Subscribe to this thread
Home - General / All posts - M9, is there a way to detach Project/Conent pane, move to another monitor?
528 post(s)
#13-May-18 19:22

With M9, is there a way to detach undock the Project/Conent pane and move it to another monitor? My need stems from applying Transform that create new components. For instance, currently there is no means (I can see) to change the line size of area boundaries. To make the boundaries of areas more visible I transform the area component with Transform > Convert to line with the option to create new component. Note, if I just update the field instead of making a new line component then I change the component to line from area and lose the ability to apply colour or texture to the area. In my map I have an area component and line component for the same area of interest in a map. I can then independently change the colour and line width of the line component.

The name of the new component becomes longer as the name of the transform action gets appended to the original component name. After a few Transforms, the component names become really, really long so I enlarge the width of the Project pane to read the component name to know or find the one I want. My workspace for maps and drawings shrink. If I can detach the Project pane and move it to another monitor I can regain more space to view maps and components. My work around is to extend the M9 desktop across 2 monitors, enlarge the width of the Project pane and place the left side of the Project pane in the physical gap between my 2 monitors. This works but is a bit clumsy.

I've tried renaming components to shorten the names but that seems to break the link between a table and drawings and my drawings end up blank with none of the original lines, areas or points. So I leave the component names alone, but they are long. I know hovering over component names will reveal the full component name but it would be nicer to see them without having to hover over one, then the next, then the next until I find the one I want.

So anyway to undock the project/cotent pane?

308 post(s)
#13-May-18 20:03

On renaming: drawing component references table name in its properties. Change that too and the link is restored.

On naming transformed components: there is Options dialog in Transform pane. Use that.

On UPDATE. You can update if you have two geom fields in one table. Transform [BorderGeom] according to [Geom]. Or even make [BorderGeom] an active column.


8,760 post(s)
#14-May-18 07:30

[active column -> computed field]

308 post(s)
#14-May-18 09:26

Yes! I used the v8 term.

528 post(s)
#14-May-18 18:00

Great, thanks RK.

528 post(s)
#14-May-18 19:39

Re: a computed field based on the geom field in the Table, I created a computed field:

Open Table

Edit > Schema

Add new geom field "BorderGeom"

Transform and update BordeGeom using expression GeomConvertToLine([Geom])

Then create new drawing based on the Table and the Geometry "BorderGeom". Adding this new drawing to map I can then apply Styles to the border lines of the areas. Thanks, this works and reduces the number of duplicate tables and drawings I have with ever increasing component names.

Others have mentioned that a Table can have multiple fields based on the geom field and multiple geom fields. I still have to get my head around that more fully but it works as a means of applying styles to borders of areas.


8,760 post(s)
#14-May-18 20:51

That’s fine, but it is not a computed field. It is a static field.


8,760 post(s)
#15-May-18 02:04

The advantage with a computed field (Manual: example) is that it is "live", updated automatically as source geoms are added or changed. (Analogous to an active column in Manifold 8, as Riivo said.)

To make a computed field you would do as you have done, with only a minor variation:

  • Open Table
  • Edit > Schema
    • <new field>
      • Field: BorderGeom
      • Type: geom
      • Expression: GeomConvertToLine([Geom])
    • Add
    • OK
apo64 post(s)
#15-May-18 12:56

this way to make the things dynamic is fantastic. My only point on this is that if you want to change the expression you have to create a new one, or I'm not able to find a logical way to access the expression in edition. In the Schema panel the field is grayed and it is not a property of the table. I already suggest to add this but...

528 post(s)
#15-May-18 18:12

Thanks tjhb, that's great to make the new field a computed field. Probably what I'd need to do is use Transform to build my expression, copy it then go to Edit > Schema to paste it into the expression box.

Dimitri/Adam, any chance the expression box in Edit > Schema can optionally expand into an expression builder similar to what is available through Contents > Transform > Expression? Then building expressions can be done totally by clicking options eliminating typographical errors.


8,579 post(s)
#16-May-18 08:36

Yes, that's in the plans.

Not for the next build (to be issued in a few days), but close.


