Easy Tip - Sorting and filtering data in the Browser window

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Easy tip - Filtering data in the Browser Window

User-added imageThe MapInfo Pro Browser window provides a capability that allows you to filter the data to display just the records that meet a certain condition.  In many cases this can be an easier alternative to using the Select and SQL Select capabilities.


Ribbon interface (64 bit) versions of MapInfo Pro: The TABLE tab

The commands for working with the Browser window are in the TABLE tab.

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The Sort and Filter commands are also available by right-clicking in a Browser window.

32 bit versions: The Browser Window toolbar

The following screen shot provides a functional overview of the Browser window in the 32 bit versions (starting with MapInfo Pro v11.5). 

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Sorting data

Sorting data is as easy as clicking in the column heading of a Browser window. The first click will sort in ascending order.  Clicking again will sort the column in descending order.  More complex sorting across multiple columns is available from the menu commands as depicted in the screenshots above.

Filtering Data

Once again, the Sort and Filter commands can be accessed by right-clicking in the Browser window or from the interface as pictured above.

Here is an example of the Filter dialog box. 

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The Filter dialog box. 

It is possible to apply filters to multiple columns in your table. The Apply button allows you to see the results without closing the dialog box. You can make sure you have the filter the way you want it before clicking the Close button.

Note that a filter is not the same thing as a query. The filtering takes place within the existing Browser window and does not create a query for each filter operation performed. So...

Now that you've filtered your data, what's next?

If desired, a filter can easily be turned into a query. This allows you to use the filtered data as you would with any query. For example, a new separate Browser window can be displayed or the query can be added as a layer to a map window. 

In the 64 bit versions, click the Add to Map button. 

In the 32 bit versions, click on the Sort and Filter menu on the Browser tool bar and choose Create a Query from the Browser Contents. (See the second screen shot above.) 

You will be given the option to name the query and view it in a map or a Browser window.

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A Browser window that has been sorted and/or filtered can be turned into a query. 

Toggle your Browser Sorting on and Off 

But wait, there's more. Let's say you have filtered and/or sorted the Browser window and you wish to restore it to its original condition. You can do this in two ways. One is to Clear the sorting or filtering. If you clear it then the settings are gone. A second method is to Toggle the sorting and filtering on and off. 

To clear the filtering from a single columnRight click the column and choose Clear Filter
To clear all sorting and filtering32 bit: Sort and Filter Menu > Clear All Sorts and Filters
64 bit: TABLE tab > Sort and Filter > Clear All
To reapply sorting32 bit: Sort and Filter Menu Reapply Sort
64 bit: TABLE tab > Sort and Filter > Re-sort
To temporarily turn sort off and on (toggle)32 bit: Sort and Filter Menu Toggle Sort Off / On
64 bit: TABLE tab > Sort and Filter > Sort On / Off

Reapplying sorting pertains to those editing data in a Browser window while a filter or sort has been applied. 

32 bit versions: What if I want to get rid of the Browser window tool bar? 

First, it is worth noting that the Browser window tool bars will not appear when a Browser window is added to the Layout (or Layout Designer) window.

If you want maximum screen real estate for your data there is a Hide toolbar menu command in the Browse menu. 

UPDATED:  June 28, 2017