The View - Panes - Contents pane displays controls and information for whatever is the active window, automatically adjusting to whatever is the current tab within the current window. By default, the Contents pane appears with the Project pane and the Layers pane in a tab strip to the right of the Manifold desktop.
The Contents pane is different from the Project pane and the Layers pane: The Contents pane is a collection of several panes.
When panes are docked, if the Project pane or the Layers pane is in the foreground, click on the Contents pane tab to bring the Contents pane forward. The Contents pane can be switched off and on from the main menu by using View - Panes - Contents.
Shift-click the Contents pane's name tab to undock the Contents pane. Shift-click the title bar to dock it again. An undocked Contents pane can be resized and moved anywhere on our Windows desktop. See the User Interface Basics topic.
When working with an undocked Contents pane, we should size the pane to provide more vertical room when working with thematic formats in the Style pane or with Transform or Select panes that use many controls.
The Contents pane provides five different panes that we can choose:
Component - Coordinate system and other basic information for the component, including the current layer in a map or other window, that is open in the active window.
Record - View and edit attributes and geometry.
Select - Make selections using templates or free-form expressions, and save and combine selections.
Style - Control formatting and style in drawings and channels and display characteristics in images.
Transform - Manipulate data using a vast range of templates or free-form expressions.
Click on the caption of a pane for a pull-down menu of the other panes. We can also use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2, ..., Ctrl+5.
Upcoming builds will move some sub-panes out from within the Contents pane into being their own, independent panes, like the Project and Layers panes. For example, instead of choosing the Select pane from the list in the Contents pane, it will have its own tab, just like the Project and Layers panes.
The Component pane displays information for the active layer or window. Clicking on a component shown in the Component pane will switch to that component in the Project pane. See the Contents - Component topic for details and examples.
The Component pane is our primary interface for seeing and changing projections, that is, the coordinate systems assigned to components, and to edit those coordinate systems. In Manifold, the terms projection and coordinate system are synonyms and are used interchangeably.
Black projection name - Indicates the coordinate system has been assigned. Modern GIS formats will automatically specify the coordinate system to be used when we import a drawing or image from such a format. They will appear in the right places in maps with other layers, we can re-project them if we like and so on.
Red projection name - Indicates the coordinate system must be manually assigned before that data can be used. Older GIS formats or non-spatial formats, such as CAD formats, often will not correctly specify the coordinate system used by their data. In such cases, the default coordinate system, WGS 84 / Pseudo-Mercator (EPSG:3857) will be assigned as a placeholder, and red text is a warning that the correct coordinate system must be assigned before any further use of the data.
We use the Component pane for three key activities involving coordinate systems:
Assign Initial Coordinate System - If a component is imported from a format that fails to specify the coordinate system it should use, we must do so manually. Until we assign the initial coordinate system to use, the Component pane will use red text for the read-out. Once we assign the initial coordinate system the read-out will switch to black text. This command should only be used once, immediately after initial import or linking of a component. For a step-by-step illustrated example using the Assign Initial Coordinate System command, see the Example: Assign Initial Coordinate System topic.
Repair Initial Coordinate System - If people never made mistakes we would not need this option. Sometimes a component is imported from a format that incorrectly specifies the coordinate system it should use, and we must manually change that initial setting to the correct coordinate system. At other times, we might have used Assign Initial Coordinate System to specify the initial setting, but we made a mistake and specified the wrong projection. This option allows us to repair such errors by specifying the correct initial coordinate system.
Reproject Component - This is the routine command we use to re-project data into whatever projection we want. Suppose, for example, we import data that is in Latitude / Longitude format but we want it to be in pseudo-Mercator or some other coordinate system. This option allows us to re-project the data to the new coordinate system.
To assign, repair, or change a projection, click on the coordinate picker button.
For components such as drawings and images, the Component pane reports projection information and the number of records. When a table has the focus the Component pane will report the number of records in the table.
The Record pane displays field values (attributes) and coordinates for objects that are Alt-clicked in drawing layers. The Record pane is our primary interface for editing either field values or geometry for objects in the map window. See the Record Pane topic for details and examples.
Alt-clicking an object in a drawing picks it for display in the Record panel, automatically popping open the Record pane to the Values tab. The Values tab displays field values for that object's record.
