Contents Pane

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.   Like all Manifold panes the Contents pane can be docked or undocked by Alt-clicking the title bar.   An undocked Contents pane can be resized and moved anywhere on our Windows desktop.  See the User Interface Basics topic.    We can switch between the Project pane and the Contents pane by clicking the tab of the pane desired.

 

tabs_project_contents_panes01.png  tabs_project_contents_panes02.png

 

The Contents pane contains several panels:

 

Component

The Component panel displays information for the active layer or window such as the projection (coordinate system) for the component.  When a table has the focus the Component panel will report the number of records in the table.

 

dlg_contents_pane01_01.png

When a map has the focus the Component panel will report projection information for the map as well as for the active layer within that map.  

il_table_records_contents_component.png

 

When a table has the focus the Component panel will report the number of records in the table.

 

Clicking on a component shown in the Component display will switch to that component in the Project pane.

Layers

The Layers panel shows the layers in a map, drawing or image along with % opacity settings for each layer and an on/off toggle box. Double-click an opacity setting or toggle box to change it.

dlg_contents_pane01_02.png

In the illustration above all of the layers are on except the Bing street map layer, which is off.   The Background layer is a virtual "layer" present in all visual display windows.  It provides a layer of background color, default white, as seen in the sample color box.  Double-click into the color box to change the color.     When using imageserver layers like Bing, which completely fill their layers with pixels, the background color, of course, will not be visible if the imageserver layers are at 100% opacity.

Record

The Record panel displays field values (attributes) and coordinates for objects that are Alt-clicked in drawing layers.   The Record panel is our primary interface for editing either field values or geometry for objects in the map window.

 

dlg_contents_record01_01.png

 

Alt-clicking onto an object in a drawing automatically pops open the Record panel to the Values tab and displays field values for that object's record.

 

dlg_contents_pane01_04.png  dlg_contents_record01_02.png

 

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.

 

dlg_contents_pane01_05.png   dlg_contents_record01_03.png

 

Clicking the Coordinates tab enables the object geometry for editing in the map window, switching vertex boxes to slightly larger handles.   We can edit the coordinates either in the map window or in the Coordinates list.

Select

The Select panel implements selection for tables, drawings and image layers.   Clicking the title bar for the Select panel launches the panel.   

 

dlg_contents_pane01_06.png

 

The panel automatically applies to whatever open component window has the focus.  Select templates operate upon fields for the component's table.     

 

For example, with the focus on the sample drawing layer, we can click on the Text Contains selection template, choose the name field and enter 'Star' as the Search for text.   From the example for the Record panel above we know that will select at least the Monte Carlo Star building in that layer.  

 

dlg_contents_pane01_06a.png

 

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.

 

dlg_contents_pane01_06b.png

Selected objects will appear in the active window in red selection color.

 

See the Contents - Select topic for details. 

Style

The Style panel shows formatting and display characteristics for drawings, images and labels.  See the Contents - Style topic for details.  

 

dlg_contents_pane01_07.png  dlg_contents_pane01_07a.png

 

Choosing the Style panel we can click on one of the Style properties, such as Fill Color for areas, to see the formatting being applied.

 

dlg_contents_pane01_08.pngdlg_contents_pane01_08a.png

 

We can change the palette, press Update Style and the new formatting will be immediately applied.     As we work with different windows and different layers the Style panel will automatically adapt to show the formatting in use for the active window and layer.

Transform

The Transform panel implements selection for tables, drawings and image layers as was formerly done by the Transform dialog.    See the Transform Dialog topic for details while this documentation is being updated.  

 

dlg_contents_pane01_09.pngdlg_contents_pane01_09a.png

 

Choosing the Transform panel 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.

 

dlg_contents_pane01_10.pngdlg_contents_pane01_10a.png

 

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.

 

dlg_contents_pane01_11.pngdlg_contents_pane01_11a.png

 

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.

Fast Navigation

When the Project pane and Contents panes 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 panels we click on that panel's title bar.  

