Style: Areas

The Style pane for drawings controls style characteristics.   Buttons allow us to change individual style characteristics, such as Stroke and Fill colors, Symbol, Size and Rotation, or we can use the total Style button to change several characteristics at once.   See the overview discussion in the Style: Drawings topic.    See the video for this topic at Manifold 9 - Style Pane Quickstart - Areas .

 

This topic provides details on using Style dialogs for areas, using an example drawing that shows provinces in Australia.   The example drawing has been simplified to exclude smaller offshore islands (retaining the larger island of Tasmania).  

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_01.png

 

The drawing has had Fill color for areas specified using a thematic format as seen in the Style pane illustration below.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_02.png

 

We do not want to change the thematic format, so instead of clicking the big total Style button for areas at the left of the dialog, we will click the Symbol button for areas.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_03.png

 

In the drop down menu we choose More...  to launch the Symbol dialog for areas.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_03a.png

 

The Symbol dialog for areas opens.  It organizes the many controls for area symbology style into six tabs, each of which provide additional controls.   The six tabs allow combinations of the following basic settings:

 

Symbol Tab

 

eg_area_style_tab_symbol01.png

eg_area_style_tab_symbol02.pngThe Symbol tab chooses basic symbology for the area, including choices of solid fill color, lines, crosshatch and checkerboard, as seen at left.

 

We can also use bitmap images as an area symbol, that is, as a fill bitmap, as seen at right.

Border Tab

 

eg_area_style_tab_border01.png

eg_area_style_tab_border02.pngThe Border tab allows us to show a border, seen in green at left, for the area.

 

We can control the appearance of the border using controls in the tab, for example, using a dashed border as seen at right.

Inner Tab

 

eg_area_style_tab_inner01.png

eg_area_style_tab_inner02.pngThe Inner tab controls the appearance of a swath to a specified distance inside of the area's border.

 

The use of small hatching patterns and thin lines, such as the 0.2 point lines at right, can provide a variety of inner margin effects.

Inner Border Tab

 

eg_area_style_tab_innerborder01.png

eg_area_style_tab_innerborder02.pngThe Inner Border tab allows us to draw a border at the specified distance used for an Inner swath.  

 

The Inner Border can be used with an Inner pattern or by itself, as seen at right using a thin, dashed line, to provide subtle effects that indicate the inside of an area.

Outer Tab

 

eg_area_style_tab_outer01.png

eg_area_style_tab_outer02.pngThe Inner tab controls the appearance of a swath to a specified distance outside of the area's border.

 

The use of small hatching patterns and thin lines, such as the thin, light blue vertical hatch lines at right, can help indicate the outer boundary of an area.

Outer Border Tab

 

eg_area_style_tab_outerborder01.png

eg_area_style_tab_outerborder02.pngThe Outer Border tab allows us to draw a border at the specified distance used for an Outer swath.  

 

The example at right uses a thick, 8 pt border line that is dashed using a 0.5,5 pattern, resulting in short dashes that look like vertical lines, separated by wider spaces.

 

The controls in the various tabs can be combined to create a seeming infinity of effects:

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_29.png

 

The illustration above shows a map with two layers.  The upper layer is our thematically formatted Australia drawing, consisting of seven areas for the various Australian provinces.  The areas in it use default Symbol tab fill, with an inner/outer offset of 4 points. have had their Border set to a thinner, 0.5 point width line.   The Inner tab effect has been checked, using a crosshatch pattern at 40% size and a very fine Stroke width, only 0.1 point.  No inner border is used.  

 

A lower layer is a copy of the upper layer, with the provinces unioned into one area.  That allows us to Style that lower layer with an Outer swath that uses the default, even fill, colored just slightly lighter than the map's background blue color.  That lighter color was achieved by using the eyedropper to pick the background color and then using the More setting in the color picker menu to make the blue color slightly lighter.  An Outer Border effect provides a 0.5 point thick dotted line using an even lighter blue.  Finally, the lower layer has a 1.5 point thick Border, that is a very dark, almost black gray.  That lower border extends just slightly beyond the outer borders of the regions in the layer above, which gives the entire continent of Australia a more defined outer border.

 

The various illustrations below show how to recreate the effect.  An experienced Manifold operator can do all the above in just a minute or two.   We will take a look at each tab in the main dialog:

Symbol Tab

Area styles in Manifold consist of a basic choice for Symbol, plus additional effects for borders.   Every area at least uses a "symbol," that is, the fundamental style for the area, so the Symbol tab opens by default when the dialog opens.  

