Layouts: Info Pane

The Info pane works with layouts to enable rapid specification of frame format, sample style, text content, and frame position and size.   When working with layouts it is a good idea to keep the Info pane in sight, for example, undocked and moved to a position on our Windows desktop where it will always be easily at hand.

Style Tab

The Style tab sets formatting for the frame and style for text used in the frame.  When a frame type includes a sample, the Style tab also includes style controls for the sample.   The illustration below shows a Style tab for an area sample frame.   In the example, the text uses an icon option.

 

Style controls for area samples are the same style controls used in drawings.  See the Style: Drawings topic.    Style controls for text are the same style controls used with labels.  See the Style: Labels topic.

 

 

 

 

Frame Format

Background

Background color for the frame.   Transparent by default, so anything below the frame can be seen through the frame.

Border

Border color for the frame.  Transparent by default, so no border shows.

(border size)

Thickness of the border line in points.

Padding

Gap in points between any frame contents, such as text and samples, and the frame's edge.  

Sample width

The width of the sample, in percent of the height if a % sign is used (the default) or in points if no % percent sign is used. Must be 100% or greater.

Sample position

Position of the sample, aligned to the left edge of the frame (the default) or to the right edge.  Any text in the frame is also automatically switched left / right.

Sample shape

The outline shape of the sample for areas, and the orientation for lines and orientation and arrangement (one or two samples) for points.

 

Sample Style

Total Style

A button showing the combined effect of the other properties to create the overall Style for areas, for lines or for points.  Often simply called Style.  

Stroke Color

The primary color applied in point and line styles that use a single color.  Also applied to the borders of areas, to the borders of point styles that use two colors, as the hatch line color in area styles, and as the primary color in line styles that use two colors.

 

Important:  Setting Stroke color to transparent makes objects disappear completely.  To render a style without using Stroke color, use the Symbol button to drill into the Symbol menu and set the Stroke width parameter to a very small width, such as 0.1.  

Fill Color

The fill or secondary color.  Applied to the interior of area styles.  Also applied as the secondary color in area, line and point styles that use two colors.

Size

The size of points, the thickness of lines, and the sizing of hatch patterns for areas, by default expressed in printer's points.    May be fractions such as a size of 0.1 or 2.8.  Enables specification of the density of hatch patterns and other area style symbology.  The drop down menu provides a range of default choices.  Enter a specific value into the box to specify a Size other than one of the default choices.

 

By default, area sample frames use a Symbol style that sets the thickness of the area border as a percentage that uses the Size parameter.

Rotation

The rotation in degrees.  Rotates the hatch pattern of areas and rotates the entire symbol of points.  Lines do not use Rotation.  The drop down menu provides a range of default choices.  Enter a specific value into the box to specify a Rotation other than one of the default choices.

Symbol

Choose symbology for areas, lines or points.  The drop down menu provides a range of default symbols, with a toolbar that allows configuration of the drop down menu.  Press the More... button at the bottom of the drop down menu for the full Symbol dialog that provides more options.

 

By default, area sample frames use a Symbol style that sets the thickness of the area border as a percentage that uses the Size parameter.

 

Text Style

Total Style

A button showing the combined effect of the other properties to create the overall Style for text in the frame.  Often simply called Style.  

Stroke Color

The primary color applied in fonts, as well as in label options and point styles that use a single color.  

 

Important:  Setting Stroke color to transparent makes text disappear completely.  To render text  symbology without using Stroke color, use the Symbol button to drill into the Symbol menu and set the Stroke width parameter to a very small width, such as 0.1.  

Fill Color

The fill or secondary color.  Applied to the interior of text options, such as icons next to the text.  Also applied as the secondary color in point styles used in text symbology.

Size

The size of text.  May be fractions such as a size of 0.1 or 2.8.  The drop down menu provides a range of default choices.  Enter a specific value into the box to specify a Size other than one of the default choices.

Font

Choose the font.   The initial list provides fonts immediately available and used as standard fonts in most Windows editions.  Choose Custom to pick a font from any font installed in the system using the standard Windows dialog.  The font size setting from the Windows dialog is ignored in favor of using the Style pane's Size property button.

Symbol

Choose symbology for text in the frame.  The drop down menu provides a range of default symbols, with a toolbar that allows configuration of the drop down menu.  Press the More... button at the bottom of the drop down menu for the full Symbol dialog that provides more options.

Update Record

Apply to the frame any changes made in the Info pane.

 

 

See examples of use in the Layouts: Create Commands topic and the Layouts: Alignment Commands topic.

Position Tab

The position tab specifies the position of the frame on the layout page and the size of the frame.   We can specify the position using the lower left corner or the upper right corner of the frame.

 

 

Units

Choose from inches, millimeters or points.  The unit selected will be remembered for the next use.

Left / bottom

The location of the lower left corner of the frame, in the given units, measuring from the lower left corner of the layout sheet.

Size

The size of the frame, in the given units with X being the width and Y being the height.  

Right / top

The location of the upper right corner of the frame, in the given units, measuring from the lower left corner of the layout sheet.

Auto

Click an Auto button for that setting to be automatically calculated based on the other two settings.    For example, if the Auto button for Right / top is chosen, then the values for the location of the upper right corner will be automatically calculated based on what we enter for the position of the Left / bottom corner and the Size of the frame.

