Style: Lines

This topic provides details on Style dialogs for lines in drawings.  Similar controls also appear with areas for effects such as inner and outer border lines.

 

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

 

This topic provides details on using Style dialogs for lines.  Similar controls also appear when using Style with areas, for effects such as inner and outer border lines.

 

eg_style_lines01_01.png

 

In this topic we will use a map showing cities as points in a layer called Cities, with straight lines between the cities in a layer called Lines.   The Canvas layer is a background map from a web server.   The illustration above shows the lines drawn in black stroke color, 4 points in size, using simple, straight line symbology, with an Arrow Triangle standard symbol, drawn using black stroke color and red fill color, used as an End effect for the lines.  The Cities points are drawn using default gray style.

 

eg_style_lines01_02.png

 

We begin with the Lines layer rendered in default Style, using black Stroke color for lines with a line size, that is, width, of 1 point.  In the illustration above we have turned off the labels layer.  We have also dragged the Lines layer above the Cities layer, so we can see how the lines begin and end exactly in the center of the point locations in the Cities layer.

 

eg_style_lines01_03.png

 

To change the style of lines, with the focus on the Lines layer, in the Style pane we click on the total Style button.

 

eg_style_lines01_04.png

 

In the drop down menu, we choose More to launch the full Line Style dialog.

 

dlg_line_style_symbol_tab_labeled.png

 

The Line Style dialog opens.  It organizes the many controls for line style into five tabs, each of which provide additional controls.   The tabs allow combinations of the following basic settings:

 

Symbol Tab

 

eg_line_style_tab_symbol01.png

eg_line_style_tab_symbol02.pngThe Symbol tab chooses basic symbology for the line, including choices of solid line color, or a pattern of repeating shapes.  The solid line is shown at right with a dash, space patter and a magenta halo that matches the line width.

Begin Tab

 

eg_line_style_tab_begin01.png

eg_line_style_tab_begin02.pngThe Begin tab allows us to place a symbol at the beginning of the line, seen in green at left.

 

We can control the appearance of the symbol  using controls in the tab, for example, using a Hexagon, Insert symbol with a square insert shape, as seen at right.

End Tab

 

eg_line_style_tab_end01.png

eg_line_style_tab_end02.pngThe End tab allows us to place a symbol at the end  of the line, seen in green at left.

 

The End effect is often used to place an arrow head at the end of the line, as seen at right.

Left Tab

 

eg_line_style_tab_left01.png

eg_line_style_tab_left02.pngThe Left tab allows us to draw a secondary line placed parallel and to the left of the main line. It is illustrated at left with repeating, green triangles.

 

The left side means to the left in the direction of the line from beginning to end.

Right Tab

 

eg_line_style_tab_right01.png

eg_line_style_tab_right02.pngThe Right tab allows us to draw a secondary line placed parallel and to the right of the main line. It is illustrated at left with repeating, green triangles.

 

The right side means to the right in the direction of the line from beginning to end.

 

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

 

eg_line_style_tab_all01.pngeg_line_style_tab_all02.png

 

As illustrated above, left, that we can use many effects does not mean it is a good idea to use every effect we can.  By using fewer or simpler effects, such as illustrated above, right, a clearer presentation may result.   Less is often more.  

 

To create a line style like the example at above, right, see the Example: Line Style with Multiple Effects topic.

Symbol Tab

Line styles in Manifold consist of a basic choice for Symbol, plus additional effects for symbols at the beginning or end of a line, plus optional parallel lines to the left or the right of the line.    Every line at least uses a "symbol," that is, the fundamental style for the line, so the Symbol tab opens by default when the dialog opens.  

 

"Symbology" for lines means how the bulk of the line is represented.   Lines can use either a solid line style or a line made up of repeating shapes.   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, size, and other parameters to get various effects.  

 

The Filter box can filter large collections of choices to only those which match the name given in the Filter box.  Lines at present use a small number of symbols, but as symbols increase in number, such as the hundreds of symbols that might appear for point symbols, the Filter box will become more useful.

 

eg_style_lines01_06.png

 

The illustration above shows lines rendered using the Rectangle symbol choice, as seen in the dialog below.

 

eg_style_lines01_05.png

Controls will appear as needed.   For example, clicking the Rectangle symbol choice will switch the Dashes / Shapes control to allow specifying Shapes and spaces sizes, and will switch the Dash cap control to a Base line control with a Stroke parameter.