 

"Symbology" for areas means how the bulk of the area is represented.   Areas can use either bitmap images or one of four Standard vector symbology patterns.   At the present time, areas only have four choices for Standard, vector symbology: plain fill, a hatch pattern using parallel lines, a hatch pattern using crossed lines, or a checkerboard.  Each such choice has a name, which appears on a tooltip when the mouse cursor is hovered over the choice.   Standard choices can be modified with colors, rotation and size to get various effects.  

 

The Filter box, which can filter large collections of choices to only those which match the name given in the Filter box, is not very useful since there are only four choices at the present time.  As more options get added in future builds, it is likely many choices will become available in the Standard pane.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_04.png

 

The Symbol tab includes one control that is used by other tabs:  the Inner / outer offset parameter sets the width for both the Inner and the Outer effect.   This setting appears in the Symbol tab, and the same value is used for both the Inner and Outer effect, to simplify the user interface.

Symbol Tab Controls

(Preview)

Shows a preview of the total style created by choosing options in the other controls.   

btn_background_color_picker.png

A color box in the upper right corner of the preview pane provides a drop down menu for choosing background color for the preview.  This is often set with the Color Picker tool from the drop down menu, picking a typical background color from the map currently in use.

Filter

Enter text into the Filter box to display only those choices with names that match the text in the box.  

btn_font_picker.png

Collection picker.  Choose either the Standard collection of vector symbology or Image to use a bitmap image for area symbology.

(Symbology)

Choose basic symbology for areas, with "symbology" being a choice of one of the Standard vector patterns or a bitmap image if a collection of Images is loaded.  More choices for Standard options are expected in future builds.

Stroke

The width of stroke lines used in hatch patterns such as the Line or Cross.  The default Solid symbology (no hatch pattern) and the Checkerboard pattern have no stroke value since those choices do not use lines.  

 

There are four ways of specifying Stroke width, as discussed in the section on specifying sizes in parameter boxes.

Inner / outer offset

The distance from the area's border into the area or out of the area to use for the Inner and Outer effects.  One value is used for both Inner and Outer effects.

 

There are four ways of specifying offset distance, as discussed in the section on specifying sizes in parameter boxes.

 

Controls will appear as needed.   For example, clicking the Line symbol choice will cause the Stroke control to appear.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_04.png

 

Choosing the Line symbol replaces the plain, default, Solid area fill with a pattern of parallel lines.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_05.png

 

The Stroke setting controls the thickness of the lines.  The Size setting back in the main Style pane controls the spacing of the grid, and the Rotation setting in the main Style pane controls the orientation of the grid.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_05a.png

For example, if we prefer an angled grid we can change the Rotation setting in the main Style pane to 30 degrees.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_05b.png

 

We can use a thematic format to alter the Rotation for each individual province.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_05c.png

 

We can use a variety of Rotation values in the thematic format, as seen above.  Note that with a grid of parallel lines that using a Rotation of 180 gives the same visual effect as 0, 90 is the same as 270 and so on.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_05d.png

 

The example above shows how we have chosen a vector symbol pattern in the area Symbol dialog's Symbol tab, and then we have used the main Style pane's controls to apply a thematic format.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_06.png

 

To continue this topic, we will choose the Solid symbol in the Symbol tab, with an Inner / outer offset of 8 points.  This will clear the hatch patterns.   In the main Style pane we will apply a Rotation of 0.    That brings us back to where we started with the map.

 

Specifying Size in Parameter Boxes

Dialog controls often provide a box that specifies a size of some kind, such as the width of a line, the size of symbol, the padding width of a halo, the offset distance of a shadow or other effect, the length of a dash element in a dashed line, or some other indication of size, width, length.   Manifold uses the same style of size specification in all these cases, providing four ways to specify the size.  Two of these ways are absolute, without reference to any other parameter.   The two other ways of specifying size are relative to some other, controlling size value.

 

There are four ways of specifying size:

 

eg_size_param_number.png

A number - Entering a number, such as 5, gives a size in points.

eg_size_param_number_unit.png

A number with a unit - Entering a number with an abbreviation for a unit, such as 10pt, specifies a size in that unit, for example, 10 points.   At the present time, only the pt abbreviation is recognized.  Plans for future builds included adding units such as millimeters and inches.

eg_size_param_percent_sign.png

% sign - A relative size specification, the specified percentage of whatever is the main size factor, for example the main Size factor in the Style pane for point size.  200% specifies a size twice the overall size.  50% specifies a size half the overall size. % specifications are popular with experienced users because they automatically scale the specified size if the overall Size is increased or decreased.

eg_size_param_at_sign.png

@ sign - A relative size specification, that adds to or subtracts from whatever is the main size factor.   5@ means five points larger than the main size factor.  -3@ means three points smaller than the main size factors.  

