Rummaging in the Toolbox: Managing the Tool Manager

MapInfo Pro™ Monthly Journal
Rummaging in the Toolbox: Managing the Tool Manager
User-added imageIn this journal, we have covered a number of tools from the MapInfo Professional Tool Manager. We've also covered our Community Downloads site where you can obtain more tools. The purpose of this article is give you some tips to better manage your tools in the Tool Manager, including how to ensure a tool is run every time MapInfo Professional starts up (Auto load) and how to add your own tools to the Tool Manager.

Adding (and updating) your own tools in the Tool Manager

The Tool Manager is accessed from the Tools Menu. The Tool Manager dialog box includes an Add... and an Edit... button. The Add button does exactly what you might expect. The Edit button can be used to update a tool to a new version, to change the location of a tool (that is the location of the MapBasic executable file on your system) or to edit the Description provided for the tool.

User-added image

Setting a tool to automatically run every time MapInfo Professional is started

When you add a tool to the Tool Manager, you have the option to have the tool load when you require it or to have the tool run every time you start MapInfo Professional. This is called Autoload and is very easily chosen from the Tool Manager dialog box.

Avoid using Autoload for too many tools!

In case you are curious, MapInfo Professional does not load very many tools by default. The reason for this it to (1) avoid clutter on the Tools menu and (2) loading all the tools will make MapInfo Professional take longer to start up. 

Remove tools you do not need

If you are certain that you will not need one of the tools in the Tool Manager then you can remove it. Removing the tool does not delete the associated MapBasic file so you can add the tool back into the Tool Manager in the future.

Tip: Bring your commonly used tools to the top of the list

If you have some tools you use frequently but do not want to have them be loaded automatically then a little trick is to put an underscore ( _ ) at the beginning of their name. This will move them to the top of the list. 

Good candidates for this sort of treatment might be MapInfo Professional add-ons that you do not need every time you start MI Pro but for which quick access is handy. 


A great place to find useful tools for MapInfo Professional is from our Community Downloads site. In MapInfo Professional v12.0 click on Tools > Get MapBasic Utilities. If you do not yet have MapInfo Professional v12.0 you can visit the site here: 

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.

UPDATED:  July 8, 2017