I need to deliver maps in ArcGIS format to a client, but I only work in MapInfo and QGIS.

Is there any way to convert a MapInfo workspace or a QGIS project to ArcGIS for Desktop, keeping styles and thematic maps?

I don't have an ArcGIS for Desktop licence.

  • have done styled KML from QGIS that loads with style in ArcGIS, does that help? – Mapperz Nov 10 '15 at 15:30

In short no, it is not possible to simply export and import from one to the other.

All these software as also other GIS have it's own formats for projects/workspaces and especially map layouts / composers are not interchangeable at all. There are many reasons for that. Simply all software work in quite different way though there are similarities. All you can deliver are maps as PDFs/Images and all data/layers.

In Mapinfo and QGIS it is possible to save some style information's like RGB color / line width and some others within the table of vector data but none of these have option to save "lyr" file for ArcGIS.

There is one older answer here with link to conversion tool from Mapinfo to ArcGIS: http://www.dataeast.com/en/TABReader.asp

Personally I doubt there will be reasonable functionality except of some basics - though maybe worth to try free trial if there is no other way...

ArcGIS have 60 days free trial if that helps to re/create your maps there though I am not sure about the trial licence conditions.


Universal Translator is a free MapBasic tool loaded with MapInfo. You can convert from MapInfo to various other formats. However, I have not heard of a tool that specifically converts from *.wor to *.mxd, which is what I assume you want?

However, you could look at this tool for MapInfo to QGIS:


With FME you can extract style information from MapInfo to use elsewhere.

Othrwise, it's not really that much of an issue to apply a style to these files. That's unless you have several hundred to do.

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