I've got a TAB file that I am using FME Universal Translator in MapInfo 12.5 to turn into a SHP.

The input TAB file has a variety of columns, some are floats and some are integers.

The output shapefile has the same fields, but it turns the integer fields into decimal(11,0). The float fields remain floats.

Is there a way to get the output to have the integer fields just like the input?

2 Answers 2


Apparently the ESRI Shape format doesn't support SmallInt and Integer.

Shape does not support small integer (16bit) or integer (32bit) data types. Instead, it supports a number(x,y) data type. The equivalent data types are:

  • smallint (16bit): number(6,0)

  • integer (32bit): number(11,0)

FME Shape Reader/Writer documentation

So the answer seems to be: No

  • Well, no. It's says that shape files are using Number(11,0) in stead of Integer. Not sure how big a difference that is. I also wonder if MapInfo Pro by default will interpret Number(11,0) as Integer if you import a Shape file into MapInfo Pro Jun 30, 2015 at 19:24
  • Well, I think that dBase format does not define integers. It has just Numeric and 11 digits with zero digits after decimal separator is an integer dbase.com/KnowledgeBase/int/db7_file_fmt.htm.
    – user30184
    Jun 30, 2015 at 21:04

When I asked Pitney Bowes support this question, I heard the following (same as Peter's response, essentially).

"This issue is working as designed as there is no equivalent type to what MIPro uses for an Integer in dBase IV, so these fields are getting mapped to Numeric (Decimal) or Float types. Unfortunately there is no work around for this at this time."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.