Easy tip - Introducing the New Legend Designer window

MapInfo Pro™ Monthly Journal

Easy tip - Introducing the New Legend Designer window

ezMapInfo Professional v11.5 has been released to production and by the time you read this will have started shipping!

One of the major enhancements in this release is the all new Legend Designer window. This article will familiarise you with the new capabilities. The good news is that it is pretty easy to use.

How do I create a Legend?

For those of you that have used the legend creation capabilities in earlier releases, the process to get started is the same as before. See the following diagram. 

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The steps to get started with Creating a Legend are the same in v11.5 as for earlier versions of MapInfo Professional. 

What is a frame?

A frame is a representation of one of your layers. Each frame will contain one or more object representations from your map. If all of the objects in your map are the same style then the frame will only have that one style represented. If you have different objects, for example a city layer with different styles for different size cities then each unique style will appear in the frame. 

Getting legend text from your table

Before we go on to the Legend Designer window there is one other useful topic to point out. In the third dialog box "Create Legend - Frame Properties" it is possible to specify a column from which you can get the descriptive legend text. If you have useful descriptions in your data then this saves you the time of having to type them in yourself. 

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An example of getting the Legend text from a table. 

To do this first choose the particular layer and then in the Label styles with list choose the column with the desired text descriptions.

Also, if you expect to create legends for these tables in the future, it is possible to store the frame settings so that they will be reused in the future. Click the Save frame settings to Metadata button. 

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The New Legend Designer

When you click Finish your legend will appear. If you are using MapInfo Professional v11.5 then you will be treated to the new Legend Designer window.

The following provides an overview of the capabilities. Much of the functionality is accessed from the Toolbar that appears at the top of the screen. 

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Grids and guides 

If you are an expert user of presentation software (and I don't wish this on anyone) then you might be familiar with the concept of having a grid to which you can snap objects to. This helps you to line things up. In addition, a vertical or horizontal user defined guidelines can also be specified. To use these, all you do is select the Frame objects you wish to line up and choose from the four buttons to move the objects to the guideline. 

An example 

Here is an example of what you can do with the Legend designer. This is built from the MapInfo StreetPro UK dataset. 

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Map data © 2012 TomTom BV

To customise a frame, double click on it. One new enhancement to point out is that it is now possible to specify the number of columns to use within a Frame. 

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Preferences for the Legend Designer

In the Options > Preferences > Legend Preferences dialog box you will find some useful ways in which you can control the default settings for the Legend Designer. 

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The Legend preferences include the ability to create the older style of Legends for the purposes of providing backwards compatibility. Note that this option means that you will no longer benefit from the Legend Designer window.


If you have questions a good place to ask is in the LinkedIn Group we have set up as a companion to this journal. Click here to visit this group. 

UPDATED:  July 13, 2017