MapInfo Pro in 64-bit is well and truly up and running!
From early on in the development and release process to now and in the future, Critchlow have been involved in helping Pitney Bowes test the design concepts and functionality of all MapInfo Pro releases.
And now that more and more MapInfo Pro users are switching over to the 64-bit version, we want to make sure that you're up to speed with how it works and are getting the most out of it.
We've compiled some helpful tips to get you started...
This blog is the first of four in our 4 Steps to Mastering MapInfo Pro 64-bit series and focuses on how to quickly master the document and tools windows.
Mastering MapInfo Pro 64-bit
#1 Control Your Windows
All windows are the same.
In previous versions of MapInfo some of the tool windows such as the Layer Control and Table Manager could be viewed in different states such as docked to a side of the application, as floating windows or even set to auto-hide so they could be accessed when needed.
One of the biggest changes in the MapInfo Pro 64-bit user interface is that all tool (i.e. Layer Control, Table List, Mapbasic, Info, Statistics, ruler, message etc) and document (Maps, Browsers, Layout designer etc) windows will have the ability to be placed in any of these "states".
For example, this means that you could dock your Layer Control, Table List and the new Explorer tools on the left side of the application and the Info and Message tools on the right side of the application - leaving the middle window space for your Map and Browser Windows. You can even create horizontal and vertical tab groups for when you want to group similar types of content together or view the contents of windows side-by-side.
You have complete control over the state of your windows by simply right clicking on the header of the window and choosing the state you want. The flexibility in window states improves efficiency by allowing users to configure the tools and document windows in the way that is most effective for them depending on the task they are currently undertaking.
Don’t need to see it right now? Then hide it.
A new addition to the type of state that a window may be in is that it can be set to be "hidden".
It is quite common to have multiple document (Maps, Browsers, Layout Designer) windows open at the same time showing singular or multiple tables and or queries. You will quite often flick between the different document windows as you undertake your work but there will also be times when you only want to focus on one or a small number of all open windows.
The new "hidden" state for a window allows you to very quickly control the visibility of any tool or document window making it appear as though the window has been closed. One of the great things is that it remembers the state and position of the window prior to being hidden when the window is made visible again.
The ability to hide and unhide windows allows you to efficiently change what you are currently focusing on while not having to recreate, find or build new browser or map views. Control at your fingertips.
For any window, you can control the state and visibility by right-clicking in the window header but you can also control the visibility of windows via the new Explorer window.
Think of the Explorer window as an interactive summary window of your current session, kind of like a table of contents. It has four sections: Maps, Tables, Windows and Connections, and you can easily control what sections you want visible in the window.
The Maps and Tables sections are essentially mini versions of the Layer Control and Table List windows, the windows section allows you to control the visibility of your windows and the Connections section details connections into databases that you have open.
The great thing about the Explorer window is that if you are only working with one or two tables and they are currently viewed in a Map or Browser window you don't need to have separate windows like the Layer Control and Table List open as all the functionality is available through the Explorer Window.
The fewer windows you have open means greater focus at the job at hand and higher productivity.
Use your pixel(s).
Just about everyone has dual monitors and the new MapInfo Pro allows you to really make use of all those pixels!
Any window (Map, Browser, Mapbasic, Explorer etc.) can be floated outside of the application onto the second monitor. For some windows such as a map, table or layout window – the ribbons applicable to that window type will be present at the top of that window.
This is a great example of how the user experience team has worked with users to understand what they need to work more efficiently.
The 64-bit interface has been designed from the ground up and a huge effort has been made to enable users to configure and control the windows to suit the user.
Once you start using it you will quickly find what works best for you. Of course, mastering your windows is only one skill that you will need to learn when using MapInfo Pro 64-bit - luckily the team at Pitney Bowes has made it easy as.
Be sure to check out the other blog posts in the 4 Steps to Mastering MapInfo Pro 64-bit series and check out the Getting Familiar with MapInfo Pro 64-bit webinar series below. We're sure you'll like what you see!