I have opened a MapInfo TAB file in QGIS ver 3.22.1 and can display the correct symbology by using "Embedded Symbols". The TAB file is a geology map and the only symbology relates to the geology polygons - so each rock type is coloured correctly. I have created a layout and have added a legend. The table name appears as a legend item but the symbols do not appear. the Attribute table has the rock-types assigned to the polygons (with other additional information) but there is no RGB information there to colour polygons manually via "Categorised" symbology. How do you get to add the polygon colours for the rock types to the legend?

  • What happened when you save the layer in another file format and use the copy paste style tool ? Dec 22, 2021 at 7:35
  • I exported as SHP format, copied the symbology from the TAB file and pasted to the SHP file. I get uncoloured polygons. On inspecting the properties of the SHP file, I see it has changed Symbology to "Embedded Symbols" - so doesn't actually copy and paste the symbols. Dec 22, 2021 at 22:56
  • And if you use the option to save save the symbology in a file, can you use it back in your shp file ? What are the attribute existing for styling ? Dec 24, 2021 at 9:21
  • Works the same as copy and paste... try to use "embedded Jan 7, 2022 at 8:39

1 Answer 1


This functionality also supports the direct conversion of embedded symbol renderers into categorized or rule-based renderers. This enables QGIS to automatically create categories or rules which define symbology based on the relevant feature IDs.

So, before copying and pasting symbology settings, you can dublicate your .TAB layer in the layers window (table of contents)

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and then switch the symbology to categorized mode (for both layers) as it is shown in the animated GIF in the link below:


And then copy symbology items from the layer, which symbology is based on the IDs

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and paste to the layer with categorized symbology. (Copy from IDs based and paste to categorized). After all these actions you can export your symbology to .QML file

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