Style: Labels


Style: Labels

Using the Style panel in the Contents pane we can set the display characteristics of labels in a Labels component.   Using Style to control the appearance of labels uses the same panel with the same procedures for changing colors and applying thematic formatting as using Style for drawings.   Please review the Style: Drawings topic before proceeding with this topic.   Most procedures are so similar they are not repeated in this labels topic.


When opened with the focus on a Labels window or Labels layer in a map, the Style panel allows us to set the display characteristics, such as color, style, font, and size of labels.  


By default, settings in the Style panel apply to all labels in the labels component.  There are two ways to vary the formatting for individual labels:





To change the format of labels:


  1. Open the labels component or click onto the label component'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 style, the font, or the size.

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


To change the thematic format of labels:


  1. Open the labels component or click onto the label component'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 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 labels.


Style Properties for Labels


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


The primary color applied to label text and for the borders of a label box.

Color, fill

The secondary color applied to labels when a Label style uses two colors, for example, as the fill color for a label box or as the drop shadow or aura around the text.


Choose from the default style that uses Color only or from styles which use both Color and Color, fill.


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 dialog's Label font size setting.


The size of the font.



Font Property

Clicking the Font button allows choosing a standard font from a list or choosing Custom to adjust a font.




The illustration above uses Segoe UI font.   To change the font to bold or underline, we press the Font property button and choose Custom




In the above we have checked the Underline option.   Press OK.




The font is displayed using underlining, a standard Windows option.




In the illustration above we have used the Font - Custom dialog to choose Bold Italic font.

Label Styles

Following are examples of available label styles using black as the Color, white as the Color, fill, Seguoe UI, Semibold as the Label font and Label font size value of 10.   The displays of Label style value samples have been enlarged better to show the use of Color, fill in light gray color in the sample.




The default style provides a single color font with no label effects.



This style provides a drop shadow effect when shown on a lighter background and using a Color, fill that is slightly darker than that light background.  On a dark background it provides a highlighting drop shadow effect.



Similar to the drop shadow effect but using the Color, fill secondary color as a halo. When labels must be seen against either light or dark backgrounds use this style with dark Color and light Color, fill.



Use Color for the text and box borders and Color, fill as the fill color for the box.



Similar to the box style but without the border box.


Positioning Labels

Any label is based on an object in the drawing from which the labels are created.   Labels are centered upon an anchor point that depends whether the object from which the label is derived is a point, line or area. il_standard_colors.png


The anchor point for labels created for point objects is the location of the point.  When creating labels for line or area objects, the label will be placed somewhere on one of the coordinate locations that defines the line or area.    That usually is not a good location as we normally want the label centered upon the line or area in some way.   To do that we first use the Transform panel to create centers for the lines or areas and then we can create labels for the points that the centers template creates.    To see an example of how to do that,  see the Labels topic as well as the Example: Formatting Tricks topic.



Note for Cutting Edge builds:  Availability and appearance of label styles may vary depending on the rendering engine set in Tools - Options.   If the appearance of labels is not what is expected, try changing the engine setting


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.


See Also









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.



Manifold 9 - New Labels Features in 9 - Take a look at new Labels features in Release 9 that can be used in the latest, free Manifold Viewer Edge as well. With two clicks we add labels to a map where each label automatically takes its text from fields in a drawing layer. Next we use a single click to create a labels layer that allows us to interactively add a label wherever we want, as a point label or along a line we draw. We see how to turn on per-label formatting so each label can be styled differently.


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.