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I generally work in ArcGIS and only use QGIS when dealing with TAB files.

I have a client who has very particular attribute table structure requirements and works exclusively in MapInfo. I thought that I would be able to simply create all of the data in ArcGIS, open the GeoDatabase in QGIS and then save as a .TAB.

However, I have since discovered that when I do this the data and metadata are transferred correctly (with the exception of dates) but the table structure changes - the headings remain correct but their characteristics (mainly length) change to what I am guessing is a default 256. This has caused some issues...

I have tried using ORG2GUI and ORG2OGR to do the conversion but the same thing appears to be happening.

how do you transform a .GDB or .SHP to a .TAB while preserving the table structure?

I have a very poor work-around using MapInfo 8, lots of copying and pasting, and some finger crossing. The main issue is that I do not have a more recent version of MapInfo to check that the data is correct before sending and I do not want to pay $6600 for an ArcGIS extension which I think should be part of their basic package.

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Write out MapInfo MID/MIF instead of TAB. Then you can open the MIF file that contains the column definitions in plain text and edit it as you wish.

ogr2ogr -f "mapinfo file" output.mif input.shp

Beginning of the MIF file

Version 300
Charset "Neutral"
Delimiter ","
CoordSys Earth Projection 1, 104
Columns 4
  PK_UID Integer
  name Char(18)
  lat Decimal(9,6)
  lon Decimal(9,6)
Data

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