Precisely MapInfo TAB (EFAL) Reader/Writer (Technology Preview)

MapInfo Formats: FME can read and write several of the proprietary formats created by MapInfo Pro. For help with choosing the format that is right for your workflow, see Choosing the Right MapInfo Format.

FME reads and writes MapInfo TAB (EFAL) files.

Technology Preview

Note: This format is still under active development, so please expect changes to the current behavior. Safe Software does not recommend using this format in production environments.

This is a proprietary format used by the MapInfo Pro mapping product. It was introduced in MapInfo Pro 15.2. MapInfo Native format files are often called TAB files. Advantages of this format over the original MapInfo TAB format include support for tables larger than 2 GB as well as Unicode support.

The MapInfo TAB (EFAL) format can read and write "native" TAB files (that is, files that can also be read by the MAPINFO and MITAB readers). This reader may have better performance than MAPINFO or MITAB when reading native TAB files.


MapInfo files store both feature geometry and attributes. A logical MapInfo file consists of several physical files, having the following filename extensions:

Filename Extension



The main file for a MapInfo table, associated with the appropriate DAT, MAP, ID, and IND files.

.dat, .gpkg

Tabular data for a table.

Geopackage (.gpkg) (read-only) is an alternative way for a MapInfo Extended dataset to store attribute data.


An index to a MapInfo graphical objects (MAP) file.


Contains geographic information describing map objects.


An index to a MapInfo tabular (DAT) file.

These extensions are added to the basename of the specified MapInfo file.

Note: In this chapter, references to file are references to the logical MapInfo file, not the multiple physical files that comprise it.

Geometric entities present in MapInfo may have display properties, such as pen and brush width, pattern, and color. In addition, each entity has a row of attributes associated with it. A single MapInfo map file can contain many different types of geometry; however, the associated attributes must have the same number and type of fields for each entity in the file.

Reader Overview

The reader considers a dataset to be a TAB file and its related files in a single folder.

Writer Overview

The writer can produce both Native and NativeX table types. Table handling options can be used to determine if the existing files will be overwritten or not.

Each table maps to a single file with the equivalent name in the specified folder.