 

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.

btns_total_style_lines_preview.png

Color and size settings like those in the main Style pane.   Appear below the Preview in total style dialogs for areas, lines and points.

 

(color boxes) - The main Stroke color and Fill color for the style.   Changing these will replace any thematic format for colors with the specified colors.

 

(size box) - The main Size parameter for the style.   Changing the size will replace any thematic format for size with the specified size.

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

Dashes

Appears when the Plain, that is solid line, symbol is chosen.    Allows 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 a line.

 

eg_dashes_pattern_01.png  eg_dashes_pattern_02.png

 

There are four ways of specifying the lengths of dashes or spaces, 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.

Shapes

Appears when a repeating shape symbol is selected for a 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.   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.

Cap Style

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

 

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.   The Round cap style tends to result in smoother angles when lines zig zag.  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.

 

The result using a line size of 2 points and a Stroke of 1 point for the repeating pattern is illustrated further below in this topic.

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.

Left / right offset

The distance from the line to displace to the left or to the right any accessory parallel line drawn using the Left or Right effect.   The same value is used for both Left and Right effects.

 

There are four ways of specifying offset distance, 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.   This style appears in an illustration further below in this topic.

 

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.  This style appears in an illustration further below in this topic.

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 result of choosing a repeating shape symbol, the Rectangle pattern, using a Shapes pattern of a 10,5,4,20 with a Base line choice of solid, a Stroke of 1 point and an overall line Size of 2 points:

 

eg_style_lines01_07.png

 

Below we see a dashed line using a white halo with a Padding of 0.01 points:

 

eg_style_lines01_08.png

 

Below we see the repeating 10,5,4,20 rectangle shape style with a white halo Padding of 1 point:

 

eg_style_lines01_09.png

 

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.

 

Begin Tab and End Tab

Line styles in Manifold can add a symbol from the Standard collection at the beginning or at the end of a line.   Controls are the same in both cases.   The labeled illustrations below show the Begin tab using a Rectangle Insert symbol, that is a point style symbol that has an inserted shape, while the End tab is shown with a choice of a non-insert symbol, an Arrow Triangle symbol.  As with point styles, the dialogs adjust the controls provided to match the symbols selected.

 

 

dlg_line_style_begin_tab_labeled.png

 

Controls for the insert's size, shape, and color appear if we choose a symbol that uses an insert.

 

dlg_line_style_end_tab_labeled.png

Begin Tab and End Tab Controls

(Preview)

Shows a preview of the total point 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.

btns_total_style_lines_preview.png

Color and size settings like those in the main Style pane.   Appear below the Preview in total style dialogs for areas, lines and points.

 

(color boxes) - The main Stroke color and Fill color for the style.   Changing these will replace any thematic format for colors with the specified colors.

 

(size box) - The main Size parameter for the style.   Changing the size will replace any thematic format for size with the specified size.

Begin or End

Check to add a symbol at the beginning of the line or the end of the line.  Controls in the tab will not be enabled if this box has not been checked.

(size box)

The size of the symbol.  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 symbol.  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 stroke line 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.

Filter

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

(Symbols)

Click a symbol from the collection shown.  It will appear as the symbol in use in the preview box.  Symbols appear centered on the beginning or end of the line, except for the arrows and other symbols in the last row of the Symbols grid, which have their tips placed on the beginning or end.

Insert size

Appears when we choose a symbol that includes a small shape within the overall symbol.  The small shape is called an insert.

 

Insert size:  The size of the insert, 30% by default.  There are four ways of specifying size, as discussed in the section on specifying sizes in parameter boxes.

 

Insert: The shape of the insert, auto by default, meaning the same shape as the symbol. The drop down menu provides choices for circle, diamond, hexagon, octagon, pentagon, triangle, rectangle, and rectangle rd, which is a rectangle with rounded corners.

 

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

Stroke

The width of the Stroke line used to draw a vector symbol.  We can use fractional values if we like, for thin stroke lines.  There are four ways of specifying stroke width, as discussed in the section on specifying sizes in parameter boxes.

Width

A value in % from 1% to 100%.  A value of less than 100% squeezes the symbol horizontally to make it less wide.  50% width results in a symbol that is proportionally squeezed so it is the same height but only half as wide.  Useful for creating more pointy, longer arrowheads.