Examples

We use 1.5 for the Stroke size of a point symbol:  If the overall Size for the point is 36 points, or 24 points or any other value, the width of the stroke line used to draw the symbol would be 1.5 points.   Using a fixed specification like this is not a good idea if point sizes will vary, because the stroke line will appear disproportionately fat for smaller symbols and disproportionately thin for larger symbols.  

 

We use 5% for the Stroke size of a point symbol:  If the overall Size for the point is 36 points, the width of the stroke line used to draw the symbol would be 1.8 points.   If the overall size of the point is 24 points, , the width of the stroke line used to draw the symbol would be 1.2 points.   Using a % specification for Stroke width is a good idea if point sizes will vary, because then the thickness of the stroke line will be proportionate to the size of the symbol, retaining visual balance.

 

We use 10% for the Shadow offset size for a point symbol:  If the overall Size for the symbol is 36 points, the shadow would be offset 3.6 points.   If the overall Size for the symbol is 24 points, the shadow would be offset 2.4 points.   Using % for shadow offsets may not produce the desired effect, because shadows are perceived as indicating the distance of the object from some background.  Visually, they should be the same displacement for both larger and smaller objects if all objects are in about the same imagined distance from the background. Using a fixed value like 3pt might be a better idea.

 

We use 300%,200% as the Dashes specification for a border line:  If the border line size was 2 points the specification would result in a dash length of 6 points and a space length of 4 points.   If the border line size was 3 points the specification would result in a dash length of 9 points and a space length of 6 points,   

 

We use -3@ as the Insert size specification for an "insert" style point symbol:  If the size for the point symbol is 10 points, the -3@ specification results in an insert that is 7 points in size.  An insert for a point symbol with a size of 36 points given an Insert size of -5@ would be 31 points in size.  Negative numbers resulting from use of negative @ specifications are converted to a value of zero.

 

Border Tab

The Border tab's controls allow us to control the border line of an area independently of which area style is chosen in the Symbol tab.   The Use border box is checked by default, so that by default areas are surrounded by a border line.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_07.png

 

The Border tab uses controls very similar to those used for lines.   Controls will adjust slightly depending if we choose a style with repeating shapes.   

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_07a.png

 

For example, in the illustration above we have chosen the Triangles repeating shape pattern.  This draws a border line with repeating triangle shapes using the pattern given in the Shapes specification.

 

See the Style: Lines topic for a more detailed discussion of style available for lines.

Border Tab Controls

(Preview)

Shows a preview of the total style created by choosing options in the other controls.   

btn_background_color_picker.png

A color box in the upper right corner of the preview pane provides a drop down menu for choosing background color for the preview.  This is often set with the Color Picker tool from the drop down menu, picking a typical background color from the map currently in use.

Use border

Check to add a border line surrounding areas.  Checked by default.   Controls in the tab will not be enabled if this box has not been checked.

(size box)

The size of the border line.  There are four ways of specifying size, as discussed in the section on specifying sizes in parameter boxes.

(color boxes)

Specify the Stroke color and Fill color desired for the border line.  The color boxes are loaded by default with the Stroke color and Fill color from the main Style pane.  Choosing  transparent color for the Stroke color will make the entire border line disappear.  This is similar to how point styles work, where choosing a Stroke color of transparent makes the entire point object disappear.

Filter

Enter text into the Filter box to display only those symbology choices with names that match the text in the box.  

(Symbols)

Choose basic symbology for border lines, with "symbology" being a choice of a solid line style (which also is used for dashed lines) or a style that repeats shapes.

Dashes

A text specification of how dashes and spaces should be arranged. A solid line is used if no text specification is provided.  The basic pattern is <dash length>,<space length> so that a text specification of 10,5 means to create a line consisting of dashes that are 10 points in length followed by spaces that are 5 points in length.  Values can be decimal fractions, such as 1.5 or 0.5.

