Style: Drawings

 

Style: Drawings

Using the Style panel in the Contents pane we can set the display characteristics of areas, lines and points in a drawing.   See the Style: Labels topic for additional info when styling labels.

 

Style settings applied to drawings are also known as formatting, the specification of color and fill color (also known as background color) for objects as well as the styles and sizes of areas, lines and points, including the rotation angle of symbols used to show points.  Individual style settings are also known as style properties.   

 

By default, settings in the Style panel, such as fill color, apply to all objects in the drawing.  There are two ways to vary the formatting for individual objects:

 

 

 

By varying the settings of a few, basic style properties we can create a seemingly infinite variety of appearances.  The four drawings below use the same map with the same drawings but with different Style settings for the drawings.   The overall background color is set in Contents - Layers.

 

il_spatial_overlay01_05.png il_format_eg01_01.png

il_format_eg01_03.pngil_format_eg01_02.png

 

 

To change the format of a drawing:

 

  1. Open the drawing or click onto the drawing's tab in an open map window.

  2. Open the Style panel in the Contents pane.

  3. Click on the button for the Style property to be changed.

  4. Choose the color desired, or the symbology if a style, or the number desired if a size or rotation.

  5. The change will automatically be applied to the drawing.

 

To change the thematic format of a drawing:

 

  1. Open the drawing or click onto the drawing's tab in an open map window.

  2. Open the Style panel in the Contents pane.

  3. Click on the button for the Style property to be changed.

  4. In the pull-down menu for fields, choose the field to control thematic formatting.

  5. Choose the Method for grouping records.

  6. Choose the number of Breaks, that is the number of intervals for formatting.

  7. Press Tally to generate a list of intervals in the pane below.

  8. For each interval row, double-click into the sample (color, symbol, or number) and enter the desired value for that interval, OR...

  9. To apply a palette if thematically formatting colors, press the Palette button and choose a palette.

  10. Press Update Style to apply the thematic format to the drawing.

 

Style Panel For Drawings

The Style panel for drawings specifies the display characteristics of areas, lines and points for whatever is the active drawing.   Many GIS products are limited to allowing only a single type of object in a drawing, such as only areas or only lines or only points, but Manifold drawings can have a mix of areas, lines and points in the same drawing so the Manifold Style panel provides controls to specify the formatting of all three types of objects in the same drawing at once.

 

dlg_contents_style_panel2.png

Areas, lines and points each have a Color, Fill Color, Style and Size property.   Points have a Rotation property as well.   The specified property applies to all objects of that type in that drawing layer.    For example, in the illustration above all areas in the layer will have the default gray Fill Color and all points will have the default Size of five points.

 

 

 

Controls

(Tabs)

The Drawing tab shows the style property controls listed below.  The Options tab provides controls for style overrides.

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.

Fill Color

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

Style

Choose symbology for areas, lines or points.   Styles using one color use the Color specified.  Styles which use two colors will use both the Color and the Fill color.  Area styles also allow choosing a character or symbol from any font that has been installed on the computer.

Size

The size of point objects, the thickness of lines, and the sizing of hatch patterns for areas, all expressed in printer's points, a unit of font size.    May be fractions such as a size of 1.5 or 2.8.  Enables specification of the density of hatch patterns and other area style symbology.

 

The default size of 0 for border lines means "one physical pixel" to provide  scaling with the resolution of the device.

Rotation

The rotation of the selected point style in degrees.

 

eg_contents_style01_05.png eg_contents_style01_06.png

 

In the illustrations above we have changed the Size of points to 20 and the Fill Color to blue.

 

eg_contents_style01_05a.png eg_contents_style01_06a.png

 

The Size property for areas controls the spacing of patterns, such as the grid pattern seen above, used for areas.   The thematic format illustrated varies the Size for areas from 2 to more than 10, resulting in grid patterns that are more tightly spaced or more widely spaced.

