Understanding the Layout Designer Improvements in MapInfo Pro 17

Products affected: MapInfo Pro™
MapInfo Pro 17 ships with significant enhancements to the Layout Designer that increase functionality and efficiency in numerous ways.
Layout Templates
User-added image

The addition of Layout Templates was one of the most requested enhancements to MapInfo Pro 17 and MapInfo Pro now allows users to create and share Layout Templates, stored as “.lay” files.
Templates are easily accessed and reused by selecting from a gallery of custom layout templates or can be filled in using MapBasic functionality, and MapInfo Pro even ships with several Layout Templates to get users started.
Layout Usability Improvements
Smart Guides
Smartguides have been added and snapping is improved so that it is much simpler to align objects or snap them together quickly. Smartguides work by snapping objects on the layout together as they move close together.

Smart Text
Placeholders in textboxes that get expanded when a template is used
3 planned types to be included:
• Common – such as ${Page} or ${Date}
• User Defined – such as CompanyName, Email, Copyright
• Expressions

Paper Margin
The paper margin is now shown on the layout, and users can now snap objects to the margin so that they are not accidentally located outside the printable area.
Layout Toolbar
When a user right-clicks on a layout, a customizable mini toolbar will be displayed with some popular layout functions conveniently available, and users are free to add and remove any supported layout function. This allows users to more quickly stylize and edit the layout, without the need to access the ribbon.

The mini toolbar contains:
Zoom, Pan & Selection tools
Alignment & Guidelines
Bring to Front/ Send to Back
Insert Symbols & Shapes + Styling
User-added image

Moving around the Layout canvas is easier:
  • When zooming in/out using the zoom tool or mouse, the zoom operation is now centered your mouse location.
  • A new “Fit Layout in Window” option in the layout context menu is available to quickly zoom out to see the entire layout.
  • Users can hold down the middle mouse button to pan around the layout.
Frame Deactivation
Map and Browser frames can be “activated” to directly edit them from within a layout. 
Deactivation is done with either of these methods:
  • Alt-Click of the mouse (hold the ALT key and left-click the mouse)
  • By simply clicking outside the frame. A preference is available to disable this second method, as some users  found it distracting.
Undo / Redo
Support for Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+Y multiple times

These are some of the exciting new Layout Designer enhancements in MapInfo Pro 17.

UPDATED:  March 21, 2018