Halo

Check Halo to create a halo, that is, an aura of color,  surrounding the begin or end symbol to the width given by the padding.

 

Padding - The distance outwards from the symbol that the halo extends.  There are four ways of specifying padding distance, 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.

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.

 

Symbol Positioning and Terminal Locations

Most symbols used for Begin or End symbols appear centered on the terminal location of a line, so part of the symbol will extend past the coordinate that marks the beginning or end of the line.   The last row of symbols in the Standard collection are rendered flush to the end of the line.

 

eg_style_lines01_10.png

 

Consider the illustration above, created by using the Triangle symbol for the End of the line.   The Cities dots mark the exact ends of the lines.  We can see how the triangle symbol used as the End is centered on the terminal location of the line.  The pointy ends of the triangles extend past the terminal locations.

 

eg_style_lines01_11.png

 

Suppose now that instead of using the Triangle symbol for the End we change to the Arrow Triangle symbol as seen below:

 

eg_style_lines01_12.png

 

Immediately the Preview box shows what appears to be a shorter line.

 

eg_style_lines01_13.png

 

The display changes to show how the Arrow Triangle symbol is rendered at the End of the line so that the symbol ends flush to the terminal coordinate of the line.   The Cities dots appear in a layer above the Lines layer, so the round dot slightly conceals the final few pixels at the very end of the Arrow Triangle symbol, which fall exactly at the center of the dot.

 

Symbols used for the Begin symbol are similar.  Symbols are centered upon the terminal coordinate except for those symbols in the last row of the Standard grid, which are rendered flush to the terminal coordinate.

 

eg_style_lines01_14.png

 

We can see the effect using the Junction symbol, which we have selected for the Begin symbol, to be rendered in bright green Stroke color at a size of 16 points with a Stroke thickness of 4 points.

 

eg_style_lines01_15.png

 

The Junction symbol appears exactly flush to the terminal coordinate at the beginning of the line.  

 

eg_style_lines01_16.png

 

Choosing the Hexagon symbol as the Begin symbol illustrates how other symbols are rendered centered upon the terminal coordinate of a line.

 

eg_style_lines01_17.png

 

Seen in the map, the Hexagon symbol at the beginning of the line appears centered on the coordinate that starts the line.  tech_tina_sm.png

 

Important:  Begin and End symbols are rendered at the end of each branch of a line.  A multi-branched line will therefore have multiple symbols.   The direction of arrow heads and other symbols will be based on the apparently dominant direction of the line near the symbol.  For example, if a line continues in one direction for a significant length and then at the very end turns at right angles for a very small distance, an arrow head drawn as the End symbol will be aligned in the apparently dominant direction and will not be drawn at right angles to the apparent direction of the line.  If a line segment is too small, Begin and End symbols will not be drawn.

 

Left Tab and Right Tab

The Left tab allows us to draw an accessory line placed parallel and to the left of the main line.    The Right tab allows us to draw an accessory line placed parallel and to the right of the main line.   Controls for a Left or Right accessory line are like those used in the Symbol tab for the main line.

 

eg_style_lines01_18.png

 

The meaning of Left or Right is taken from looking in the direction of the line, from beginning to end.  The illustration above puts an arrow head at the End of the line, so the blue line appears on the Left side of the line using the settings given below in the Left tab of the dialog.  A Left / right offset of 4 was used in the Symbol tab.

 

dlg_line_style_left_tab_labeled.png

 

The illustration below shows the Right line, rendered as a series of repeating purple triangle shapes,  appearing to the right of the line, using the settings given below in the Right tab of the dialog.

 

eg_style_lines01_19.png

 

The Right line in this example uses a repeating shape pattern as the symbol.  Choosing the Triangle repeating shape symbol changes the controls to Shapes with the option of a Base line.    Note that we use a Shapes specification of -8, 5.   The negative value of -8 flips the triangles so they point away from the line.    A Left / right offset of 4 was used in the Symbol tab.

 

dlg_line_style_right_tab_labeled.png

 

Left Tab and Right 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.

btns_total_style_lines_preview.png

Color and size settings like those in the main Style pane.   Appear below the Preview in total style dialogs for areas, lines and points.

 

(color boxes) - The main Stroke color and Fill color for the style.   Changing these will replace any thematic format for colors with the specified colors.

 

(size box) - The main Size parameter for the style.   Changing the size will replace any thematic format for size with the specified size.

