I recently bought Manifold 9 and the learning curve is daunting to me. It seems like none of the terminology and functions are like Manifold 8.
Some advice: It's been said before but is worth repeating... 9 is not 8. It is a completely different product. If you approach the learning of 9 as "It's going to be like 8. I can just pick it up as I go along" then you are setting yourself up for a world of completely unnecessary misery.
The fastest, easiest, lowest stress way to learn 9 is to a) download and use the latest Cutting Edge build, and then b) start with the first topic in the User Manual (called "Read Me First") and to read that carefully. Get into the habit of not skimming. Actually read the whole topic.
Next, skip the second topic, called Changes and Additions. That's mainly there for people who last dialed into the program months ago and are now surprised to see it is now very different than what it was. It helps them catch up.
Next, keep going with the Introduction topic. Read that as well. Don't skim. After that you should read all of the topics in the Getting Started book and then read all of the topics in the Basics book. After you get through the first five or six topics, take a break from time to time from reading topics to work through the Examples, beginning, of course, with the Introductory Examples. It also helps to watch videos from the Gallery page. One problem with videos is that YouTube, which hosts the Manifold videos, does not allow updates. The older videos, therefore, show a product that has long since evolved into something better. But they still show the style of how to use 9 in a way that is useful.
If you skip the learning the above process provides you just set yourself up for lots of wasted time and lots of totally unnecessary frustration. It's like those guys who spend years trying to "wing it" with PhotoShop without ever bothering to learn the basics of the thing in a structured way, and then when they get around people who actually know PhotoShop the experienced hands are amazed the "wing it" guy does things so inefficiently. Kind of reminds me of a friend who lived in Paris and who had a very limited life in the city because he never learned the baby step of how to use the Metro. So he had to walk everywhere. That totally denied him the use of parks and other wonderful aspects of the city that people who knew how to use the Metro took for granted. Just the investment of an hour or so to learn how to work the thing would have made a big difference for years of experience.
About making images: Create a layout and print that to PDF. PDF is more or less the universal format 9 uses for publication.