Style Buttons

Buttons have two sides to them, with a faint vertical dividing line in between.  The left side of the button shows a sample of a style property, such as a color, a style symbol, or a size or rotation number.   The right side of the button shows a field icon if the style property is controlled by a field.

dlg_contents_style_button01.png

dlg_contents_style_button06.png

A button for a style property that is not controlled by a field will have no field icon. A button for colors will just show the color that applies.  If we change the color the button will show the new color and the new color will immediately be applied in the drawing.

dlg_contents_style_button04.png

dlg_contents_style_button05.png

If we have specified that a field should control the style property, a small field icon will appear.  When the button is not being used the field icon will be fainter to avoid cluttering up the display, but clear enough so we know that particular style property is controlled by a field.   When the button is in use the button border will get darker and the field icon brighter to indicate the button is being used.

Shortcut: Click on Either Side of a Button

Both sides of the button work OK.  Experienced users can save some mouse moves by clicking on the left or the right side of the button depending on whether they want to use a field or not.  The two zones are a convenience for experienced users, allowing them to slightly reduce the number of mouse motions.   This is especially convenient if we want to change a style property from being controlled by a field to a fixed color or number, or from using a fixed color or number to being controlled by a field, but it is not a big deal or something to worry about for beginners, as we can get to where we want no matter which side we click.

dlg_contents_style_button03.png

To specify a field that will control the style property, click onto the right side of the button.  That will allow us to specify the controlling field and choose other parameters such as the number and type of intervals and so on.

dlg_contents_style_button02.png

To specify the color or other style property directly without using a field, click onto the left side of the button.   That will call up a menu that immediately allows specifying the desired color or number.   

 

Have we mentioned that both sides of the button work OK?  No need to panic if we wanted to specify a field to control the style property but we clicked the left side of the button.  In that case we simply click outside the resulting menu and proceed to specify the field as desired.  Likewise, if we clicked the right side when we just wanted to specify the color, no big deal.  We ignore the field setting and we click the big color well to specify the color desired.

Thematic Formatting

Thematic formatting is a GIS term that means "changing the format based upon the value of a field."  A classic example is making city points bigger or smaller based upon the population of the city as shown in the Example: Format the Size of City Points by Population  topic.    

dlg_contents_style_panel3.png

 

Whenever we click a style property button we can choose a field that will control that style property.   The pull-down menu will be loaded with all of the fields in that drawing's table that can be used to control formatting.   If no field is chosen, then whatever the button shows will be applied to all objects of that type in the drawing layer.   If we choose a field, the panel will be populated with additional controls that allow us to choose how that field should control that style property.   To apply a thematic format once we are happy with all settings we must click the Update Style button.

 

We can Ctrl-click more than one style property to have the same thematic formatting intervals apply to more than one property at once.   For example, in the illustration below we have ctrl-clicked on the Color, Style and Size buttons for points to control all three style properties simultaneously using the same field and interval settings.

 

dlg_contents_style_panel.png

Controls for Thematic Formatting

The following controls appear when a field is chosen to control a given Style property.

 

<Click a button>

Click on a button to open the Field choice or to display an already-defined thematic format.

<Ctrl-click a button>

Ctrl-click on a button to add it to the thematic format being constructed.  An additional column will appear for that style property in the intervals list.

<Click a sample well>

Click on a button's sample well, that is, on the left side of the button, and apply a color or number to clear any thematic format in use for that style property and instead to apply a fixed color or number.

Field

The field that is the source of the values to be used in the thematic format. Choose a field from the pull down menu to open the other controls for thematic formatting.

Method

The method used to classify records into different intervals based upon the value in the Field for each record.

Range

The range over which intervals will be computed. An arbitrary range may be specified to allow choice of methods such as equal intervals in anticipation of records to be added that fall outside the range of values within existing records.

Breaks

The number of intervals to compute.

Tally

Compute the number of intervals and values to use for the bounds based on the Method and the number of Breaks.

(intervals list)

A list of intervals, with the color or other Style property value to use for each.   These may manually be edited, deleted or added to.

Fill

How values found in the records should be assigned, that is, filled into, the intervals in which they occur.  See the examples for Fill rules below.

btn_style_palette.png

Choose a palette to apply to color wells in the intervals.  Enabled only if a color style property is part of the thematic format.

Update Style

Apply any changes to the drawing.