 

We can use additional pairs of numbers to create more intricate dash and space patterns.   For example, we can use four numbers in a pattern like <dash1 length>,<space1 length>,<dash2 length>,<space2 length>.    A text specification of 10,5,3,5 means to create a line that consists of a 10 point dash followed by a 5 point space followed by a 3 point dash followed by a 5 point space, repeating that pattern throughout the line.

 

The illustration at left, below, shows the 10,5 pattern and the illustration at right, below, shows the 10,5,3,5 pattern applied to an area border line.

 

eg_dash_pattern01.png  eg_dash_pattern02.png

 

There are four ways of specifying the lengths of dashes and spaces, as discussed in the section on specifying sizes in parameter boxes.

Shapes

Appears when a repeating shape symbol is selected for the border line.   Allows a text specification of how shapes and the spaces between shapes should be arranged.   Consider the following if we choose a repeating shape symbol using the Rectangle repeating symbology:

 

The basic pattern is <shape size>,<space length> so that a text specification of 10,5 means to create a line consisting of squares that are 10 points in size followed by spaces that are 5 points in length.  Values can be decimal fractions, such as 1.5 or 0.5.

 

The illustration at left, below, shows a 10,5 pattern using a line as an example.   The square shapes are 10 points in size, and they are separated by 5 points of space between each shape.   The illustration at right, below, shows a 10,5,4,20 pattern: a shape 10 points in size is followed by a gap of 5 points.  Next comes a shape 4 points in size followed by a gap of 20 points. That pattern repeats for the length of the line object.

eg_shapes_pattern_01.pngeg_shapes_pattern_02.png

There are four ways of specifying the sizes of shapes or the space between them, as discussed in the section on specifying sizes in parameter boxes. We can mix the different ways of specifying lengths within the same specification string.

 

If the repeat pattern is empty, the style assumes 300%,300%, which is a sequence of 300% shapes with 300% spaces.

 

Important: Negative values for the size of the shape mean to flip the shape 180 degrees.  That is important in vertically asymmetric shapes such as the Triangle and Pentagon shapes, to point them in the reverse direction, if desired.  Triangles point into the area by default, but can be swapped to point outward using a negative Shapes specification. 

Cap Style

Specifies how the ends of dashes are finished.  Differences between styles become more apparent as the thickness of border lines increases.  The illustrations show cap styles using lines and halos, since they can be difficult to see in thinner dashed border lines. The yellow dashed lines give a good impression of the result with a border line.

 

Flat - End the dash abruptly at a perpendicular edge exactly at the distance.

eg_cap_style_flat.png

 

Round - Round off the end at a radius equal to half the width.

eg_cap_style_round.png

 

Square - Square off the end with a square gap equal to half the width.

eg_cap_style_square.png

 

Triangle - Form a triangular point.

eg_cap_style_triangle.png

 

Flat is the most frequent choice.  Square is rarely used, since it is visually indistinguishable from Flat in most settings.

 

Base Line

Appears when a repeating shape symbol is selected for a line.   Allows drawing a line of the size specified for the line, or for the Left or Right accessory line.

eg_shapes_pattern_02.pngeg_shapes_pattern_03.png

The illustration at left above uses no base line.  The illustration at right uses a solid base line.  The size of the line is 1 point, the default for lines.   The Stroke value for drawing the borders of the boxes is also 1 point.

eg_shapes_pattern_04.pngeg_shapes_pattern_05.png

In the illustration above, left,  the size of the line has been increased to 2 points, so the base line increases in width to 2 points.  The Stroke width is still 1 point.  The illustration at above, right, has increased the Stroke value to 2 points, so the Stroke lines used to draw the squares have become thicker, at 2 points.

Stroke

Appears when a repeating shape symbol is selected for the line.  The Stroke parameter specifies the width of stroke lines used in repeating shapes.  The default Plain symbol has no stroke parameter.

There are four ways of specifying stroke width, as discussed in the section on specifying sizes in parameter boxes.

Halo

Check the Halo box to create a halo, that is, an aura of color, surrounding the line to the width given by the padding.  Halos are often used with dashed lines to fill in the spaces between dashes with halo color.  Use a very thin Padding, such as 0.1 or 1% to avoid "fattening" the border line with unwanted halo color width.  Halos are drawn around the shapes and base line when repeating shape symbols are used.

 

Padding - The width outwards that the halo extends.   There are four ways of specifying padding width, as discussed in the section on specifying sizes in parameter boxes.

 

(color box) - Set the color desired for the halo.  Loaded with the Fill color from the Style pane by default.

