How do I retain symbology that is in QGIS and put it into Mapinfo? I've used the OS Translator II app (https://www.lutraconsulting.co.uk/products/ostranslator-ii/) to apply the styles to the OS dataset in QGIS.

I need to open this dataset in Mapinfo v16 with symbology.

In QGIS i've saved the layer as both .shp and .tab files and neither open with symbology in Mapinfo.

Below is the symbology I want to retain

enter image description here

  • 1
    I don't think this is possible. MapInfo and QGIS have completely different style sets and there is no official way to map one to the other as far as I'm aware.
    – T_Bacon
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 10:51
  • 1
    Ok no problem, I might have to manually style it then Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 11:01
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    If this is OS Mastermap data, I think MapInfo has import functionality built in (under Table > Import) which, if I remember correctly, applies the default Mastermap colour scheme.
    – T_Bacon
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 13:14
  • Fantastic! You are correct. The files were downloaded as .gz. I have unzipped them using 7zip and added the extension .gml to the file type. I then imported as you said (table > open > import vector graphics > import each GML one by one). It automatically applies OS Mastermap styling. I will then need to append the TQ tiles to form one layer and export. Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 14:51
  • If you found a solution, consider adding it as an answer so other users can easily find it.
    – csk
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 18:14

3 Answers 3


T_Bacon is right, there's no way to automatically convert between MapInfo and QGIS styles.

MapInfo uses per-feature styling anyway, whereas QGIS does it with style logic (think, thematics in MapInfo terminology).

You can use something like FME to create your MapInfo styles, and it's plausible to write the MapInfo style string if you're writing to a DB, but it wont be fun and it's probably quicker just doing it manually!


As mentioned by T_Bacon, Mapinfo has an import functionality for OS data.

• The .gz files are a type of zip file (I did not know that as they were just identified as .files on my laptop) – unzip them provides a GML of each tile.

• Each tile is then individually loaded into Mapinfo (v16) using Table -> Open -> Import -> Change file type to OS MasterMap (gml) – this breaks down each GML file into its constituent pieces with the relevant OS symbology (as close as Mapinfo can get it).

• Then you create a new table for each constituent (topo area, line, point etc) – the 8 tilesets are then appended to that table. This is so we only have 1 file to load for each part, as opposed to 8 (a quality of life improvement).

For QGIS, I set up a postgres/postgis server (make sure to enable to postgis extension or you will receive errors), and just loaded the .gz folders into OS Translator. Took about 5 minutes to merge 8 tilesets and apply to symbology - far quicker than Mapinfo but there is not way to transfer symbology between QGIS and Mapinfo. If you use ArcGIS and QGIS, you can keep symbology between both applications by saving a layer file with the .shp files.


Please save the data in QGIS as filename.TAB but select Feature Symbology in the Symbology Export. It preserves style (colours at least).

enter image description here

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