I'm recently experimenting with QGIS at work (a poor charity who is struggling along with MapInfo v8).

As all our layers are in .TAB format and I was wondering if you can use the geoprocessing tools to analyse this data in QGIS or if you have to convert to .SHP first?

Also, if I was being difficult, could I use the intersect tool to see how much of a .SHP polygon was inside a .TAB polygon?

I didn't work when I tried, but this may be due to me missing something else.

  • In which way it did not work?
    – user30184
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 12:54
  • it works fine for me, which Qgis are you using?
    – user85037
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 20:52
  • It was v2.14. Looking into it a bit further, I think it may have been because the projections were different. I had OTF on. (p.s. sorry for the delayed reply - I went on my hols and forgot about GIS for a while!).
    – Mat G
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


Yes, you should be able to use the majority of geoprocessing tools on .tab files. I just tested running the Intersection tool with the .tab file as input layer and the polygon shapefile as the intersect layer:


You can then use the Field Calculator on the output layer and use an expression like $area to calculate how much of the .shp file was inside the .tab file.

  • 1
    Thanks for your detailed reply. I still couldn't get the thing to work but I think that may be due to differing projections rather than the different formats.
    – Mat G
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 18:50
  • @MatG - Most welcome! Yes, you always have to make sure that when you're geospatially analysing one layer with another, they all must be in the same CRS ;)
    – Joseph
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 13:59

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