Is it possible to create a symbol in MapInfo that uses text with a shape in the background?

So then I just need to change the text for each icon?

Here's the outcome I want (this is in QGIS using point-displacement)

Fully Zoomed out

enter image description here

Zoomed in to town

enter image description here

Zoomed into street enter image description here

The individual icons are

enter image description here

=== UPDATE ===

With Peter's suggestion to use Labels I can get it to display reasonably well but I can't change the background color of some of them and more importantly I can't display a proper label for the point when zoomed in.

enter image description here

In the above the Muesuem and Library for ex should be brown and the courhouse blue.

I can do a label overide to show the name of the point at a zoom level but then the icon doesn't show unless I duplicate the data (which is not ideal).

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


Here's an example of a label with a highlight. The label is basically a single character with a space in front and after.

enter image description here

From the Labels tab for the selected layer, I used the two highlighted controls enter image description here

Would that work for you?

  • Thanks Peter, is the the S, L etc from the data? so it's a label rather than a symbol? Eitherway that'll work. Is there a way to distribute them when they are close to each other as in the example using Point Displacement?
    – GeorgeC
    Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 10:51
  • I tried it and it works Ok but I need to change the background color of some of them - ex Police/Fire with Blue background, Library, BBQ with brown background etc so that uses can see what type of point it is. The other issue is that I can't then show the full name of the point when fully zoomed in. I'll update the example.
    – GeorgeC
    Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 11:29
  • Hi George, I used an expression to convert the data to a single character, something like: IIf(SOMECOLUMN="Hospital"," H ",""). This will only show a H as label for the records where the column SOMECOLUMN holds the value "Hospital". You don't need to duplicate the data, just add the table multiple times to the map and use different backdrop colors for each layer Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 12:48
  • And yeah, I see your point of not being able to label the layer. You can again add the layer multiple times - or maybe just one additional time and let this layer be labelled with the name of the places at a given zoom interval Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 12:50
  • Thanks Peter, good point about using IIf to get the value. It seems as if it's quite a route to get what I'd like to do and as this is not for a printed map but a system the clients with limited GIS knowledge will use; having the data multiple times for the sake of symbology will be confusing. I'll have to go back to just doing symbol based symbology rather than newish iconography systems like in brandculture.com.au/google-transport-icons
    – GeorgeC
    Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 13:10

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