Panes

Panes are a key part of Manifold's user interface.  Unlike dialogs, which grab the mouse and keyboard until exited, panes allow us to work in other windows while the pane operates on whatever is the active window.   Panes report important information and they allow us to issue commands and make changes to the active window.  

Docking and Undocking

For most operations we want more than one pane open at the same time, which we can easily do by either docking panes to the left or to the right of the our workspace, or by undocking panes and positioning them as we like if we have a larger Windows desktop as a result of using multiple monitors.

 

 

By default, panes are docked on the left side and the right side of the Manifold workspace.   That provides a very tall space for panes, useful when displaying a Project pane with many elements in the project or a Layers pane with many layers in a map.  Right-click the name tab of a pane for a context menu that allows docking to the left or right.    

 

 

Panes can also be docked up or down, above or below each other.   Many users prefer two rows of panes, allowing a total of four docked panes to be in sight with no need to choose a different pane in a tab strip   Right-click the name tab of a pane for a context menu to choose docking up or down.  

 

Shift-click a pane's tab and a pane's title bar to undock and dock the pane.   Ctrl-click a docked pane's tab to move it between docked up and docked down positions.

 

 

When more than one pane is docked in the same place, a tab strip allows us to choose which pane is displayed on top.

 

 

Clicking back and forth between the Project pane and Layers pane tabs chooses which pane is on top.

 

The Project pane and Layers Pane are docked by default on the left side of the Manifold workspace.   All other panes by default are docked on the right side of the Manifold workspace.   Whatever other arrangement we choose will be remembered for future Manifold sessions, until we change it.

Closing and Opening Panes

Most Manifold users will not close panes, but will just move them out of the way if not needed, perhaps in a stack behind other panes that are used more frequently.   But if we like, we can close and open panes.

 

 

 

Fast Navigation

We can move the focus to any pane and pop it to the top of a tab strip stack using keyboard shortcuts:

 

Ctrl-1

Project pane

Ctrl-2

Info pane

Ctrl-3

Layers pane

Ctrl-4

Select pane

Ctrl-5

Style pane

Ctrl-6

Transform pane

 

More Information

 

Project Pane

Lists all items in a project.  Our main interface for organizing a project.

Layers Pane

Lists all layers in a window and allows us to alter their order in the stack, to change their opacity, to turn them on and off, and to group them within folders.  The Layers pane also allows us to specify the background color of a window.  By selecting layers in the Layers pane we can manage more than one layer at a time.

Folders in the Layers Pane

Folders in the Layers pane allow us to turn collections of layers, fields, or layout frames on and off with a single click, and to rapidly select many items at once for operations.  Folders in the Layers pane are easy to use.  Learning to use folders is one of the first steps for beginners to begin working with the speed and efficiency more experienced users enjoy.

Layers Pane and Tables

The Layers pane also works with tables, allowing us to arrange the order of fields in tables, the width of columns, and to show and hide columns.    When used with tables, the layers pane applies to frames and folders.  

Layers Pane and Layouts

The Layers pane is a primary interface when working with layouts.   When used with layouts, the layers pane applies to frames and folders.

Info Pane

The Info pane provides information on the active component and on any data within that component that is picked, such as an object in a drawing, a record in a table, a tile in an image, a frame in a layout, or a label in a labels layer.  

 

The Info pane provides information using five main tabs, one of which, the Component tab, is always shown, with the other four tabs automatically appearing when data is picked with an Alt-click.  The Info pane is the primary interface for seeing and managing coordinate systems (projections) used by components.

 

The Info pane Values tab reports attributes (field values) for that object's record and allows us to edit those values.  The Coordinates tab allows us to edit the coordinates that make up an object's geometry.  The Info pane also provides style controls for per-record styles in drawings and for frames in layouts.

Info Pane: Component

The Component tab appears in the Info pane when the focus is on an opened window.   It displays information for the active layer or window such as the projection (coordinate system) for the component.   Clicking on a component shown in the Component tab will switch to that component in the Project pane.   

Info Pane: Values

The Values tab appears in the Info pane when data in a component is picked with an Alt-click.  It shows details on the item picked, such as attributes for an object picked in a drawing, or fields for a record picked in a table, or controls for a frame picked in a layout.

Info Pane: Coordinates

The Coordinates tab appears in the Info pane when an object in a drawing or a label in a labels layer is picked with an Alt-click.   It shows a list of coordinates that define the object or label, also called the geometry.  Coordinates that are not read-only may be edited.

Info Pane: Style

The Style tab appears in the Info pane when an object in a drawing, a label in a labels layer, or a frame in a layout is picked with an Alt-click.  It provides style controls to format the appearance of the picked item, such as changing the style of a frame in a layout, and including altering the individual style of objects in drawings when Style overrides are enabled.

Info Pane: Related

The Related tab appears in the Info pane when a record in a table is picked with an Alt-click.  It allows us to search for records in a secondary table that are related to the picked record, creating on-the-fly joins between the picked record and records in the other  table.

Info Pane: Pixels

The Pixels tab appears in the Info pane when a tile in an image is picked with an Alt-click.   It provides limited editing capabilities with raster images.

Info Pane: Position

The Position tab appears in the Info pane when a frame in a layout is picked with an Alt-click.  It allows us to specify the position and size of a frame within a layout.

Info Pane and Images

The Info pane works with raster images of all kinds, and provides a limited capability to edit individual pixels in images.

Select Pane

The Select pane allows making selections using pre-built templates or free form expressions.

Select Pane Expressions

The Expression tab in the Select pane allows us to make selections with the pane based on SQL expressions.  The system helps us with assistance similar to the Query Builder in the Command Window for SQL.

Style Pane

Controls formatting, including choices of colors and symbology.   It allows choice of fields to automatically control display characteristics, a process known as thematic formatting in GIS.

Transform Pane

A collection of tools, like the geoprocessing toolbox collection in ESRI, that alter data in tables, objects in vector drawings, and tiles/pixels in raster images.