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We're moving all of our Mapinfo tab files into a PostGIS database, and will be using QGIS instead of Mapinfo afterwards.

I've noticed that PostGIS records the tabs' style formats in a column named 'MI_STYLE', which preserves the styling when the tables are loaded back into Mapinfo. However when the tables are loaded into QGIS for viewing, it doesn't seem to recognise the styles.

Any thoughts on how to get around this?

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  • Mapinfo styles belong to Mapinfo and AFAIK can't be loaded into any other software. QGIS styles differently to Mapinfo in that the document contains the style not the table, this allows for different styles to be assigned for different documents, similar to how Esri ArcMap handles style information... changing between these platforms will involve a lot of work setting up the styles again manually unless you can decode the MI_STYLE and write a python script to set the layer symbology. Mar 13, 2017 at 22:28
  • GDAL has an OGR_STYLE mechanism that is also per feature and that can be used in some programs. I suppose that MapServer supports OGR_STYLES but QGIS probably not.
    – user30184
    Mar 14, 2017 at 5:26
  • I used an extension for ArcGIS called TabReader ( it was very inexpensive). It allowed AG to open MapInfo files as read-only and it could it would create a new column and uniquely code the individual styles of each feature. You of course would then have to manually symbolize based on that column. Mar 16, 2017 at 14:16
  • Since version 3.20 QGIS can read the symbology settings of MapInfo .tab files. See changelog qgis.org/en/site/forusers/visualchangelog320/… This feature was funded by QGIS Denmark user-group (this feature is not perfect yet, but it is planned to be fixed in the QGIS3.22 version)
    – KVO
    Aug 7, 2021 at 9:21

1 Answer 1

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You will not be able to port MapInfo styles directly to QGIS, mainly because MapInfo styles are per-feature, whereas QGIS styles are rule-based.

That said, you can have a go with Nathan Woodrow's tool to convert styles: https://nathanw.net/2011/08/08/new-tool-mapinfo-to-qgis-style-converter/. It does a pretty good job.

But, I'd just start again. It's not too hard to style things up, really, and you've got a whole bunch of new options with QGIS to make things look pretty!

Also, since you're using PostGIS, you can store a default QGIS style in the database!

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    Yeah the reason I didn't continue that tool was the styling in QGIS was so much better it's best for people to learn it then lean on a tool that only gets then 5% of the way.
    – Nathan W
    Mar 14, 2017 at 3:49
  • Since version 3.20 QGIS can read the symbology settings of MapInfo .tab files. See changelog qgis.org/en/site/forusers/visualchangelog320/… This feature was funded by QGIS Denmark user-group (this feature is not perfect yet, but it is planned to be fixed in the QGIS3.22 version)
    – KVO
    Aug 7, 2021 at 9:23

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