 

eg_shapes_pattern_06.pngeg_shapes_pattern_07.png

The illustration above, left, shows a Plain line using a Dashes pattern of 5,5 to create a dashed line that has a dash of 5 points followed by a space of 5 points.  The illustration above, right, adds a Halo in white color using a Padding of 1 points.

eg_shapes_pattern_08.pngeg_shapes_pattern_09.png

The illustration at left uses a Padding of 4 points.  The Illustration at right uses a Padding of 0.01 points, that is, effectively zero padding.

eg_shapes_pattern_10.pngeg_shapes_pattern_11.png

At left above we see a repeating rectangle shape using a 10,5,4,20 pattern and a base line of 2 points.  At right we have added a white halo with 1 point padding.

btn_style_prop_nofield.png

Buttons without any extra sub-icons show defaults inherited from the main Stroke and Fill color properties in the Style pane.

btn_style_prop_override.png

Buttons that show a small "box" sub-icon indicate that the default color has been replaced by a user-specified choice.

 

 

The example below shows use of Halo with white halo color to "fill in" the spaces in a dashed border line with white color.  The padding used is a very small value so the halo width does not extend beyond the edges of the dashed border line.  A round Dash cap is used.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_08.png

 

Pressing OK in the above results in the display below:

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_09.png

 

The illustration above uses a thick border to better illustrate how the various settings work.  In real life, we would use a thinner border line for most applications.   Using a too-thick border line appears clumsy.

Inner Tab

The Inner tab's controls allow us to apply a visual effect that extends inward from the area's border.    It is similar to the Outer tab's effects, which extend outward from the area's border.    The distance inward for the Inner effect is set at the same time as the distance outward for the Outer effect.   

 

The same value is used for both, and it is set in the Inner / outer offset box in the Symbol tab:

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_10.png

 

There are four ways of specifying offset distance for the Inner and Outer effects, as discussed in the section on specifying sizes in parameter boxes.

 

For the purpose of this example, in the Symbol tab we will use a value of 8 points for the Inner / outer offset.   Having set that value, we can switch to the Inner tab.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_11.png

Inner Tab Controls

(Preview)

Shows a preview of the Inner effect.   

btn_background_color_picker.png

A color box in the upper right corner of the preview pane provides a drop down menu for choosing background color for the preview.  This is often set with the Color Picker tool from the drop down menu, picking a typical fill color for the area.

Use inner

Check to add the inner pattern or image.  Controls in the tab will not be enabled if this box has not been checked.

(size box)

The size parameter to apply to the inner pattern or image, analogous to how the main Size button applies to the area pattern in the Style pane.  There are four ways of specifying size, as discussed in the section on specifying sizes in parameter boxes.

(color boxes)

Specify the Stroke color and Fill color desired for the Inner vector pattern.  Ignored for images.   The color boxes are loaded by default with the Stroke color and Fill color from the main Style pane.  We can choose transparent color for the Stroke color to make the inner pattern stroke disappear, while leaving the Fill color.  This is slightly different from symbols used for point object styles, where choosing a Stroke color of transparent makes the entire point object disappear.  Important:  choosing transparent color allows whatever is the default area color to shine through any image chosen for the area Symbol in the Symbol tab.

Filter

Enter text into the Filter box to display only those choices with names that match the text in the box.  

btn_font_picker.png

Collection picker.  Choose either the Standard collection of vector symbology or Image to use a bitmap image for Inner symbology.

(Symbology)

Choose basic symbology for the inner pattern or image, with "symbology" being a choice of one of the Standard vector patterns or a bitmap image if a collection of Images is loaded.  More choices for Standard options are expected in future builds.

Stroke

The width of stroke lines used in hatch patterns such as the Line or Cross.  The default Solid symbology (no hatch pattern) and the Checkerboard pattern have no stroke value since those choices do not use lines.  

 

There are four ways of specifying Stroke width, as discussed in the section on specifying sizes in parameter boxes.

Inner / outer offset

Set in the Symbol tab:  The distance from the area's border into the area or out of the area to use for the Inner and Outer effects.  One value is used for both Inner and Outer effects.

 

There are four ways of specifying offset distance, as discussed in the section on specifying sizes in parameter boxes.

btn_style_prop_nofield.png

Buttons without any extra sub-icons show defaults inherited from the main Stroke and Fill color properties in the Style pane.

btn_style_prop_override.png

Buttons that show a small "box" sub-icon indicate that the default color has been replaced by a user-specified choice.

