MapInfo Pro

MapInfo Monday: Window Shortcuts for the Map Window

  • 1.  MapInfo Monday: Window Shortcuts for the Map Window

    Posted 02-28-2022 02:53

    Happy #MapInfoMonday!

    Last week we took a look at the user interface. Today, we will continue exploring the user interface and look at how you can use Window Shortcuts when working ​with MapInfo Pro.

    Window Shortcut

    Window Shortcuts behave a bit differently from other shortcuts: Window Shortcuts are only active when a specific window type is active. For now, we only support map windows for these special Window Shortcuts.

    MapInfo Pro has supported Window Shortcuts for map windows for ages. A few examples of these are:

    • c for activating the map-wide cursor
    • n for turning auto-node on for drawing polylines and polygons/regions.
    • s for turning snap on and off
    • t for turning auto trace on and off
    • x for switching between the three cursor sizes

    Lately, we added more of these shortcuts.

    Basically, you can say that a Window Shortcut is a keyboard shortcut to an existing command. This allows you to use the keyboard to switch between tools and run commands in MapInfo Pro instead of having to use the mouse to click on a control on the ribbon.

    Existing Window Shortcuts

    In a patch to MapInfo Pro v17.0, we extended the list of Window Shortcuts to include a number of other tools:

    • B: Select by Location (Shift + b)
    • I: Info Tool (Shift + i)
    • l: Create Legend Dialog
    • L: Label Tool (Shift + l)
    • M: View Entire Map (Shift+ m)
    • O: Map Options Dialog (Shift + o)
    • P: Pan Tool (Shift + p)
    • S: Select Tool (Shift + s)
    • T: Create Theme Dialog (Shift + t)
    • U: Unselect All (Shift + u)
    • V: Change View Dialog (Shift + v)
    • z: Zoom In Tool
    • Z: Zoom Out Tool (Shift + z)
    • 1: Insert Point Tool
    • 2: Insert Text Tool
    • 3: Insert Line Tool
    • 4: Insert Polyline Tool
    • 5: Insert Arc Tool
    • 6: Insert Polygon Tool
    • 7: Insert Ellipse Tool
    • 8: Insert Rectangle Tool
    • 9: Insert Rounded Rectangle Tool
    • Backspace: Delete Last Node (while drawing a polyline or polygon)
    • ESC: Select Tool
    • Space: Change to next customized mini toolbar

    Do notice that the Window Shortcuts that are using a Capital letter can be activated by holding down the Shift key in combination with the letter. So to access the Zoom-In tool, hit the z key on your keyboard but to access the Zoom-Out tool, you will have to hit Shift+z.

    Modifying the Window Shortcuts

    You can even control these Window Shortcuts yourself. You can modify the existing shortcuts, and you can add more shortcuts to commands that you often use when working in a map window.

    You do this through the Keyboard Shortcuts option on the Options tab on the Backstage.

    This opens the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog. From here you can manage Application Shortcuts and Window Shortcuts. Switch to the Window Shortcut tab to see the existing Window Shortcuts.

    The list here is similar to the list above. There are however two entries missing. That's for the ESC key and for the Backspace key. These two cannot be altered.

    You can now click on the key for any of the existing shortcuts and change the key. Be aware that you should not change it to a key that is already in use. If you do, you may not be able to save the changes.

    You can also add additional shortcuts using the Add New Shortcut. This adds a new row to the list where you can pick the command and enter the key you want to assign to the command. Below you can see that I have added a new shortcut for InvertSelection which I have assigned the key u.

    Finally, you can also remove existing shortcuts using the cross that appears when you hold the mouse on top of an existing shortcut.

    Make sure to select an existing key before saving the new shortcut or any changes you have made.

    I hope this gave you some ideas on how you can take advantage of the keyboard when working in the map window inside MapInfo Pro.

    Are you already using Window Shortcuts? If so, which one is your favorite?

    Stay tuned for another #MapInfoMonday article next week!

    Peter Horsbøll Møller
    Principal Presales Consultant | Distinguished Engineer
    Precisely | Trust in Data