The designated object is marked in the map window with small blue boxes at the location of coordinates that define it. In addition to displaying field values for the object's record, the Values tab also allows us to edit field values for that object. Clicking the Previous and Next triangle buttons at the top of the list will step through the previous and next records in the drawing's table.
Clicking any vertex in the picked object, or clicking the Coordinates tab, will switch into Move Coordinates editing mode, switching vertex boxes to slightly larger handles. Move Coordinates mode allows us to edit object geometry either in the map window or in the Coordinates list. See the Editing Drawings topic.
The Select pane implements selection for tables, drawings and image layers. See the Contents - Select topic for details and examples.
The pane automatically applies to whatever open component window has the focus. Select templates operate upon fields for the component's table. In the illustration above we have entered text into the Filter box to reduce the long list of available templates to only those which contain 'text' in their names (case is not significant). That makes it easier to find the template we want.
For example, with the focus on the sample drawing layer, we can click on the Text Contains selection template, click into the Value box to choose the name field and enter Star as the Search for text. From the example for the Record pane above we know that will select at least the Monte Carlo Star building in that layer.
The moment we finish keyboarding Star the system will preview what objects will be selected, using blue preview color in the active window. To select those previewed objects we click on Replace Selection.
Selected objects will appear in the active window in red selection color.
See the Contents - Select topic for details.
The Style pane shows formatting and display characteristics for drawings, images and labels. See the Contents - Style topic for details and examples.
Choosing the Style pane we can click on one of the Style properties, such as Fill Color for areas, to see the formatting being applied.
We can change the style, for example, by reversing the palette and by changing the Fill method from closest lower value to interpolate. We press Update Style and the new formatting will be immediately applied. As we work with different windows and different layers the Style pane will automatically adapt to show the formatting in use for the active window and layer.
The Transform pane of the Contents pane allows manipulation and editing of values in fields in tables, drawings or images, either by using pre-built transform templates or by using SQL expressions. By manipulating the value of geom fields in tables used to drive drawings, the Transform pane also manipulates objects in drawings. Likewise, by manipulating the value of tile fields in tables used to drive images, the Transform pane also manipulates pixel values in images.
See the Contents - Transform topic for details and examples.
Choosing the Transform pane we can click on the Convert to Line template and the resulting transform will be immediately previewed in blue preview color in the active window, showing how areas will be converted into boundary lines. To reduce the number of templates in the long list, we can enter text into the Filter box for partial matches on the names of templates.
If we still have selected the Monte Carlo Star building that was previously selected, checking the Restrict to selection box will apply the Convert to Line transform to only that object.
Clicking a different transform, such as Convert to Point instantly previews that transform in the active window. To apply a transform we can click Update Field.
When the Project pane, Layers pane and Contents pane are docked we will frequently click on their tabs to move back and forth between the Project pane and Contents pane. To pop open one of the Contents pane panes we click on the current pane's title bar and then choose the pane we want from the pull-down list. We can also use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2, ..., Ctrl+5.
Suppose the Contents pane is open to the Record pane. If we click the Record title bar that immediately pops open a list of panes.
We choose the Component pane to immediately switch to that pane.
We can also use keyboard shortcuts. If we want the Transform pane, with the focus on the Contents pane we press Ctrl+6 on the keyboard.
The Contents pane immediately witches to the Transform pane.
Most software, including Manifold, makes extensive use of dialogs that are modal. A modal dialog grabs the user interface so we must complete our work with the dialog, usually by clicking an OK, Cancel, or some other button, before we can continue working with other parts of the program. The term modal comes from the dialog's insistence that whatever user interface mode the dialog applies is the only one that is active.
A non-modal or modeless pane is one which does not grab exclusive use of the user interface. The Project pane, the Layers pane, and the Contents pane collection of panes are non-modal. We can have the Project pane open to show us a list of what is in the project even as we continue work with other dialogs. Display-only non-modal panes like the Project pane are fairly common in software, but in addition Manifold provides the exceptional ability to control the system using sophisticated, display + command, controls within the Layers pane and within an array of very powerful non-modal panes in the Contents pane.
When we call up a pane that pane is non-modal: it is always on, ready to display information or to accept a command with no need to enter or exit a dialog, and without locking up the rest of the program. We can move the mouse away from the pane into a different window, perhaps to pan or to zoom that window, or even into a modal dialog, to continue working however we like and the panes will automatically adjust to what we are doing. We can go back and forth between panes and other windows, panes, dialogs and other controls without any need to exit or to close the Project pane, Layers pane or Contents pane.