 

Controls will appear as needed.   For example, the Standard symbol collection provides a Stroke control while choosing an image uses no Stroke control.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_12.png

 

The illustration above shows the result of the Inner settings illustrated in the dialog.   The Cross symbol pattern is used to create an Inner effect that extends 8 points inward into each area from the area's border.   The cross hatch pattern is a relatively close, tight pattern, because the size of the pattern is 40%.  Given the overall area Size of 8 points, .4 * 8  = 3.2 so the effect is as if we had specified a Size of 3.2 points in the Inner tab's size parameter.   The Inner pattern appears more gray than black for the stroke color of the pattern because of the very thin line caused by a Stroke width of 0.3 points.

 

Using percentages to specify size can require a bit of mental arithmetic, but doing so has the advantage that when we change one, overall setting, such as the Size parameter for areas in the main Style pane, all dependent values for various effects change proportionately as well.

Inner Border Tab

We can draw a secondary border line just within the boundary of the offset region for the Inner effect.   The distance from the area's border and the Inner Border is set by the same offset value specified by the Inner / outer offset box in the Symbol tab:

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_10.png

 

If we choose a value of 8 points the Inner Border will be drawn at a distance of eight points into the area from the area's border.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_13.png

 

Controls for the Inner Border are the same as for the Border tab.   For visual examples and a full discussion of effects that can be applied to lines, including Border, Inner Border, and Outer Border lines with areas, see the Style: Lines topic.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_14.png

 

Applying an Inner Border with the settings shown in the dialog creates the effect illustrated above.   A dashed line appears at the inner edge of the Inner pattern.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_15.png

 

We do not have to use the Inner effect to create an Inner Border.   In the illustration above, in the Inner tab we have un-checked the Inner box so the Inner effect will not appear.  

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_16.png

 

The result is that just the Inner Border appears.  The illustration shows a more prominent Inner Border.  Using a thinner line with a good choice of dash pattern can provide a clean effect that emphasizes the inner part of an area.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_16a.png

 

We can use the Inner Border effect to draw a styled line parallel to the area's border, similar to how the Left and the Right effects are used in line styles.    The illustration above shows use of style overrides to style just one area in the map of Australia, using an Inner Border effect where the inner border line is composed of repeating shapes and offset/placed next to the area's border line.  Repeating triangles are not the best choice of symbology for lines that are very curvy, like the coastline of Australia, but they illustrate the idea that very complex symbology can be used.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_16b.png

 

The dialog above shows the settings used in the Inner Border tab.  The Inner / outer offset value in this case, set in the Symbol tab, is 1.5 points.   

 

For an example using the Inner effect with a bitmap image, see the Example: Inner and Outer Effects using a Bitmap topic.

 

Outer Tab

The Outer tab's controls allow us to apply a visual effect that extends outward from the area's border.    It is similar to the Inner tab's effects, which extend inward from the area's border.    The distance outward for the Outer effect is set at the same time as the distance inward for the Inner effect.   

 

The same value is used for both, and it is set in the Inner / outer offset box in the Symbol tab:

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_10.png

 

There are four ways of specifying offset distance for the Inner and Outer effects: 5 or 5pt means a distance of five points.   10% means ten percent of the area Size parameter in the Style pane, so that using 10% if the Size was 36 points would result in a distance of 3.6 points, and a Size of 72 points would result in a distance of 7.2 points.  5@ is a relative value meaning 5 points more than the Size parameter, with -5@ meaning 5 points less than the Size parameter.  A Size of 36 points given an offset of -5@ would result in a distance of 31 points. Negative relative offset values resulting in distance values less than zero mean zero distance.   

 

For the purpose of this example, in the Symbol tab we will use a value of 8 points for the Inner / outer offset.   Having set that value, we can switch to the Outer tab.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_17.png

 

The Outer tab uses controls just like those of the Inner tab (see above).     

 

For an example using the Outer effect with a bitmap image, see the Example: Inner and Outer Effects using a Bitmap topic.

Not for Adjacent Areas

The Outer tab can create unexpected visual effects when used with adjacent areas.   Areas are not drawn in predictable order, so when an area with an Outer effect is drawn after an adjacent area, the area drawn later will cover effects, including the Outer effect, from areas drawn earlier.  

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_18.png

 

In the illustration above, the blue area was drawn after the adjacent beige and green areas, so the Outer effect for the blue area is displayed covering parts of the beige and green areas.   The light violet area was drawn last, so the Outer effect for that area is drawn above and overlaps all other areas and effects.