 

However, when a Contents pane extends the height of a full-sized desktop it is inconvenient to move the mouse all the way to the bottom of the pane to pop open a panel.   The Contents pane offers a fast shortcut using Right-click on panel's title bar to bring up the next panel.  

 

dlg_contents_pane01_12.png

 

Suppose the Contents pane is open to the Record panel.  If we click the Component title bar that immediately pops open the Component panel.

 

dlg_contents_pane01_13.png

If we Right-click the Component title bar that immediately pops open the next panel, Layers.

 

dlg_contents_pane01_14.png

Right-click on the Layers title bar and that immediately pops open the next panel, Record.

 

dlg_contents_pane01_15.png

 

Click on the Component title bar and the Component panel pops open.

 

At any time we can click on a panel title to pop open that panel.  Right-clicking on the current panel's title bar will open the next panel.     These short cuts allow us to keep the mouse cursor near the top of the pane where we can Click between the Project pane or Contents pane tabs, or by mixing Click and Right-click on the various Contents pane title bars to show the panel we want.

 

Coordinate Systems / Projections

The Contents pane is our primary interface for seeing 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.

 

Modern formats and data sources that are well-designed for spatial data will automatically specify the coordinate system to be used for the data they provide.  When we import or link from such modern formats or sources, drawings and images will appear in Manifold with the correct coordinate system automatically assigned.  We can then use them in our workflow without worrying about the projection they use.  They will appear in the right places in maps with other layers, we can re-project them if we like and so on.  The coordinate system they use will appear in the Contents pane using normal, black text to indicate the coordinate system has been automatically specified by the format or data source.

 

Older formats and data sources or those which are poorly-designed for spatial data, such as CAD formats, often will not specify the coordinate system to be used for the data they provide, or they will do so in an incomplete way.  When Manifold brings in such data it will assign the default coordinate system, WGS 84 / Pseudo-Mercator (EPSG:3857), as a placeholder, and will use red text in the Contents pane to indicate the coordinate system must be manually specified before that data can be used.

 

We use the Contents pane for three key activities involving coordinate systems:

 

 

 

 

For a step-by-step illustrated example using the Assign Initial Coordinate System command, see the Example: Assign Initial Coordinate System topic.

Always On, Modeless Panels

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, Apply, Cancel or some other button, before we can continue working with other parts of the program.   The term modal to describe how a dialog grabs the user interface comes from the dialog's insistence that whatever user interface mode the dialog applies is the only one that is active.

 

A modeless or non-modal pane is one which does not grab exclusive use of the user interface.    Both the Project pane and the Contents pane are modeless.  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 modeless panels like the Project pane are fairly common in software, but in addition Manifold provides the exceptional ability to control the system using sophisticated controls within an array of very powerful modeless panels in the Contents pane.   

 

When we call up a panel in the Contents pane that panel is modeless:  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 continue working however we like and the Contents pane panels will automatically adjust to what we are doing.   We can go back and forth between Contents pane panels and other windows, panes, dialogs and other controls without any need to exit or to close the Contents pane panel.   

See Also

Getting Started

 

User Interface Basics

 

Maps

 

Drawings

 

Editing Drawings

 

Images

 

Labels

 

Selection

 

Style

 

Project Pane

 

Assign Initial Coordinate System

 

Repair Initial Coordinate System

 

Change Coordinate System

 

Contents - Layers

 

Contents - Record

 

Contents - Select

 

Contents - Style

 

Contents - Transform

 

Layer Opacity

 

Example: Layers Tutorial - We take a tour of the Layers panel in the Contents 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 Panel Quickstart - A tutorial introduction to using the Style panel in the Contents 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 Contents - Record panel'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 panel 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 Contents 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 Change Coordinate System 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.

 

Videos

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 panel 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 Panel Quickstart - A video that repeats the Example: Style Panel Quickstart topic.  The video shows how to format points using the Style panel, 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.