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:



Click on the caption of a panel for a pull-down menu of the other panels.  Keyboard shortcuts using Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2 and so on switch direclty to desired panels as well.


The Component panel displays information for the active layer or window.  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 panel will switch to that component in the Project pane.




Projections: The Component panel in the Contents pane is our primary interface for seeing and changing projections.   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.




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.

btn_coord_sys_picker.png To change a projection, click on the coordinate picker button.


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




Choosing a Panel

To switch to a Contents pane panel, click on the current panel's caption and choose the desired panel from the drop down list.  




We can also use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2, ..., Ctrl+6.  


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.


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.


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.




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.


The Select panel implements selection for tables, drawings and image layers.




The panel 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 panel 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 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.




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.


The Transform panel 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 panel also manipulates objects in drawings. Likewise, by manipulating the value of tile fields in tables used to drive images, the Transform panel also manipulates pixel values in images. 




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.  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.

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 the current panel's title bar and then choose the panel we want from the pull-down list.   We can also use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2, ..., Ctrl+6.  




Suppose the Contents pane is open to the Record panel.  If we click the Record  title bar that immediately pops open a list of panels.




We choose the Component panel to immediately switch to that panel.



We can also use keyboard shortcuts.  If we want the Transform panel, with the focus on the Contents pane we press Ctrl+6 on the keyboard.




The Contents pane immediately witches to the  Transform panel.

Always On, Non-Modal 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 non-modal or modeless pane is one which does not grab exclusive use of the user interface.    Both the Project pane and the Contents pane 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 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 non-modal panels in the Contents pane.   


When we call up a panel in the Contents pane that panel 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 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






Editing Drawings










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.



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.