MapInfo Pro

MapInfo Monday: Custom Symbols

  • 1.  MapInfo Monday: Custom Symbols

    Posted 09-27-2021 08:09
    Happy #MapInfoMonday,

    MapInfo Pro allows you to use different sorts of symbols when rendering points on your map. You can use the classic MapInfo 3.0 Compatible symbols. You can use​ any TrueType Symbol fonts, and finally, you can use custom symbols which basically are images.

    Today, we will look a bit closer at custom symbols.

    Sometimes MapInfo Pro doesn't provide you the exact symbol you need when rendering points of a specific type on your map. Take, for example, this map showing whisky distilleries in Scotland. Is there a better way to represent these than using an image showing a still?

    But for some weird reason, MapInfo Pro doesn't come with a still symbol. This is, of course, a big mistake but luckily it can be easily fixed.

    Custom Symbols

    First, let's establish how you can use these custom symbols inside MapInfo Pro.

    For my purpose, I want to assign a layer override style to my layer, so I click on the thumbnail next to the layer to change the style override. As my layer contains points, I'm presented with the Symbol Style dialog.

    Typically, when you see this dialog it will show you the MapInfo Symbols or maybe the MapInfo 3.0 Compatible symbols font as default. This depends on your preferred symbol and on which font you have used last or what current symbol has been assigned to your layer as the style override for example.

    If you select the Font dropdown, you can see a long list of available fonts. This list depends on your current system as some of these come with MapInfo Pro and others have been installed by Windows or other applications.

    At the top of this list, you can find the Custom Symbols fonts. There are typically grouped into a number of groups as you can see below. This grouping represents the subfolder structure in your Custom Symbols folder.

    The Custom Symbols folder is located here: %appdata%\MapInfo\MapInfo\Professional\1900\CustSymb where 1900 refers to the MapInfo Pro version.

    When you select one of the Custom Symbols folders, you will be presented with a list of the images residing in this folder.

    Looking into the folder via Windows Explorer will give you a similar view. Notice the two subfolders which also were represented in the Font list.

    If you want to add a new custom symbol, first select the subfolder you want to add it to and then use the Add button in the Symbol Style dialog to select an image to add to the list.

    When you have added the image, you can now find it in the list of images. The symbols are sorted alphabetically. This may help you locate your newly added image in the list.

    MapInfo Pro support a wide array of image formats including *.bmp; *.gif; *.png; *.jpg; and *.tif. You can also create your bitmaps in various sizes but we recommend creating them in a size around 64 by 64 pixels but you can use full images if you really want to.

    Find more details about creating your own bitmaps in the MapInfo Pro Help system. Look for the chapter Working with Custom Symbols.

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