MapInfo TAB and MIF/MID

MapInfo datasets in native (TAB) format and in interchange (MIF/MID) format are supported for reading and writing. Starting with GDAL 2.0, update of existing TAB files is supported. Update of existing MIF/MID files is not supported.

Note: In the rest of this document "MIF/MID File" is used to refer to a pair of .MIF + .MID files, and "TAB file" refers to the set of files for a MapInfo table in binary form (usually with extensions .TAB, .DAT, .MAP, .ID, .IND).

The MapInfo driver treats a whole directory of files as a dataset, and a single file within that directory as a layer. In this case the directory name should be used as the dataset name.

However, it is also possible to use one of the files (.tab or .mif) in a MapInfo set as the dataset name, and then it will be treated as a dataset with one single layer.

MapInfo coordinate system information is supported for reading and writing.

Creation Issues

The TAB File format requires that the bounds (geographical extents) of a new file be set before writing the first feature.

There is currently no automated setting of valid default bounds for each spatial reference system, so for the time being, the MapInfo driver sets the following default bounds when a new layer is created:

Starting with GDAL 2.0, it is possible to override those bounds through two mechanisms.

If no coordinate system is provided when creating a layer, the projection case is used, not geographic, which can result in very low precision if the coordinates really are geographic. You can add "-a_srs WGS84" to the ogr2ogr commandline during a translation to force geographic mode.

MapInfo feature attributes suffer a number of limitations:

Dataset Creation Options

Layer Creation Options


Before v1.8.0 , the driver was incorrectly using a "." as the delimiter for id: parameters and starting with v1.8.0 the driver uses a comma as the delimiter was per the OGR Feature Style Specification.

See Also