File - Export

The File - Export command launches the Export dialog, very similar to the standard Windows File - Save dialog, which allows browsing the Windows file system to the location where the exported file will be placed. The  Export dialog allows exporting to a variety of file formats, with available formats depending on the nature of the component being exported.


To launch the Export dialog we can also right-click onto a component in the Project pane and choose Export from the context menu.


In addition to the usual Windows File - Open style controls the Link dialog provides these controls:


File name - Enter the name of the file to be exported, or populate the box by clicking on a file in the display pane to choose the same name or to provide a base for a similar name.  The pull-down list for the box provides a list of recently-saved files.


Save as type - Loaded with a list of specific file formats to which the component can be exported.  

Export Formats Supported

The Manifold philosophy is to read virtually any format known and to be able to link to very many formats read/write to allow editing "in place" but to export GIS Data to only the most popular interchange formats.


Drawings - Formats for drawing export include US Government SDTS DDF, AutoCAD DXF, ESRI E00, Google KML, Manifold 5.0 MFD, MapInfo MIF, Manifold MML and ESRI SHP.  So-called "shapefiles" in SHP format may be very limited and very obsolete from a data perspective but they are a popular format for many GIS packages and often are used as the "native" format for popular open-source GIS packages.   When exporting to shapefiles Manifold will automatically write a .prj file to specify projection info for the shapefile.


Images - Formats for image, that is all raster data, export include ESRI BIL,  US Government SDTS DDF, ESRI E00, Earth Resources / Intergraph ECW, Microsoft EMF/WMF, generic FLT, GIF, ESRI GRD, Surfer GRD, JP2 / JPEG 2000, JPG, Google KML, Manifold MML, PNG, raw binary RWB, raw text RWT, Truevision/Targa TGA, TIF / GeoTIFF and XYZ.


Tables - Table formats for export include CSV, DB, DBF, HTML, MDB, Manifold MML, WKx and XLS.   Note that larger tables stored into DBMS servers are normally "exported" by connecting to the DBMS as a data source and then either copying and pasting or using SQL to create new tables in the DBMS server.


Maps - Maps are exported as layers to AutoCad DXF, Google KML and Manifold MML.


Text - Text components such as comments are exported to TXT and Manifold MML.   Manifold saves text components as Unicode using UTF-8 encoding.


Projects - Entire projects can be exported to Manifold MML.

Conversions on the Fly

Most formats do not have the rich capabilities of Manifold components such as tables.   For example, ESRI shapefiles using SHP format have severe limitations on the names of attribute fields and DBF format has similar limitations on column names in tables.   Therefore, when exporting a drawing to SHP or a table to DBF Manifold will automatically make some simplifications on the fly.   


For example, if we have a table that has a column named Highest Z-value (meter) when a drawing with that attribute is exported to SHP or a table with that column is exported to DBF the name will be truncated to HighestZva.  

64-bit Windows Limits on 64-bit Manifold

Due to a lack of required Microsoft facilities in 64-bit Windows systems, in most such systems Manifold in 64-bit mode cannot export, import or link to DB, HTML, MDB, XLS or WKx format files.


The workaround for importing or exporting such files is to utilize the 32-bit version of Manifold that is automatically installed in every 64-bit Manifold installation in addition to the 64-bit version of Manifold.   To import  we launch Manifold in 32-bit mode and import into a Manifold .map project file.   We can then launch Manifold in 64-bit mode and open that .map project file or link to that .map project file.  To export, we launch Manifold in 32-bit mode, open the .map project desired and export to the desired format.


For important information and discussion please see the Essay on .mdb files and 32-bit or 64-bit Manifold.


Manifold MML  - Manifold MML format is an experimental XML-based Manifold Markup Language format designed to be able to capture absolutely everything in a project for backup and interchange purposes within a format that can be read by any third party package.  Like every XML-based format it is verbose and is not an efficient way to pack information into the smallest possible file size.  


Three Letter Extensions - Most file names in Windows end in what is called a three letter extension, which is usually three letters at the end of the file name following a dot . character.    The three letter extension is one way Windows at times (but not always) keeps track of what a file is supposed to be.    Unfortunately, by default Windows hides the three letter extensions of files and instead tries to associate files with whatever program it thinks should be used to open that file.   This is confusing when working with the many file formats that Manifold and similar products utilize.  


Therefore, please turn off the hiding of extensions by Windows.  A typical way to do so in most versions of Windows would be from Windows Explorer, choose Tools - Folder options, press the View tab and then in the Advanced Settings pane ensure that the Hide extensions for known file types is unchecked.  Press Apply to Folders and then press OK.  You will then be able to see extensions such as .map and others.  See also the Essay on three letter extensions and why the default hiding of them by Windows is such a bad thing.



Exporting to Non-Geographic Formats - When exporting to DXF, SHP or any other format that is clueless about projections and coordinate systems, make sure what you export is in Latitude / Longitude projection using WGS 84 as the base.  Also make sure the Local scale X and Local scale Y values are 1 and Local offset X and Local offset Y values are 0.   If need be, use the Change Projection dialog to re-project the component to make sure Lat/Lon WGS 84 is used with local scales of 1 and local offsets of 0.   Doing so will increase the odds that whatever program ends up having to read that format will be able to use the data.


See Also


File - Import


Change Projection


Formats and Data Sources


SHP, Shapefiles


Latitude and Longitude are Not Enough


Shapefiles Strangely Out of Shape


MDB Files in 64-bit Windows


Three Letter Extensions


That YX Thing