5,452 post(s)
#16-May-18 11:55

Tim is right, using computed fields to dynamically creating border lines from areas is a great technique.

There is an example of how to do this toward the end of the Example: Formatting Tricks topic.

TAL7 post(s)
#14-May-18 00:08

To detach undock the Project Content pane(s) in M9 Alt left click the Project or Content tab, then left click drag to new location/other monitor. Resize by left click dragging the edges/bottom/top of panes. To return to docked position Alt left click the tab again.

528 post(s)
#19-May-18 18:47

To detach undock the Project Content pane(s) in M9 Alt left click the Project or Content tab, then left click drag to new location/other monitor.


A feature suggestion for re-docking the Project and Content panes. I got myself into a situation when travelling. Previously back in the office I had undocked the 2 panes and moved them to another monitor. Now away from the office and just working with the laptop monitor I tried all the Windows tricks to move off-desktop Project and Content panes back to the visible desktop but because the main M9 desktop was visible there was nothing to move. I tried blindly fishing-dragging but couldn't hit the top of the panes correctly. I ended up wandering around looking for a TV to use as a 2nd monitor to see the two undocked panes. So maybe a command View > Redock panes? Or something that does similar? Or maybe there's already a trick?


1,698 post(s)
#19-May-18 20:07

Or maybe there's already a trick?

There is. Under Window > Windows, select the layer or layers to close and press the little button at the top left of the dialogue

Landsystems Ltd ... Know your land |

528 post(s)
#19-May-18 23:19

Hi danb, where are you seeing the Windows > Windows menu? On my M9 menu I have File, Vew, Tools, Help but no "windows" under any of those. I went and undocked the Project panel and it went to the phantom monitor. I have to go find a TV to drag the Project pane back into view.


8,760 post(s)
#20-May-18 02:46

If you have a component window open, then you also have a Window menu, between Tools and Help. Otherwise it doesn’t show.

Even when it does show, it can only be used to close windows, not panes. So it won’t help you.

You can fix the problem, but it is a bit fiddly. Easier than finding a second monitor when you are on the road.

Bear with me while I get this right...

528 post(s)
#21-May-18 19:16

then you also have a Window menu, between Tools and Help. Otherwise it doesn’t show.

Yeah I was in a catch 22 situation. I opened an M9 project and was testing the Windows > Windows menu option danb mentioned, I undocked the Project pane, it went to the phantom monitor. I couldn't display a map or component to display as the Windows menu item only appears when a map or component is open (which I couldn't open as the Project pane was not visible). So I had to go find a TV again to use as a second monitor and redock the panes or slide them back into view.

I assume you are using Windows Remote Desktop (RDP). (Dimitri)

I only have one computer, my laptop, it's a Lenovo T530 with an NVIDIA card, 2x 2TB harddrives and 16 GB RAM. In the office, the laptop sits in a docking bay with 3 external monitors attached. When I'm away I take the laptop. So am not using remote desktop to access a desktop PC. When using the one monitor on the laptop, I can't seen anything parked off the laptop monitor. I have to go find a TV somewhere to use for a few minutes as a second monitor. It's OK in a hotel room or if no one is watching and I can plug into a TV in a public area. It hasn't happened yet but it could be a problem if I'm in a meeting and I need to get my panes back into view before it's my turn to do some interactive GIS.


5,452 post(s)
#21-May-18 20:14

When using the one monitor on the laptop, I can't seen anything parked off the laptop monitor.

Oh, I know that feeling well. Nothing is so frustrating as being at the airport waiting for a long flight and the one project you need and forgot to take with you is sitting open in Manifold in the middle of some workflow on your machine back home. So, you fire up your laptop at the airport, trusting to super-fast airport WiFi (uh huh...), RDP into your machine and then you discover something is offscreen and RDP won't show it to you.

One way around that, in a case where you have a lot of windows open in your project and don't want to lose the spot in your workflow by closing windows or closing that Manifold session:

1. Save the project. Call it MyProject.

2. Save it again as MyProject1. This now frees up the saved file with no locks on it so you can copy it.

3. Launch a second Manifold session and choose File - Open.

4. In the first Manifold session, choose File - Save As.

5. In that File - Save As dialog, sort the files in that folder by the time modified so you can instantly see the Copy it.

