Importing shapefiles (.shp) into MapInfo Pro with the Universal Translator

Products affected: MapInfo Pro™

MapInfo Pro can open .SHP files (and many other formats) in two different ways:

A)  Use MapInfo's File>Open menu option, and set the Files of Type to ESRI Shapefile. This option
typically requires the user to specify a projection, and the resultant file is read-only (it cannot be edited within MapInfo).
To make the file editable, user needs to simply save a copy of the imported table to create a native tab format table.
Home>Save>Save copy as....With v17, there is a check box to automatically open the copy.  The original also remains open. In older versions, it is necessary to go to Home>Close>Table. Home>Open Table and open the new copy which is not automatically opened prior to v17.

B) Use the Universal Translator tool included with MapInfo Pro. This option will pick up the projection information in the Shapefile (If the related .prj file is present), and creates a Native MapInfo table that is editable. If the .prj file is missing or the projection is not found in the mapinfow.prj file, then the user may need to create a custom projection before translating - see the MapInfo Pro User's Guide for more on custom projections.
It is crucial to use the correct projection when translating in order for the resultant table to be correctly georeferenced.
Typically there is no need to change any parameters from the default settings.

Universal Translator:

1) Within MapInfo Pro, navigate to Home > Tool Extensions and then select the "Running" tab, where users can double-click on the Universal Translator entry or Right-click and choose "Open Universal Translator" to launch the Universal Translator (UT).
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2) In the Universal Translator dialog, go File > Translate (or click on the icon) to launch the UT interface.

3) Set the Source Format to ESRI Shape format, click on the button with the ellipsis (3 dots) and browse to the .SHP file. 
(Note that you can batch convert by selecting multiple files)

4) Set the Destination Format as MapInfo TAB

5) Specify the Destination Directory location by browsing, as was done to find the SHP file.

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6) Press OK and the translation will start.  If there are errors during the translation, go to Log > Save Log Text and forward that text file to Support for troubleshooting.

If the translation is successful, open the newly generated MapInfo tab file using the MapInfo Pro Home > Open command.


UPDATED:  December 2, 2019