I am working in QGIS 2.18. When I open and then save a .tab file as .shp file I get different symbols in the letters of the attribute table. I don't know what coding option I should use in order to see the original letters (Spanish alphabet symbols: ñ, accents, etc...).

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By default the "save vector layer as..." dialog window chooses UTF-8.

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I already tried some other options but I get unreadable text, so I rather ask before I do something that hurts the file.

In fact, when I open the .tab file in MapInfo I can see it correctly. Is it something related to the system settings of the program (QGIS/MapInfo)?

1 Answer 1


You can use ISO 8859-1 encoding to read Spanish text correctly (along with various other countries).

  • I did as you suggest it but I get question marks "?" now instead of question marks over a black diamond.
    – Pescariz
    Nov 29, 2016 at 11:45
  • @Pescariz - I cannot replicate your issue. I have a .tab file containing similar text with accents etc and I used the ISO 8859-1 encoding when using the Save As... option. Output shapefile produces the correct result. Could you upload your .tab files to a public server so that others could test it?
    – Joseph
    Nov 29, 2016 at 11:53
  • 1
    It must have been because I had the file opened in MapInfo while working in QGIS. Closed both programs, started QGIS, and did all the procedure again and now it works perfect. Thanks a lot.
    – Pescariz
    Nov 29, 2016 at 12:14
  • @Pescariz - That makes sense, glad you got it working ;)
    – Joseph
    Nov 29, 2016 at 12:16

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