 

il_contents_style01_01.pngil_contents_style01_02.png

 

In the illustration above, all style properties are default settings except for Color, Style, and Size for point objects.   We have ctrl-clicked those three buttons so that all three style attributes are controlled by the same thematic formatting arrangement.   We use the numbers in the mfd_id field (a goofy choice that is meaningless except as a source of a different number for each object) in 5 breaks, that is five intervals,  using a method that provides equal intervals.   Within each interval the value will be interpolated for each mfd_id value that falls within the interval.

 

btn_style_palette.png  We have clicked the palette button to apply a colorful palette (CB Spectral) to the Color property wells.   We have double-clicked into each of the Style property wells and have selected a different symbol from the font in use, a free symbolic font we have downloaded from the web and installed on our computer.  The symbol font uses just one color, so we do not utilize the Fill Color style property in the thematic format, and instead use only the Color property.  Finally, we chose a range of Size values.  The result is that the various objects are displayed in different colors and sizes and five different symbols.   

 

There are six objects, which have mfd_id values from 1 to 6 but there are only five intervals, so two of the objects fall into the last interval which covers objects with mfd_id values of 4 and 5.  Both have the same symbol, a crescent moon behind a cloud.  The object with an mfd_id value of 4 has been colored using the green color defined for that bound, but the object with an mfd_id value of 5 has been colored using an interpolated color between the green and blue colors shown in the color wells for the bounds of the interval within which it falls.

 

For a detailed example, see the Example: Style Panel Quickstart topic, which provides a step-by-step, tutorial introduction to using the Style panel to apply color, symbology, size and rotation to areas, lines and points in drawings.

Editing, Deleting and Adding Bounds and Intervals

We may edit the bounds which define intervals as follows:

 

 

For a step by step example of the above see the Example: Add, Delete and Edit Thematic Formatting Intervals topic.

Grouping Methods for Intervals

When varying formatting it can be confusing to use too many different formats in the same drawing.   For example, if we have 1000 cities each with a different population then attempting to use 1000 different values of Size for the city points would result in too little visual difference in most cases to provide the visual distinction desired.  We therefore normally group cities into five or six groupings based upon the controlling population field and then assign a Size to each such interval.   That will result in the use of only five or six different sizes of points in the drawing so it will be immediately clear which cities are larger and which are smaller.

 

equal intervals

Calculate bounds so each interval spans approximately the same part of the total range of values that occur in the field.   

 

For example, given a Range of 0 to 100 with Breaks equal to 6 the five intervals thus created would be 0 to 20, to 40, to 60 to 80 and finally to 100. Each range would interval would be about the same size, a difference of 20 in range.

equal count

Calculate bounds so each interval contains about the same number of records.  

 

For example, if many values of the given field were evenly scattered between 0 and 25 but only one record had a value of 100, creating five intervals with equal count could create intervals from 0 to 5, to 10, to 15 , to 20 and then a final interval to 100.    The final interval would be a range of 80 values but it would still contain a count of records equal to the other four intervals which each covered a range of only five values.

exponential intervals

Assign interval values so that each interval contains an exponentially increasing number of values.

natural breaks

Find groupings of values by the given field and assign bounds so groups of values tend to fall into the specified number of breaks.

standard intervals

Assign values of bounds so that each interval represents one standard deviation.

unique values

Given the number of breaks, find the most frequently occurring unique values within that number.   For example, if we have 5 breaks the five most frequently occurring values will appear as intervals.

 

The method we use to classify records into different intervals depends upon the contents of the data and upon our tastes and intent as to how we want to use the formatting characteristic used in the thematic formatting.    

 

Tech Tip: If we want to assign an individual value for a Style property such as Color to each record we can choose equal intervals as the Method with two breaks and then use interpolate as the Fill rule.  A continuous range of colors interpolated between the two colors will be assigned.

Intervals and Fill Rules

Consider a drawing of cities thematically formatted by population where intervals have been computed using the equal count method, with the intervals list as follows.

il_style_fill_intervals.png

Intervals in the list are defined by the lowest value found in the data at the top of the list, the highest value found in the data at the bottom of the list with intervals in between such that each interval's lowest bound is the value given for that interval.   Each interval starts with the lower bound given and then continues up through increasing values of the field in the data until we hit the next defining value, which is the lowest bound for the next interval.    

