Editing Drawings

We use a combination of mouse actions in windows together with the Contents pane Record panel to provide rapid and efficient editing of drawings, either in a drawing window or as a drawing layer in a map window.   The combination allows us to modify existing features in drawings or to create new features.    When we modify or create we can alter or specify the field values, that is, the attributes of objects, or we can alter or specify the geometry of those objects, that is, the coordinates of the vertices that define them, or we can do both.

Create New Features

We edit drawings to create new areas, lines and points.  

 

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Modify Existing Features

We also edit drawings to modify existing areas, lines and points, either by modifying their shapes, that is, modifying their geometry, or by modifying the data values associated with an object, that is, editing the attributes of the object.   

 

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Change Attributes and Geometry

When we modify or create areas, lines and points we may edit the field values, or attributes, of the object in the associated record in the drawing's table...

 

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...and we may edit the coordinate geometry of the object, that is, the locations of the coordinates, or vertices, that define the shape and placement of the object.

 

il_modify_coordinates01_01.png il_modify_coordinates01_02.png il_modify_coordinates01_03.png

 

See the Contents - Record topic for detailed instructions on editing objects.

Objects are Defined by Straight or Curved Segments

When a drawing displays objects such as areas, lines or points, each object is drawn based on the set of coordinate locations, called coordinates for short,  that defines it.   Note that in this short-hand nomenclature a "coordinate" is really a short hand way of saying a "coordinate pair," that is, two coordinates that consist of an X coordinate number and a Y coordinate number.   A synonym for such a coordinate location that defines an object is the word vertex.  

 

A single point is defined by a single coordinate.  Lines and areas are more complex than points because they involve lists of coordinates.   Lines and areas consist of a sequence of coordinates that define them, with either straight segments between coordinates or curved segments between coordinates or a mix of straight and curved segments.   Curved segments can be circular arcs, ellipsoidal arcs or splines that specify a path between coordinates that anchor the beginning and end of the curve, a curved path that is mathematically computed on the fly based upon the positions of the beginning and end coordinates plus any intermediate coordinates that define the curve.  

 

Most GIS systems (including all pre-Radian GIS products form Manifold) use only straight segments between coordinates to draw lines and areas.   In such systems a line that may appear to be a smooth curve when the view is zoomed out will be seen when the view is zoomed in to be made up of a sequence of straight line segments, each segment being defined by the coordinates at each end of that segment.  

 

Likewise, an area object will be defined by a set of coordinates that when linked by straight segments define the boundary of the area object as well as any internal "holes" or external "islands."   When the view is zoomed out such areas might look to be smoothly curved shapes, but upon closer inspection will be seen to be made up of straight segments that define their boundaries.

 

A more complex way of defining objects in vector-based drawings is to use curved segments between coordinates, the precise shapes of the curved segments being defined by mathematical formulae based on a limited number of coordinate locations.   For example, a circular arc can be defined by three coordinates: two coordinates to define the beginning and end of the arc plus a third coordinate through which the circular arc must pass.  Given three such coordinates a simple mathematical relationship defines at any desired level of resolution the shape of a circular arc which passes through those three locations.

 

il_curved_segments_line.png

 

Manifold allows use of three types of curved segments:  circular arcs (referred to as circle arcs),  ellipsoidal arcs (referred to as ellipse arcs) and splines.   All three types of curved segments are defined by beginning and end coordinates plus intermediate coordinates from which the shape of the curved segment is mathematically derived.   The illustration above shows a single line that contains both curved segments and straight segments.  It consists of a circle arc segment followed by four straight segments followed by a spline.  The small dots are not points but are control points for defining the circle arc and the spline that can be edited to adjust the shape of the line.

 

For additional discussion on points, lines and areas, including on branched objects such as branched points, branched lines and branched areas, as well as on multipoints, see the Drawings topic.

Creating New Points, Lines and Areas in a Drawing

Drawings that show data such as provinces in France are normally imported in finished form from web sites such as those run by government cartographic bureaus.   A single province may consist of hundreds, or even thousands, of coordinates so it would be tedious to create such drawing manually.   However, if desired we can manually add new points, lines or areas to a drawing, perhaps by tracing over a photographic layer as seen in the Example: Trace an Area in a Map over an Image Background topic.  We can create points, lines and areas in the same drawing.

 

To add point, line or area objects to a drawing we Begin by opening the drawing in a drawing window or as a layer in a map.

 

il_create_point_command.png  il_create_point_drawing.png

 

To add new points to a drawing:

 

  1. Click on the Create Point command button.

  2. Click on locations in the drawing where a point is to be created.  Manifold will draw a blue preview square at each location. With the first click the Record panel Coordinates tab will pop open in the Contents pane.

  3. When all desired points have been clicked, right-click anywhere in the drawing to commit changes, or press the Add Record button in the Coordinates tab.  To abandon changes, press Esc or Ctrl-backspace.

 

il_create_line_command.png  il_create_line_drawing.png

 

To add a new line to a drawing:

 

  1. Click on the Create Line command button.

  2. Click on a location in the drawing to start the line and then click on subsequent locations to indicate where each next coordinate defining the line is to be placed. Manifold will draw a blue preview square at each coordinate with a blue preview line between clicked locations and also extending from the last clicked location to the current cursor position.  With the first click the Record panel Coordinates tab will pop open in the Contents pane.