Update Record

Apply to the frame any changes made in the Info pane.

 

Tutorial Example

We will use an area sample frame as a tutorial example for position and size.   The same techniques work for any frame.

 

 

Our layout uses an A4 sheet of paper (approximately the same size as US Letter size) in landscape orientation.  Units are millimeters (mm).  Margins are 10 mm from the edge of the paper.

 

 

We position an area sample frame of default size near the lower left corner of the paper.  That is the origin for all position measurements.  For the illustration above, we chose View - Zoom to Native, so that the zoom setting for the layout shows the actual size of the layout and frame on the monitor.  

 

 

In the Info pane we click on the Position tab.   By default, the Position tab allows us to choose the position of the lower left corner of the frame and the size of the frame.  The upper right corner of the frame is automatically calculated.  For subsequent illustrations, we will show only that part of the Info pane with controls.

 

 

 

Adding notations in green color to the illustration, we can see how the position and size of the frame on the layout sheet correlates to the numbers used in the Position tab.   Because we chose View - Zoom to Native, we can measure distances on the computer monitor to verify the frame really is positioned as directed.

 

The lower left corner of the frame is located 20 millimeters above the lower edge of the layout sheet, and 30 millimeters to the right of the left edge of the layout sheet.    The frame is 50 millimeters wide and 10 millimeters high.    The margins are 10 millimeters from the edges of the layout sheet.     

 

The numbers reported in the Right / top boxes are calculated from the "live" numbers. For example, the upper right corner of the frame is located 30 millimeters (20 + 10) above the lower edge of the layout sheet and 80 millimeters (30 + 50) to the right of the left edge of the layout sheet.

 

 

We change the Left / bottom numbers to 40 and 30 and then we press the Update button.  The frame immediately moves upward and to the right.     The lower left corner of the frame is now 30 millimeters above the lower edge of the layout sheet and 40 millimeters to the right of the left edge of the layout sheet.    The numbers in the Right / top boxes automatically update to report the position of the upper right corner of the frame.

 

If we prefer to specify the position of the frame by giving the position of the upper right corner of the frame, that is easy to do.

 

 

We click the Auto button for the Left / bottom boxes, which sets those boxes to be automatically computed based on the numbers we enter in the Size and Right / top boxes.   If we want the upper right corner of the frame placed at 35 millimeters above the bottom edge of the layout sheet and 75 millimeters to the right of the left edge of the layout sheet, we can enter those numbers and press the Update button.  The frame immediately moves to the left and slightly down.   The new Left / bottom numbers are calculated from the Size and Right / top numbers.

 

 

We might want to specify the positions of the lower left corner and the upper right corner of the frame, and let the system automatically set the size of the frame.   To do that, we click the Auto button for the Size boxes.

 

 

We specify a location for the lower left corner of 20 millimeters from the lower edge and also from the left edge of the layout sheet.   We specify a location for the upper right corner of 40 millimeters above the lower edge of the layout sheet and 80 millimeters to the right of the left edge of the layout sheet.  We press the Update button and the frame resizes and repositions to those new values, with the Size automatically set to 60 millimeters wide and 20 millimeters high.

 

 

Clicking the Auto button for the Right / top boxes, we change the Size values to 50 millimeters wide and 15 millimeters high.  We press the Update button and the frame resizes, with the Right / top position automatically calculated and reported.

Example

We will use the Position tab to quickly adjust the bottom edge of a frame to match another frame.

 

 

We have a layout with a tall legend at left and a frame at right that shows the map for which the legend was created.   We would like to extend the lower edge of the map frame to be exactly even with the lower edge of the legend.   The map shows a region in North Africa where meteorites of various types were found.

 

 

We Alt-click the lowest frame in the legend to pick it as the active frame.

 

 

In the Position tab of the Info pane we click into the Y value in the Left / bottom boxes, and then we press Ctrl-A to highlight the entire value.  We press Ctrl-C to copy that value.

 

 

In the layout we Alt-click on the map frame to pick it as the active frame.

 

 

In the Position tab of the Info pane we click the Auto button under the Size boxes.  We want Size to be automatically computed from the values we enter for the left, bottom, right, and top edge locations.    We click into the Y value for the Left / bottom boxes and press Ctrl-A to highlight the entire value, and then we press Ctrl-V to paste the value we copied from the other frame, to get the illustration at right above.  The lower edge of the frame now has the same position value as the lower edge of the frame in the legend.  

 

Press the Update button.

 

 

The map frame immediately expands vertically so the bottom edge is exactly the at the same height (Y) position as the bottom edge of the lowest frame in the legend.

 

See Also

Selection

 

Project Pane

 

Layers Pane

 

Info Pane

 

Layouts

 

Legends

 

Layouts: Create Commands

 

Layouts: Alignment Commands

 

New Legend

 

Style: Drawings

 

Style: Labels

 

File - Page Setup

 

File - Print Preview

 

Example: Layout Properties - Editing properties which appear in the mfd_meta table for a layout changes the content of that layout.   We can exploit that effect to create standardized layouts which are then re-cycled for different content.