User Interface Basics
Assign Initial Coordinate System
Repair Initial Coordinate System
Example: Layers Tutorial - We take a tour of the Layers pane, learning how to manage layer display order, select layers, turn several layers on and off at the same time, alter opacity settings for one or more layers and how to change background color.
Example: Style Pane Quickstart - A tutorial introduction to using the Style pane to apply color, symbology, size and rotation to areas, lines and points in drawings.
Example: Edit Coordinates While Creating an Object - When creating an object in a map using a tool such as Create Area, right in the middle of the process we can edit coordinates in the Record pane's Coordinates tab. This example shows the step by step process.
Example: Edit Attributes and Move a Point - We look at the attributes for a point in a drawing layer and edit one of the attributes using a more expanded Edit dialog. We then move the point to a new location. Easy!
Example: Edit Attributes, Larger Text, IME for Asian Languages - A tour showing how to edit attributes in a drawing using the Record pane Values tab and the expanded Edit dialog, including advanced Unicode facilities and use of the built in Input Method Editor (IME) to input text in Japanese language.
Example: Assign Initial Coordinate System - Use the Component pane to manually assign an initial coordinate system when importing from a format that does not specify the coordinate system.
Example: Change Projection of an Image - Use the Reproject Component command to change the projection of an image, raster data showing terrain elevations in a region of Florida, from Latitude / Longitude to Orthographic centered on Florida.
Manifold Future - Future Tour Part 1 - This video shows how to download and use a portable installation for Manifold Future. The video also shows the Contents, pane, layers and layer opacity, one click use of data source favorites, using your own archival favorite and getting record values instantly. If you are using Viewer or Radian Studio, download and use the Future version to get access to all these powerful new features.
Manifold Future - Future Tour Part 2 Editing - The video shows how to create new objects, how to add fields and vertices and move vertices around, how to edit existing objects and how to use simple selection methods to choose vertices to move together, including moving all objects.
Manifold Future - Future Tour Part 3 Editing - The editing tour continues with a look at how to create branched objects, including how to create areas with holes and islands, how to add branches to lines and how to add coordinates between vertices in existing objects. We finish up by creating an area that traces over a pond in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris using a Google satellite view, and then we add a hole to that area and two additional islands.
Manifold Future - Future Tour Part 4 Edit Attributes, Move a Point - We use Manifold Future to see how to view attributes of objects in drawings, including use of the new Edit dialog to view long, multi-paragraph text fields. We edit fields and see how easy it is to preview edits and either accept them or abandon them. We switch to editing the geometry of objects in a drawing, viewing the coordinate locations and using mouse moves to reposition points. We edit the location of a point to correct an error in a drawing, using Google Satellite view to provide context for the correction. Fast and easy, with previews all the way!
Manifold Future - Future Tour Part 5 Unicode Attributes and IME - We take a tour through Manifold Future attribute editing, showing how to edit attributes in a drawing using the Record pane Values
tab and the expanded Edit dialog, including advanced Unicode facilities and use of the built in Input Method Editor (IME) to input text in Japanese language.
Manifold Future - Future Tour Part 6 Cell Context Menu - A short video showing a fast and easy way to copy between cells in tables using the context menu. Also... one step undo of pending changes, setting the value of a cell to NULL and more. The context menu on cells is such a simple thing but it makes repetitive editing of tables much faster and easier.
Manifold Future - 5 Minute Style Quickstart - A five minute, fast and easy introduction to the new Style and formatting capabilities in Manifold Future. In just five minutes learn how to rapidly change colors, symbology, sizes and rotations for area, line and point objects in drawings.
Manifold Future - Example: Style Pane Quickstart - A video that repeats the Example: Style Pane Quickstart topic. The video shows how to format points using the Style pane, including simultaneous formatting of multiple style properties using the same thematic format setup. See how to use free meteorology symbols from a popular, free font, how to use letters and other symbols as point symbology and more.
Manifold Future - Example: City Sizes by Population - A video that repeats the Example: Format the Size of City Points by Population topic. The video shows how to vary the sizes and colors of points in a map by the populations of cities those points represent, a classic example of thematic formatting. See also what the percentage numbers in the intervals list mean and how interval methods are automatically calculated by Manifold based on the data in the drawing.