Info Pane: Coordinates

The Coordinates tab in the Info pane shows the coordinates of a path or of a picked object (area, line, or point), label that is in coordinates editing mode.  


The Info pane automatically launches with the Coordinates tab when drawing a path.   To see the Coordinates tab for an object or label, pick an object or label by Alt-clicking it.  That launches the Info pane showing the Values tab.   Switch into coordinates editing mode to show the Coordinates tab with any of the following moves:



The Coordinates tab shows a list of coordinates, the values being those of the coordinate system of the active layer, that define the object, label, or path.   Coordinates that are not read-only may be edited, which will edit the object, label position, or path.    The coordinates that define an object are also called the geometry of that object.



The Coordinates tab can also be switched into traverse mode to show geometry using traverses in a variety of popular formats.



The traverses display can also be adjusted to use different formats for the traverse.   See the Traverses topic.

Coordinates Tab Controls

Click any vertex or segment in a picked object to switch to the Info pane Coordinates tab.  



The Coordinates tab allows us to view and edit the coordinates that define the object or path, and to enable the object or path for interactive mouse editing in the map window.  The Coordinates tab also opens automatically whenever we begin creating a new object or path in a map window, for example, using the Create Area, the Draw Path, or other tool.


The coordinates tab shows a list of coordinates that define the picked object or path, using the coordinate system of the active layer.   An inverted T symbol in the right margin of the coordinates list marks the end coordinate of a branch.


Click to pick the previous record or the next record.  Applies to both the Values tab or the Coordinates tab.  This is useful for data sets where records are in order.  When records are not ordered in a table, as usually is the case in enterprise class databases, these buttons will have limited utility in such cases.

Move only within selected coordinate rows.  When enabled (only possible if there is a selection), constrains Previous and Next motion to the previous selected coordinate row or to the next selected coordinate row.

Zoom to the object.

Delete selected row.  Enabled when a row has been selected.

Load coordinates for this object from a coordinates text file or from an ESRI traverse format text file.  The format will be detected automatically from the text file.

Save the coordinates shown in the list to a text file.  Coordinates will be saved as shown in the list, either in Manifold coordinates text format for XY or XYZ coordinates, or in ESRI traverse text format when the coordinates list shows a traverse.  See the Traverses topic for information on ESRI traverse file format.

Enabled for lines and areas: Choose the coordinates list format, showing the coordinates list as XY / XYZ coordinates or as a traverse.  Also allows launching the Traverse Parameters dialog: see the Traverses topic for details.

An inverted T symbol appears in the right margin of the coordinates list to mark the end coordinate of a branch.  


Move the current cell to the clicked row, and display the corresponding vertex in the window using a larger blue preview box.


Select or deselect the row.


Select a swath of rows from that record to the next nearest (up or down) selected row, inclusive.



Enter to open the current cell for editing, or double-click into a cell.  Enter closes the cell for editing, leaving it in blue preview color until a Ctrl-Enter commits the change.  This is the same style of cell editing used in tables.


Abandon an edit.


Pressing the Insert key opens a new row  just below the current cell row.   Clicking the mouse in the map window will add a coordinate into that row, or we can manually keyboard or copy/paste X or Y coordinate values into that row.

Arrow Keys

Move current cell up / down / left / right.  Moving the current cell moves the larger box indicating the corresponding coordinate in the map window.


Move current cell all the way to the left (layer names).


Move current cell all the way to the right (on/off box).


Move current cell to the top layer.


Move current cell to the bottom layer (Background).

Page Up

Page Down

Move current cell up or down one page's worth.

Scroll bar

A vertical scroll bar appears when there are more layers than can fit into the display.   Scrolling the display does not move the current cell.

Scroll bar context menu

Right-clicking onto the scroll bar calls up a context menu:


  • Scroll Here - Drag the scroll bar handle to the spot right-clicked and scroll the display accordingly.

  • Top - Scroll the display to the top.

  • Bottom - Scroll the display to the bottom.

  • Page Up - Scroll the display up one page.

  • Page Down - Scroll the display down one page.

  • Scroll Up - Scroll the display up one row.

  • Scroll Down - Scroll the display down one row.

Update Record

Press to apply any changes.



Tech tip:   Editing cells in the Coordinates tab display is the same as editing cells in a table.  Enter or double-click to begin editing a cell. Edit the cell and press Enter again. That shows a preview in blue preview color of the proposed edit.  More than one cell can be edited in that way.   Press Ctrl-Enter to commit the edits to the entire record, or Ctrl-Backspace to abandon.  

