I am trying to convert raster files from MapInfo (.ecw, .jpg, .TAB) in order to use them with QGIS or ArcGIS. I have access to all 3 softwares.

I have tried Data interoperability tools in ArcGIS but it is not working ("Tool execution failed."). I have also used a MapInfo tool (.mbx) designed for this purpose (http://georezo.net/wiki/main/logiciels/mapinfo/outils/ut4rt) with more success. I can then open the file with QGIS, but the output file is a bit off (even with the right coordinate system).

  • Did you tried this ? arcscripts.esri.com/details.asp?dbid=10831 ("This Avenue script can be used to convert a MapInfo TAB file to an ArcView image worldfile. The MapInfo TAB file should be related to an image, any other TAB file will return a warning. Despite of the fact that the script is called "tab2tfw.ave" the exported worldfile isn't necessarily a TIFF worldfile. The exported worldfile will have the appropriate extension for the image referenced by the Tab file.")
    – sys49152
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 20:45
  • Can you go into more details about what you tried with the Data Interop tool? I think it should be compatible.
    – blah238
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 22:22
  • Thank you for your replies. For the Data Interoperability tool, in fact I don't have the license to activate the extension, so that explains why it didn't work. As for the Arcscritpt, it seems to correspond exactly to what I need, but I have never used an ArcSript before and I can't find the way to use it properly, even after quite a bit of search. Can you explain, or point to a relevant web page ?
    – user27693
    Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 9:54
  • If the image is off then there must be some trouble with coordinate systems. Is is possible to share some sample image for downloading and testing?
    – user30184
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 10:47

2 Answers 2


Update: In QGIS 2.2 all you have to do is load JPG or (ECW). If it has TAB file with the same name it should load on the proper place

From the mentioned link I am not able to find any link to download the file UT4RT.zip, all links to other forum sites. Anyway:

For the JPEG (or TIF) georeferenced in Mapinfo the georeferencing information is saved in tab file. The TAB is text (ASCII) file and the information can be obtained manually and recalculated for getting JGW (for JPG) or TFW (for TIF). But it is easier to use mapbasic script (MBX) if you have Mapinfo or try find other language script if you don't. The one I use is shared here:


For JPG all I needed to do was rename extension from tfw to jgw and open jpg in QGIS and it was on right spot. Not sure how big is your bit off - if the project CRS and jpg CRS is set to the same as TAB and Map window Projection in Mapinfo, it should be on the exactly same spot - but I never checked in detail so it can be slightly off.

All ECW I had were always georeferenced (georeferencing information was included directly in the file) so all I had to do was to load it into QGIS (only some versions supports ECW format). If that doesn't work, convert ECW to JPG or TIF in QGIS.

(In QGIS 2.2 go Raster/Conversion/Translate select JPEG format for output file (GeoTIFF and consider using creation option JPEG compression for reasonable file size)

  • quite curious how opening the image file (with the TAB there) works, but opening the TAB file does not.
    – ak112358
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 2:39

This is a common issue, translating between mapinfo rasters to arc/Q can lead to positional errors. Converting using a tab-to-tfw tool will give mixed results but usually the rasters will be about 20-30m off.

I would recommend either opening them in Arcmap (arc can read the georeferencing information in the tab file) and saving out a copy from Arcmap, or to use FME.

FME would be your quickest best bet. Use a geotiff reader (not that logical I know but it works!) and click the apply GCP(fme will automatically find the tab file and read the info in as ground control points) button, then write out to a tiff and enable world file writing and LZW compression(otherwise your tif will have a large file size). You can easily do bulk conversions in FME and it should be the same as your original file.

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