For a whole host of reasons, if I want to load data into SQL Server, I need to convert the shapefiles to tab files, open them in MapInfo Pro and use the Easy Loader tool to create tables on my database server.

When I tried to do that today, my tab files won't open in MapInfo Pro. Version 12.0.2 just crashes, and version 12.5 reports that it cannot open the file.

I have used the Universal Translator on my shapefile and that has created a tab file that MapInfo Pro can read.

I don't know when my work flow stopped working. I haven't had to upload a table for quite a while so I can't remember if it was before or after my latest QGIS version.

Any ideas of what may be happening?

  • to clarify - do you use qgis to do the conversion of shp->tab prior to using the easy loader tool? It's not clear how qgis fits into this workflow at all...
    – ndawson
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 6:55
  • A small zipped sample with one set of failing tab files and another good one made with MapInfo would help. You can also try if saving into MIF/MID works better.
    – user30184
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 8:05
  • @ndawson, I use QGIS to create the tab file. [Right click> Save As] Then open that tab file in MapInfo. I've just realised that I don't need to open the file in MapInfo. I could try to use Easy Loader without opening the file. I'll report back.
    – Johanna
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 2:47

1 Answer 1


Your problem might be related to the table structure of the data.

I have quite often seen tables that haven't been created with MapInfo that have column types that aren't supported by MapInfo Pro.

In most cases it has been Char column wider than 254 characters.

Can you check the tab file (open it in a text editor) to see if some of the columns are wider than 254 characters.

Another common issue has been that the width of a single row was above the 4000 byte limit that earlier versions of MapInfo Pro had.

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