Coordinates or Traverse

 The coordinate list format picker button allows us to choose between showing the coordinates that define a line or an area in either XY/XYZ format or in traverse format.   Traverses are a way of defining lines or areas, but not points, so there is no traverse format for a point.



XY/XYZ format simply lists the X,Y or X,Y,Z (in the case of lines or areas with a Z value) numbers for each vertex or control point of a curved segment.   Traverse format describes lines or areas as they are described in surveying in the United States, for example, giving the direction and distance to each next vertex.  ESRI traverse format is used in the coordinates list when we choose Show Traverse.  Other words used for traverse descriptions are COGO (coordinate geometry) descriptions, and metes and bounds.   


See the Traverses topic for an illustrated guide to understanding traverses, and for complete details on working with traverses in the Info pane.

Formats for Saving and Reading Coordinate Lists

The Info pane can read from a file or save to a file a coordinates list in either Manifold Coordinates format or ESRI Traverse format.  Whichever format is displayed when we press the Save button will be the format used for the text file that is created.   Coordinates format saves coordinates as X Y numbers, adding a third Z number if the object has a Z value.    Traverse format saves coordinate geometry in standard ESRI traverse file format.   See the Traverses topic for information on ESRI traverse file format.



Manifold Coordinates Format

Manifold coordinates format closely matches what is displayed in the list and preserves all data.  


The first line contains a single character specifying the type of object: P for point, L for line, or A for area.  Lines following the first line contain coordinates, with each line beginning with a C, CC, CE, CS, or E code indicating the nature of the coordinate:


C <x> <y> [<z>] - coordinate.

CC <x> <y> [<z>] - circle arc coordinate.

CE <x> <y> [<z>] - ellipse arc coordinate.

CS <x> <y> [<z>] - spline coordinate.

E <x> <y> [<z>] - coordinate that ends a branch.


Coordinate values are separated by one or more whitespace characters.


Example: A text file saving coordinates for an area with four vertices might contain:



C 826590.1661996043 5425098.995517982

C 826608.2333529602 5425149.516990494

C 826635.595683797 5425139.733152165

C 826630.820077642 5425126.359355299

C 826617.5285304413 5425089.211733231

E 826590.1661996043 5425098.995517982


The area above has no Z value, so just X Y coordinates are listed.

The Coordinates Tab and Tables

Alt-clicking a record in a table launches the Values tab in the Info Pane.   The Info pane with tables does not show the Coordinates tab; however, if we want to see the coordinates of a Geom value, we can do so by right-clicking the geometry cell in the Values tab list and choosing View Coordinates.



We open a table that includes a Geom geometry value for each record.   We Alt-click one of the records to pick it.



The record appears as a picked record, with a triangle icon in the row handle.  



The record appears in the Values tab of the Info pane.   We right-click the geometry value for the Geom field.



Choose View Coordinates from the menu.



The Coordinates tab appears in the Info pane, with coordinates for the geometry field.   The Coordinates display is read only for tables.  To edit coordinates, open the table's drawing (creating a drawing if there is not already a drawing for the table, and then edit the coordinates list by picking the object in the drawing.


Coordinate systems - The Coordinates tab reports values in the coordinate system of the active layer.   That might be confusing if we expect to see latitude and longitude decimal values and the layer uses some other coordinate system, such as Pseudo-Mercator, for which the coordinate values will be reported as long numbers in a meter based coordinate system.    When drawing paths to make measurements, to see coordinates reported as latitude and longitude decimal values the active layer must use the Latitude / Longitude coordinate system.


If we want to measure in a map in a layer that does not use Latitude / Longitude coordinate system, we can simply create a new, blank drawing using the Latitude / Longitude coordinate system, and then drag and drop that drawing into the map as a layer.   With the focus on that layer tab, we can use the Draw Path tool and the Coordinate tab will report values as latitude and longitude decimal values.

See Also

Info Pane


Info Pane: Component


Info Pane: Values


Info Pane: Style


Info Pane: Related


Info Pane: Pixels


Info Pane: Position


Info Pane and Images


Getting Started


User Interface Basics


Project Pane


Layers Pane


Style Pane


Transform Pane
















Assign Initial Coordinate System


Repair Initial Coordinate System


Reproject Component




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 Info pane 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 Info 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 Info 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.


Example: Create Parcels from Traverse Files - Traverse files using ESRI traverse file format are widely used by surveyors and government organizations in the US to define parcels and lines by describing a sequence of directions, distances and curves from a starting point.  Manifold automatically handles both tangent and non-tangent curves in ESRI traverse file format as well as the full variety of options used to specify angles, distances and curves.  This video shows how it's easy to create a parcel from a traverse file.