 

The Outer effect is best used with areas that have no adjacent areas or overlaps.     We can use the Outer effect in our map of Australia by using the Transform pane to Union all of the Australia areas into one area, and saving that one area into a new drawing and drawing's table called All Australia.  

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_19.png

 

We add the All Australia layer to the map as the bottom layer, and then we create an Outer effect for that lower layer.

 

Outer Border Tab

We can draw a secondary border line just outside the boundary of the offset region for the Outer effect.   The distance from the area's border and the Outer Border is set by the same offset value specified by the Inner / outer offset box in the Symbol tab:

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_10.png

 

If we choose a value of 8 points the Outer Border will be drawn at a distance of eight points outside the area from the area's border.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_20.png

 

Controls for the Outer Border are the same as for the Border tab.  For visual examples and a full discussion of effects that can be applied to lines, including Border, Inner Border, and Outer Border lines with areas, see the Style: Lines topic.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_21.png

 

Applying an Outer Border to the All Australia layer with the settings shown in the dialog creates the effect illustrated above.   A dashed line appears at the outer edge of the Outer pattern.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_22.png

 

We do not have to use the Outer effect to create an Outer Border.   In the illustration above, in the Outer tab we have un-checked the Outer box so the Outer effect will not appear.  

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_23.png

 

The result is that just the Outer Border appears.  We have used a thinner line with a color just slightly lighter than the blue background.  

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_24.png

 

If we like, in the Outer tab we can use a Solid symbol for the Outer effect, and choose a color that is midway in lightness between the darker blue of the background and the lighter blue of the dotted Outer Border line.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_25.png

 

The result is an appealing outer region of color that sets off Australia.    We can improve the display by adding an Inner effect to areas in the Australia layer.  We click on the Australia layer tab to move the focus there, and then we drill down into the Symbol button for areas.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_26.png

 

In the Symbol tab we set an Inner / outer offset value of 3 points, for a thinner Inner region.    In the Inner tab we use the settings above, which provide a very thin Stroke width of 0.1 point and a fine Check pattern size of 40%.  

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_26a.png

 

We also want to de-emphasize the regular border line for areas, so in the Border tab we change the width of the border to 0.5 points.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_27.png

 

The result is a pleasing rendering that clearly shows the inner parts of areas, with an outer surround for the entire continent.  

 

Since we have a second layer that is all of Australia, we can use that layer to provide a thicker border line for the content, which will provide a slight 3D effect.   Click on the All Australia tab to move the focus to that layer.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_28.png

 

In the Border tab we increase the width of the border line for areas to 1.5 points.  

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_29.png

 

Using a border thickness of 1.5 means that about half a point of black border shows around the edges of the areas in the upper layer.   This provides better delineation of the outer border of the continent.   It is a subtle effect, but good cartography is often the sum of many small, subtle effects.  

Notes

Nomenclature - The word format is traditionally used in GIS to mean display characteristics.  A more contemporary word is style, hence the name of the dialog in Manifold.   In this documentation we normally use the words style and format as interchangeable synonyms, albeit with style used more often to refer to patterns, such as icons for points or hatch patterns for areas, with format being a broader term to refer to any display characteristic.

 

Strange border results with adjacent areas - When dashed line styles are used for area border lines, adjacent areas can have strange conflicts depending on the sequence in which areas are drawn.  

 

Using Bitmap Images - We can use a bitmap image for symbology wherever an area style allows use of a Standard vector symbol.    We can use any bitmap image in an image format that Manifold can read (all popular formats), so long as the image is less than 4 megabytes in size and less than 1024 x 1024 pixels in extent.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_04a.png

 

btn_font_picker.png

We click the collection picker button and choose Image to open a dialog that allows us to browse to a folder with bitmap images.   We choose the ones we want (use Ctrl-A to choose all of them) and press Open and they will be loaded into the new Images pane.  Images we choose that are bigger than allowed will be ignored.   We can then click the bitmap image we want to use.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_04b.png

 

In the illustration above we have loaded the Images pane with a collection of textures from the Stone folder in the textures collection that may be downloaded from the Manifold site.    Choose a bitmap, press OK and it will be used to "tile" the area.   In most cases we will have to increase the Size parameter in the Style pane to get a nice effect.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_30.png

 

The illustration above uses one of the water textures for the Outer effect with a size factor of 900% in the lower layer, and one of the metal textures for the main area Symbol in the upper layer, using a Size parameter for the areas of 24 points.    It is easy to use bitmaps to create spectacularly ugly and tasteless maps, so we should use bitmaps with restraint.    Less is more.  

