I created a vector grid in QGIS and it exports as SHP -no issues. When I save as tab and try to open the file in MapInfo it crashes.

According to https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/mapinfo-l/sO-wcp9bnuQ this is due to MI only allowing (20,16) for the decimal where QGIS had it as (23,15).

When I copied the data to a new (20,16) column and deleted the (23,15) column and then saved as tab, it worked fine in MI.

Is there some option to choose so that this would happen automatically in the save as tab process?

PROCESS - QGIS-Vector-Research Tools--Make Grid (I did 10000 ... 10km). Then save-as Tab. This file crashes MI.

Looking at the details of the tab I see it is 23,15 for one of the columns. If I create a copy with 20,16 and then save the tab, it works fine in MI.

So here is the shp file that won't work when it's converted by QGIS Save-as but works when converted in FME or Global. It is autogenerated using the QGIS steps mentioned above.


  • 1
    AFAIK QGIS uses OGR to export to MapInfo TAB. So it is a GDAL/OGR question.
    – Zoltan
    Feb 13, 2016 at 9:02
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    A work around can be to save data to MIF/MID format and edit the MIF file to reduce the field size.
    – Zoltan
    Feb 14, 2016 at 7:20
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    MapInfo format is proprietary. Do you have any other reference about the field size limit of numeric attributes? I thing I could not find any from digitalpreservation.gov/formats/fdd/fdd000300.shtml.
    – user30184
    Feb 14, 2016 at 21:51
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    I could reproduce easily by saving the grid into MIF format where I can find attribute COORD Decimal(24,15). The attribute is saved with the same precision also into shapefile which is OK and not offending at all. The only problem is that obviously there really is that (20,16) limit in the MapInfo format and the GDAL mitab driver does not know that. I found an official specification of MIF/MID resource.mapinfo.com/static/files/document/1074660800077/…. Unfortunately it does not mention the limits but only the format of a decimal column decimal (width,decimals)
    – user30184
    Feb 15, 2016 at 7:26
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    @user30184 -thanks for the confirmation. Maybe we should elevate this to a bug in QGIS/GDAL/OGR ...
    – GeorgeC
    Feb 15, 2016 at 10:47


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