 

In the illustration above the lowest value found in the data is 20000.   That interval, assigned a light blue color, continues upward from the lowest value until we hit 24900, which is the lower value bound for the next interval, assigned a green color.  That interval continues until we hit 33300, the lower bound for the interval colored yellow.   That interval continues until we reach 50200, the lower bound for the last interval that has been assigned a salmon color.    The last interval starts at that lower bound of 50200 and continues up to the largest value in the data, 2125200.   By default only that largest value will be colored red.  By default, all values less than the very largest, even just one less at 2125199, if such a value existed in the data, would be colored using the salmon color assigned to the last interval that starts at 50200.

 

Fill Rules specify how values found in the data between those values which specify the bounds of intervals such as the numbers 20000, 24900, 33300, 50200 and 2125200 seen above.   Fill rules specify how a value such as 28000, which falls between 24900 and 33300 should be colored.    The default setting is to use closest lower value so it would be colored green.   If we changed that to use closest higher value it would be colored yellow.

Fill Rules

closest lower value

The default.  Assign the format specified for the lower bound of the interval.   The previous fill rule used will persist, so it could be by default some other fill rule is loaded.

closest higher value

Assign the format specified for the upper bound of the interval.

lowest value

Assign the format specified for the very lowest value found in the data set.

highest value

Assign the format specified for the very highest value found in the data set.

interpolate

Assign a format that is interpolated between the formats used for the lower bound and the upper bound of the interval, proportionately interpolating based on the value for the record.

 

Examples of Fill Rules

In each of the following examples of formatting the Fill Color style property for cities points we provide the intervals list using equal count as well as an example table of cities giving the population of each.  The map window shows the resulting format.  The example table of cities provides a partial list of all of the cities used in the layer, showing a sampling of those seen in the map view illustrated.

 

closest lower value

 

 

il_style_fill_sorted_map_cities.png

The default.  Assign the format specified for the lower bound of the interval

.il_style_fill_intervals.png

The city of Tours with a population of 132800 falls into the highest interval, from a population of 50200 to the largest value of 2125200.  The format color is taken from the color assigned to the lower bound of 50200, a salmon color.

il_style_fill_closest_lower_a.png

 

closest higher value

 

 

il_style_fill_sorted_map_cities.png

Assign the format specified for the upper bound of the interval

.il_style_fill_intervals.png

The city of Tours with a population of 132800 falls into the highest interval, from a population of 50200 to the largest value of 2125200.  The format color is taken from the color assigned to the upper bound of 2125200, a red color.

il_style_fill_closest_higher_a.png

 

lowest value

 

 

il_style_fill_sorted_map_cities.png

Assign the format specified for the very lowest value found in the data set.

il_style_fill_intervals.png

The format color for the city of Tours, like all the other cities is taken from the color assigned to the very lowest value of 20000, a blue color.

il_style_fill_lowest_a.png

 

highest value

 

 

il_style_fill_sorted_map_cities.png

Assign the format specified for the very highest value found in the data set.

il_style_fill_intervals.png

The format color for the city of Tours, like all the other cities is taken from the color assigned to the very highest value of 2125200, a red color.  The largest value of population occurs for Paris, not seen in the map view.

il_style_fill_highest_a.png

 

interpolate

 

 

il_style_fill_sorted_map_cities.png

Assign a format that is interpolated between the formats used for the lower bound and the upper bound of the interval, proportionately interpolating based on the value for the record.

il_style_fill_intervals.png

When a population does not match exactly one of the upper or lower bounds for the interval into which it falls, the interpolate rule creates a color ramp that smoothly interpolates from the lower color to the upper color and then assigns an interpolated color on the ramp proportional to the population's location in the range from the lower to higher bound.

il_style_fill_interpolate_a.png

Near Tours, the city of Vierzon with a population of 29700 falls between the green color of the lower bound of 25100 and the yellow color of the upper bound at 33400 so the interpolate rule assigns a yellowish-green color.   Compare that to the pure green color assigned by the default closest lower value rule as seen in the first example above.

il_style_fill_interpolate_size_a.png

Interpolation of other Style properties is done similarly.  For example, if point Size was assigned using interpolate and a population fell halfway between a lower bound using a Size of 10 and a Size of 14 then a Size of 12 would be assigned by interpolate.  The effect is subtle, but if we take a close look at the symbol for Chateauroux just below and to the left of Vierzon, we see that when Size is interpolated it appears slightly larger in size.

