available.

What about MapBasic? Can I create my own custom functionality?

MapBasic is better than ever in the 64 bit version. Access to the new user interface is provided through a .NET API and you can bring the full power of the MapBasic language and .NET to create your own custom functionality.

Sample applications are available as well as articles on this topic. Join us in the "Developer Dojo" section of the community.  

Do you have questions?
For any questions on using the 64 bit version of MapInfo Pro, please visit us in the "New to 64 bit" discussion area.

Article by Tom Probert, Editor of "The MapInfo Pro" journal 

When not writing articles for "The MapInfo Pro", Tom enjoys talking to MapInfo Pro users at conferences and events. When not working he likes to see movies with car chases, explosions and kung-fu fighting.


UPDATED:  June 30, 2017