How to add and remove a scale bar (i.e. adornment) in MapInfo Pro

Products affected: MapInfo Pro™

What is a scale bar

MapInfo Pro provides map adornments, such as a scale bar. The map scale bar shows the scale of the map representation relative to the Earth's surface size. The scale bar also has the option to show the cartographic scale of the map. A scale bar can be added to the map and the layout. The scale of a map does not affect the position or size of the scale bar, so it remains stationary when zooming or panning the map. However, the properties and visual representation such as a map scale, may change as the map projection or scale changes.
Scale bar adornment is drawn as the topmost elements on a map, on top of any labels and on top of the cosmetic layer. A map represents a portion of the Earth's surface, so each map has a scale that indicates the relationship between a distance on the map and the distance on the ground. In MapInfo Pro, a map scale that does not include distance units, is called a cartographic scale. 

Maps are often known as large scale or small scale. A large scale map shows greater detail and smaller features. A small scale map shows more of the earth's surface and large features only. The scale bar adjusts as you zoom and pan the map to accurately reflect the new map view.

Default preferences can be set for the scale bar. They can also be modified or removed from the map.


Scale bar basics: 

How to create a scale bar

On the MAP tab, in the Content group, click Add to Map, and click Scalebar to open the Create Adornment dialog box.

create a scale bar

Click Next>

Create scale bar options


How to set default preferences

Default preferences for scale bars, such as the starting width and height, the type of scale bar and the colors and styles used can be set in Options > Preferences > Map Window > Adornments.

How to modify or remove a scale bar

Double click or right-click to modify a scale bar. The right click menu also offers the option to remove a scale bar. Scale bars can be moved around the map window by clicking and dragging.


Scale bar advanced features :

MapInfo Professional v16.0 has many improvements to the scale bar functionality. A smart automatic sizing option makes Scale bars quicker and easier to create. The appearance of the scale bars is also improved with better use of space, the option for transparent backgrounds and smarter use of decimal numbers.

Scale bar improvements

The option to use automatic sizing means that MapInfo Professional will adapt the size of the scale bar to "nice" round numbers. In the example above, instead of drawing a scale bar to the fixed size of 4 centimeters (representing 1.539 kilometers), the scale bar will be drawn to represent 1 km on the map.

Scale bar automatic resizing

UPDATED:  October 17, 2017