 

 

il_standard_colors.png

Notes

Standard colors and transparent colors - When we double-click into a color well to change a color Manifold will provide a list of standard colors for our convenience.   To choose a  color, click on the color.  To specify some color not on the standard colors list, click on Custom to open a typical Windows color-setting dialog.  

 

The first "color" in the standard list, represented by a hatched pattern, is transparent color.  Using that color for an object makes invisible those parts of the object using transparent color.  Use transparent color with care.   See the discussion in the Example: How Not to Format a Drawing topic.

 

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.

 

Rotation - It doesn't make sense to choose a Point rotation value that ends up presenting the selected Point style with the same appearance.   For example, choosing a Point rotation value of 90, 180 or 270 will make no visual difference in the appearance of a square, which looks the same rotated 180 degrees as it does without any rotation.

 

See Also

Maps

 

Drawings

 

Labels

 

Style

 

Style: Overrides

 

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

 

Example: Format a Drawing using the Style Panel - In this example we provide a first, step by step look at how to format areas in a drawing using the Style panel.  We can specify the same formatting for all areas or use a field to automatically set formatting, a process usually known as thematic formatting.

 

Example: Format the Size of City Points by Population - A common GIS task is to format the size of points in a drawing based on some value.  For example, the size of points that represent cities might be formatted based on the value of the city's population, with cities that have larger populations being marked by larger point icons.  This is an example of thematic formatting and is easy to do using the Style panel.

 

Example: Add, Delete and Edit Thematic Formatting Intervals - This topic provides a step by step example of adding, deleting and editing intervals in the Style panel that are used for thematic formatting.

 

Example: Style Properties in the mfd_meta Table - Style properties for drawings such as colors for areas are stored in human readable JSON values as properties in the mfd_meta system table.   This example shows how we can copy formatting from one drawing to another by simply copying values between records in the mfd_meta table.

 

Example: Formatting Tricks - The visualization capabilities of Manifold using Style can be exploited to provide many visual effects.   This topic provides some examples of how to use Style in unexpected ways to create a range of more elaborate effects.

 

Example: How Not to Format a Drawing -  When using Style to format a drawing it is a really bad idea to use the same color for objects that is used for the background color.    It can also be a bad idea to use transparent color.   This topic illustrates why.

 

Example: Style Overrides - Working with style overrides to individually style areas, to use or not use style overrides, to find all records using style overrides and to clear style overrides.

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.

 

Manifold Future - Future Tour Part 6 Cell Context Menu - A short video showing a fast and easy way to copy between cells in tables using the context menu.  Also... one step undo of pending changes,  setting the value of a cell to NULL and more. The context menu on cells is such a simple thing but it makes repetitive editing of tables much faster and easier.

 

Manifold Future - 5 Minute Style Quickstart - A five minute, fast and easy introduction to the new Style and formatting capabilities in Manifold Future. In just five minutes learn how to rapidly change colors, symbology, sizes and rotations for area, line and point objects in drawings.

 

Manifold Future - Example: Style Panel Quickstart - A video that repeats the Example: Style Panel Quickstart topic.  The video shows how to format points using the Style panel, including simultaneous formatting of multiple style properties using the same thematic format setup. See how to use free meteorology symbols from a popular, free font, how to use letters and other symbols as point symbology and more.

 

Manifold Future - Example: City Sizes by Population - A video that repeats the Example: Format the Size of City Points by Population topic. The video shows how to vary the sizes and colors of points in a map by the populations of cities those points represent, a classic example of thematic formatting. See also what the percentage numbers in the intervals list mean and how interval methods are automatically calculated by Manifold based on the data in the drawing.