 

For an step-by-step example to recreate the above, see the Example: Inner and Outer Effects using a Bitmap topic.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_31.png

 

We can combine vector effects with images.  For example, the illustration above uses a thin, light blue Halo in the Border tab and also an Outer Border effect as seen in the dialog below.

 

eg_area_style_dialog01_32.png

 

The use of an eight point thick Outer Border line that is rendered as a very short dash, just one half point, gives the appearance of a pattern of thin, perpendicular lines surrounding the Outer effect bitmap image fill.  The use of even shorter dashes, as in a .3,2 specification, would give an even finer, less obvious effect.  Sometimes the best effects are those which can just barely be seen.

 

Videos

Manifold 9 - Style Pane Quickstart - Points - A fast and easy introduction to the new Style and formatting capabilities for Pionts in Manifold Release 9 and Viewer.  Learn how to rapidly change colors, symbology, sizes and rotations including the use of vector symbols, fonts and even bitmap images. The new system is "always on" and immediately shows changes in the main workspace for rapid, easy choice of exactly the visual effect we want.  This video gets right to the basics used every day.

 

Manifold 9 - Style Pane Quickstart - Lines - Learn how to use the spectacular new style capabilities for lines in Manifold Release 9 and Manifold Viewer to create an endless variety lines quickly and easily.  See how to add arrowheads or other symbols to the ends of lines, how to customize lines with repeating symbols, how to start lines with custom symbols and how to add accessory left and right lines for exactly the right effect.

 

Manifold 9 - Style Pane Quickstart - Areas - New area style capabilities in Release 9 and Viewer make it easy to rapidly create spectacular visuals that get the story across with clarity and compelling effect.  Learn how to use point and click controls to fill areas, control borders, draw "inner area" effects and "outer area" effects for a seeming infinite range of options, all available with a rapid click of the mouse.  Use bitmap images for area effects too!

 

Manifold 9 - Style Pane Quickstart - Labels - Recent builds of Release 9 have added extensive new style facilities for labels, making it easy to choose a wide variety of effects, including sidecar icons, box frames, drop shadows and many others. This video shows how fast and easy point-and-click dialogs make it easy to create exactly the label look you want.  Works for the free Manifold Viewer, too!

 

Manifold 9 - Bitmap Styles - A quick, first look at very extensive additions to Style, enabling use of bitmaps for styles, inner and outer area hatches, left and right line style additions and many other new features.

 

See Also

Maps

 

Drawings

 

Labels

 

Style: Drawings

 

Style: Thematic Formatting

 

Style: Overrides

 

Style: Labels

 

Style: Lines

 

Style: Points

 

Style: Bitmap Symbols

 

Style: Label Placement

 

Style: Label Icon Placement

 

Example: Change Point Style - Using new Style pane controls to change point style, either very rapidly one property at a time, or using the total Style button to compose a new style with changes to several properties at once.

 

Example: Style Pane Quickstart - A tutorial introduction to using the Style pane to apply color, symbology, size and rotation to areas, lines and points in drawings.

 

Example: Complex Point Style using a Circle Box - This example creates a complex point style, which uses a variety of different colors within the different effects tabs in the Point Style dialog.

 

Example: Point Style using Move and Rotate -  The Move parameter for symbols allows us to move symbols in an angular direction even as we rotate them.   This example shows how to create point symbols that are clock faces with hands, using Move and Rotate.

 

Example: Line Style with Multiple Effects -  We can use effects from all of the Line Style dialog tabs to create a more complex line style.  This example shows how to create a line style with an arrowhead symbol at the end of the line, a symbol at the beginning of the line and accessory lines in different colors to the left and right of the main line.

 

Example: Fill Areas with Bitmap Images - We can use bitmap images as "fill" symbology for areas, including for the fill of the area itself, or as fill for Inner or Outer effects.  In this example we use Style Overrides to fill different areas in a map of provinces with a different bitmap image pattern.

 

Example: Use Repeating Images to Fill Areas - Areas are often filled with bitmap images that form a seamless pattern when tiled.  If we like, we can use any bitmap image that can be used as a symbol, which will repeat within the area.

 

Example: Inner and Outer Effects using a Bitmap - The Inner and Outer effects with area styles can use bitmap images for fills.   We first illustrate an Outer effect using a bitmap, and then add an Inner effect.