Ten tips for using the MapInfo Pro Ribbon interface

Product Featured: MapInfo Professional™

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This article covers ten useful tips to help you get the most out of the MapInfo Pro Ribbon User Interface.

1) Right-click in the Map Window to access the mini-toolbar. Also, while we are on the subject of the map window, the middle mouse button (which is usually a wheel on your mouse) provides quick access to the Grabber tool.
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2) Preferences for MapInfo Pro are in the PRO tab. Click on Options to find the preferences.
MapInfo Pro preferences in the PRO tab

3) Customize the User Interface. On the top left of MapInfo Pro is the Quick Access toolbar. You can add/remove tools to this and can modify the ribbon tabs as well. This works in a similar fashion to how popular office applications are customized. Below is a quick summary.
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4) Create your own keyboard shortcuts: The Tool Manager includes a new Command Editor tool that allows you to assign keyboard shortcut combinations to any command in the software!

5) Use multiple monitors: You have the option of using tabbed, docked or floating windows. This applies to MapInfo Pro's system windows such as the Workspace Explorer, the Info Tool window, the Ruler Tool window etc. It also applies to your Map, Browser and Layout windows.

Right click on the window tab or in the window title bar to change a window between Floating, Tabbed or Dockable states.
Right click menu for window

If you choose to make a floating window, it can be moved to a wholly separate monitor.

6) Take advantage of the automatic saving and backup for workspaces: MapInfo Pro now has the concept of a "current" workspace and this brings with it tools to help you automatically backup and auto save workspaces in the event of a mistake or something going wrong with your computer. The settings are in the Workspace preferences (see tip #2 above).

7) Want more space for your maps? Look on the right side of the ribbon for a little arrow icon to collapse and restore the ribbon. Minimizing the ribbon is also available by right-clicking on it.
Collapse ribbon

8) Great looking labels in just a click: The Labels tab includes a gallery of labeling options for your region and line layers. The options in the gallery invoke one or more label settings to provide a quick way to try different label options. You can mouse over these to see a preview before deciding on which option to use.
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9) Searching in the Workspace Explorer: The Workspace Explorer has a search bar at the top. Use this to search for tables, map layers or windows!
Workspace explorer search bar

More: The Workspace Explorer is a combination of the Layer Control and Table List window. It also includes a list of all of the open Windows in MapInfo Pro as well as a list of database connections. You have control over which windows appear in the Workspace Explorer with the Options (see tip #2 above).  You are also able to have these different sections of the Workspace Explorer appear in their own individual windows. This means if you prefer the Table List to be separate from the Layer Control list, that is possible. 

10) Tired of switching back and forth between the map and the Layout? In the new Layout Designer, you can activate a map window by double clicking on it. Once active you can use Layer Control, pan and zoom and in general make all the needed changes to your map window without leaving the Layout Designer! Note that the Layout Designer is also present in the 32 bit release of MapInfo Pro v12.5 and later.
UPDATED:  December 4, 2019