6. Switch to the second Manifold session where the File - Open dialog is still waiting open. Paste what you just copied. That also loads the file name into the box to open it. Press Open.

7. You've just opened MyProject in a second session, without disturbing the first session.

8. Switch to the first session where you can Cancel the File - Save As dialog.

9. You can now do what you want in that second session since as you open and undock windows, RDP will keep them in sight in your single monitor.

What's happened in the above is that those file lists and File Explorer-like dialogs that you see in the various File Save and File Open dialogs work just like Explorer. You can copy and paste in them.

When I'm working with multiple open Manifold sessions, I'll often use File Save As or File Open as a way of quickly saving to or opening from context folders. Since the Manifold sessions are pointed at the right folder I don't have to open a File Explorer window or navigate around to find folders from which particular files are being opened, linked to or saved. I just use the context that the various sessions are working in to take me there automatically.


8,760 post(s)
#20-May-18 03:04

This assumes Windows 10. (It is not much different in Windows 7, but I haven't tested.)

Close Manifold 9.

Open File Explorer.

It may be necessary to adjust Explorer options to ensure that hidden files and folders are shown. To check, in File Explorer, go to View > Options, switch to the View tab, and under Hidden files and folders, enable "Show hidden files, folders and drives".

Now navigate to (normally) C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Local\Manifold\v9.0. (If you can't see this folder, recheck the paragraph above.)

Right-click the file manifold.opt and open it with a plain text editor such as Notepad.

You'll see one or more lines like this (where x and y are placeholders):


Change each such value to false.

[Added.] You should also delete the line(s) like this, so that the next time you undock the panes, they will not disappear off-screen.


Save the adjusted file.

Relaunch Manifold 9.


8,579 post(s)
#22-May-18 09:52

...or just delete all lines starting with 'Pane'.

(Yes, we will add a command to redock panes without having to do the above.)


230 post(s)
#22-May-18 12:05

Here's a script to change the Manifold.Opt file "Pane...Float = true" lines to false.

I guess I should have just deleted the lines as Adam suggested above but too late.

Its my first Add-in test (thanks to help given here!). The script will back up your Options file each time just in case of disaster.

Change the file path in the script to the location of Manifold.Opt and copy script to Manifold's Shared folder.


Dock all Panes.vbs

528 post(s)
#22-May-18 16:56

(Yes, we will add a command to redock panes without having to do the above.)

Redocking panes would be super handy, thanks.

PS. danb, I tested your suggestion of opening a map or component then using Window > Windows to close the windows and deal with my Project and Content panes, the two of which end up on a phantom monitor. A couple of observations. I'm using M9 v. (May 8, 2018):

1. The close icon is greyed out for me

2. It seems I can only close open map or components, I cannot redock or bring Project or Content panes back into view if they are off and not visible on my monitor.

Screenshot attached

Close icon greyed out. Cannot redock panes.JPG


5,452 post(s)
#20-May-18 06:07

Now away from the office and just working with the laptop monitor

I assume you are using Windows Remote Desktop (RDP). What you are describing is a problem with how RDP works. There are many minor problems when switching back and forth between local and remote sessions with RDP. This is just one of them.

Tim's suggestion is one workaround, if you don't mind restarting your Manifold session. Another is to get into the habit of docking all windows and panes when you go away and leave a Manifold session open on your desktop, and you think you might be logging into that computer remotely from RDP.

RDP works remarkably well but it's not so hot in handling multiple open windows / panes across multiple monitors. I have multiple monitors on many of the computers I use, but I tend to use RDP with just one monitor, to preserve local desktop real estate. The result is that when I get back to the local session all of the windows have been scrambled in terms of position of how I carefully laid them out for what I was doing. But that's RDP.

Manifold User Community Use Agreement Copyright (C) 2007-2017 Manifold Software Limited. All rights reserved.