How do I import an ESRI shapefile (.shp) into MapInfo?

Discover has a powerful tool to batch input many files and will automatically set correct projections.

Discover method -

1. Select DISCOVER>Import>Vector Import.

2. Select File format to import

3. Select one or more files (note must be in the same folder for multiple files)

4. Review Output TAB filename, and other settings

5. Click Import

6. If a projection cannot be determined, you will be prompted to select a  projection.


Alternatively Mapinfo has two different methods.

A: Use MapInfo's File>Open menu option, and set the Files of Type to ESRI Shapefile. This option
requires the user to specify a projection, and the file is read-only (it cannot be edited within MapInfo).

B: Use the Universal Translator. This option will pick up the projection information in the shapefile, and
creates a MapInfo table that is editable.

    To use the Universal Translator:

    1/. Within MapInfo navigate to Tools>Universal Translator, open up this tool by clicking on the menu
         item.

    2/. In the Universal Translator dialog, set the Source Format to ESRI Shape.

    3/. Browse to and select the Source Files (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.

    6/. Press OK and open the generated MapInfo tab file using the MapInfo File>Open command.

Note: When you import a SHP file colours and linestyles etc are lost. You can retrieve colours by storing these as an RGB code attribute in the SHP file.  These colours can then be re-applied using Discover>Table Utilities>RGB Colourizer, or the Discover>Data Entry tool, which can also batch apply patterns and line styles based on attributes.

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Last Updated on: 6th of April, 2018