Left or Right

Check to add an accessory, parallel line to the left or to the right of the line.  Controls in the tab will not be enabled if this box has not been checked.   The Left or Right accessory lines will be offset from the main line by the distance given in the Left / right offset parameter in the Symbol tab.

(size box)

The size of the left or right 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 line.  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 stroke line 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.

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

Dashes

Appears when the Plain, that is solid line, symbol is chosen.    Allows 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 a line.

 

eg_dashes_pattern_01.png  eg_dashes_pattern_02.png

 

There are four ways of specifying the lengths of dashes or spaces, 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.

Shapes

Appears when a repeating shape symbol is selected for a 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.   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.

Cap Style

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

 

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.   The Round cap style tends to result in smoother angles when lines zig zag.  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.

Left / right offset

The distance from the line to displace to the left or to the right any accessory parallel line drawn using the Left or Right effect.   The same value is used for both Left and Right effects.

 

There are four ways of specifying offset distance, 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.

 

Example: Use of Left and Right Effects

We can illustrate left and right effects used simultaneously.   In the following, a Left / right offset of 4 was used in the Symbol tab.

 

eg_style_lines01_20.png

 

The Left  effect applied uses a Plain line rendered as dashes 4 points in length followed by spaces 4 points in length.   The blank spaces between dashes are filled in by the Halo color of bright blue.  The Left effect applied is 3 points in size.  Using a Padding specification with the relative term of -3@ means to use a Padding size 3 points less than the size, that is, zero padding, which makes the halo no larger than the size of the Left line.  The Halo thus just fills the gaps in the Left line without bleeding outward to a wider extent than the line.

 

eg_style_lines01_21.png

 

The Right  effect also uses a Plain line that is 3 points wide.  It is rendered as dashes 1 points in length followed by spaces 3 points in length.   Because the length of the dashes is three times less than their width, the "dashes" do not appear to be dashes but instead appear to be a series of vertical lines perpendicular to the main line.  Using a specification like this for both Left and Right effects is one way to create an effect useful for symbolizing railroads.

 

eg_style_lines01_22.png

 

The combined effect appears above in the example map.

 

Example: A Railroad Line Style

Using a combination of Symbol, Left, and Right tab settings we can construct a line style that is useful for showing railroads.

 

eg_style_lines01_29.png

 

In the Symbol tab we use a 1 point thick Plain line with a Left / right offset of 3.

 

eg_style_lines01_30.png

 

In the Left tab we have used a Plain symbol with a thickness of 4 points.  The Dashes pattern of 1, 5 results in a very short dash, only one point, followed by a space of five points.   Because the dash is short compared to the width of the line, the visual effect is of a series of lines perpendicular to the main line.

 

eg_style_lines01_31.png

 

In the Right tab we use settings like those in the Left tab.

 

eg_style_lines01_32.png

 

The result is a line style that looks like a typical railroad pattern.

 

For a complex line style, see the Example: Line Style with Multiple Effects topic.

 

Left and Right Orientation

Left and Right lines are oriented to proceed in the same direction as the line whenever possible.  This synchronizes repeating symbols on Left or Right lines to start at the same logical position on the line and makes the orientation of repeats on Left or Right lines more predictable.    But all the same we can create visual pathologies by drawing lines where it is not possible to render Left and Right without at least some visual ambiguity.

 

eg_style_lines01_33.png

 

Consider the line shown above, with a Left effect drawn using yellow color and a Right effect drawn using green color.   So long as there is room to draw all elements in the style there is no visual ambiguity.

 

eg_style_lines01_34.png

 

 

Suppose we edit the line to change the shape of it as above.  The portions of the line near the beginning and the end of the line are so close to each other there is no longer room to draw the green, Right effect.   In those portions or the line, only the yellow, Left effect remains.

 

eg_style_lines01_35.png

 

When a line crosses itself to form a loop, Manifold tries to preserve the meaning of Left and Right similar to how areas reckon Inner and Outer.   In the illustration above, the green Right effect is drawn as an Inner effect.    The idea is to prevent an ambiguous situation where on the same side of the line are both yellow and green effects,

 

Notes

Cities Labels - The Cities Labels layer seen at the very beginning of this topic uses Nunito Sans font, Semi Bold Italic, with the settings below to achieve a calm, outlined style for text labels.

 

eg_style_lines01_notes01.png

 

 

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: Areas

 

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.

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