  3. After clicking the last coordinate for the line, right-click anywhere in the drawing to commit changes, or press the Add Record button in the Coordinates tab.  To abandon changes, press Esc or Ctrl-backspace.

 

 

To add a new, branched line to a drawing:

 

  1. Click on the Create Line command button.

  2. Click on a location in the drawing to start the first branch of the line and then click on subsequent locations to indicate where each next coordinate defining that branch is to be placed. Manifold will draw a blue preview square at each coordinate with a blue preview line between clicked locations and also extending from the last clicked location to the current cursor position. With the first click the Record panel Coordinates tab will pop open in the Contents pane.

  3. For the last coordinate of the branch, shift-click to add that last coordinate.

  4. With the next click a new branch will be started at the clicked location.   Click on subsequent locations to indicate where each next coordinate for that branch should be placed.

  5. After clicking the last coordinate for the last branch, right-click anywhere in the drawing to commit changes, or press the Add Record button in the Coordinates tab.  To abandon changes, press Esc or Ctrl-backspace.

 

 

il_create_area_command.png  il_create_area_drawing.png

 

To add a new area to a drawing:

 

  1. Click on the Create Area command button.

  2. Click on a location in the drawing to start the area and then click on subsequent locations to indicate where each next coordinate defining the area is to be placed. Manifold will draw a blue preview square at each coordinate with a blue preview line between clicked locations and also extending from the first location to the current cursor position. With the first click the Record panel Coordinates tab will pop open in the Contents pane.

  3. After clicking the last coordinate for the area, right-click anywhere in the drawing to commit changes, or press the Add Record button in the Coordinates tab.  To abandon changes, press Esc or Ctrl-backspace.

 
 
To add a new, branched area to a drawing:

 

  1. Click on the Create Area command button.

  2. Click on a location in the drawing to start the first branch of the area and then click on subsequent locations to indicate where each next coordinate defining that branch is to be placed. Manifold will draw a blue preview square at each coordinate with a blue preview line between clicked locations and also extending from the first clicked location of the branch to the current cursor position.  With the first click the Record panel Coordinates tab will pop open in the Contents pane.

  3. For the last coordinate of the branch, shift-click to add that last coordinate.

  4. With the next click a new branch will be started at the clicked location.

  5. Starting a new branch within an area begins creating a hole in that area.  Starting a new branch outside of an area begins creating an island.

  6. Click on subsequent locations to indicate where each next coordinate for that branch should be placed.

  7. After clicking the last coordinate for the last branch, right-click anywhere in the drawing to commit changes, or press the Add Record button in the Coordinates tab.  To abandon changes, press Esc or Ctrl-backspace.

 

The above are basic moves for creating new objects in drawings.  

 

Editing Existing Points, Lines and Areas in a Drawing

To edit an existing object, alt-click on that object.   The Record panel immediately pops open in the Contents pane to display the Values tab, showing field values, that is, attributes, for that object.

 

See the Contents - Record topic for detailed instructions on editing objects.

Editing Attributes

The Values tab shows attributes for the designated object.   Attributes which cannot be edited, such as geom data type values or key fields such as mfd_id used for the primary index, will be shown with gray background color.  Attributes which may be edited are shown with white background color.  Editing an attribute value is just like editing a cell in a table.  

 

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To edit an attribute, Double-click into the value cell and enter the value desired.   Press Enter to stop editing.  Just as with editing a cell in a table, the edited cell will be shown in blue preview color.   To commit the edit, press Ctrl-Enter or click the Update Record button.  To abandon the edit, press Ctrl-backspace.

 

il_modify_field_values01_04.pngil_modify_field_values01_05.pngil_modify_field_values01_06.png

 

We can also right-click onto a cell, choose Copy and then right-click onto a destination cell and choose Paste to paste the copied value into the destination cell.   To commit the edit, press Ctrl-Enter or click the Update Record button.  To abandon the edit, press Ctrl-backspace.    The Edit choice allows us to view and to edit longer text in a larger dialog that is more suitable for multi-paragraph text than the space available in a single cell.   See the Example: Edit Attributes, Larger Text, IME for Asian Languages  topic for an example using Edit.

Editing Object Geometry

To edit object geometry, click on the Coordinates tab in the Record panel.   That will enable for editing the object that was chosen with an alt-click in the map window.   See the Contents - Record topic for detailed instructions on editing object geometry.

 

For live action examples, see the Manifold Future - Future Tour Part 3 Editing video and the Manifold Future - Future Tour Part 4 Edit Attributes, Move a Point  video on YouTube.   See also examples in the Contents - Record topic and in the Example: Edit Coordinates While Creating an Object topic and the Example: Edit Attributes and Move a Point   topic.

 

 

See Also

Getting Started

 

User Interface Basics

 

Drawings

 

Contents - Layers

 

Contents - Record

 

Example: Draw Lines, Areas and Points - Simple example of using basic mouse moves to add points, lines and areas to a drawing.

 

Example: Trace an Area in a Map over an Image Background - In a map with a drawing layer above an image layer, create an area object in the drawing by tracing over the outlines of something seen in the image layer below.

 

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.

 

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.