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Geographer1 post(s)
#26-May-18 04:09

How do I create a legend in a layout in manifold 9. There was a easy radio button in 8 but I cant find anything in 9.


5,491 post(s)
#26-May-18 06:34

9 does not automatically do legends, not yet. That will be done in the near future (see comments in the FAQ). If there are particular ways you would like legends to be done, critical facilities that for you are "must have" in legends, make sure to speak up by sending in a Suggestion.

226 post(s)
#27-May-18 04:22

So does that mean you can't do legends in 9 or that they are just not done automatically?


8,805 post(s)
#27-May-18 04:26

Dimitri misspoke. Not at all yet. (Though manual legends would be somewhat tricky.)

He means that legends are coming.

But that means mainly that any time you can find to describe what Legnend features you you would like to see in 9 will be well spent. Get it in.

226 post(s)
#27-May-18 05:18

That's a bit of a downside of moving to 9. I need to be able to create layouts with legends scale etc as in 8. I use these for most jobs I work on. I have had a look at the layouts section in the manual and the outputs seem somewhat basic. Map windows and text box. How close to 8 is it? Can we use scaled maps (saved as a view and the selected in the properties dialogue box in layouts in 8)? If I move to 9 and can't do equivalent layouts as 8 I'll have to redo everything in 8 which would be frustrating


1,920 post(s)
#27-May-18 05:42

This is a main reason why I don't yet use M9 for production work as legends are fundamental for the reports I produce.

Aussie Nature Shots


5,491 post(s)
#27-May-18 08:41

I have had a look at the layouts section in the manual and the outputs seem somewhat basic.

Yes, they are basic, but that doesn't mean you can't do all sorts of good things with them. For what can be done, no need to guess based on reading the manual without trying the software. Reading the manual is good, of course, but it is better to also try the thing. If you don't have 9, download Viewer and try it out.

How close to 8 is it?

See the FAQ - That describes in general terms the different approaches, with the primacy given to data in 9. For details, how close it is depends on what you are doing with 8. Only you know that, so it is up to you to make those comparisons.

I grant that with 9 at about 500 topics in the user manual already covering thousands of capabilities it's not so easy to compare it to 8, which also has hundreds of topics and thousands of pages of documentation. But that's life whenever making pairwise comparisons between two very large and very different systems, be they Release 8 and ArcSomething, or Arc and 9 or whatever. Having the free Viewer can help with that.

If I were to compare 9 to 8 in one paragraph, I'd say that 9 far exceeds 8 for doing anything with data, in terms of sources, speed, capacity, reliability and sophistication, and that while 9 right now does not have all the cartography, editing or presentation gadgets 8 does, it's clear that given the more capable framework of 9 it is well on the way to what will ultimately happen, that it will far exceed 8 in those areas as well.

As advised in the various materials published, the wise move is to learn 9 now so you have that higher end, more capable, understanding of how data truly is fundamental to GIS. You can then leverage 9 for the data capabilities while participating in the community-driven process of taking cartographic and presentation GUIs to the next level, really taking advantage of the capabilities of that new infrastructure to do what is not possible in classic GIS.

When you learn 9 you see many examples of those new GUI abilities beyond what 8 or other classic GIS packages can do. One of the most obvious is how you can just drag and drop web server layers with far greater ease than 8, where if the host map does not automatically match in all particulars you can't use a web server layer. No way, for example, to do something in 8 that is easily done in 9 as in the Example: Re-project a Drawing topic.


5,491 post(s)
#27-May-18 08:16

Though manual legends would be somewhat tricky.)

Not tricky, but tedious if you have many entries you want in a legend. It's easy to create a legend using a combination of a drawing and labels. Simple to do.

As with many such things, if the various interactive moves used are familiar, it's easier to do than to describe. The better you know how to work the software, the easier it is.

For example, I line up legend items by doing one the way I like and then using Shift to move it down some amount. If using Shift isn't automatic or doing things like copy/paste is unfamiliar, then, of course it takes more time.


5,491 post(s)
#27-May-18 08:19

that they are just not done automatically?

That they are not done automatically.

533 post(s)
#08-Nov-18 17:11

It's easy to create a legend using a combination of a drawing and labels. Simple to do.

I'm going to try my next layout and final map product entirely in M9. I have about 5 items to add to the legend. For the scale bar I'm just going to scale off a box 10 km long and label one end "10 km" with no gradations. For north arrow I have a JPEG of a elaborate north arrow from a historic map. For the legend I don't have a solution, yet.

So, in M9 one approach I can think of is to add images from screen shots of my 5 different legend objects to the layout and add text labels. Or more dynamically, create a copy of each drawing, add them to the layout, resize and zoom in, line them up then add a text label beside each one? Then as thematic formatting of the drawing that forms the main part of the map changes, so should the colours and textures in the copies.

Or another interpretation of "It's easy to create a legend using a combination of a drawing and labels. Simple to do" which implies one drawing, is to create a new drawing and add areas, points or lines and thematically format those areas to match in colour and texture my 5 legend items?

Or maybe there is another way.


533 post(s)
#10-Nov-18 05:40

I'm looking forward to the implementation of legends in M9.

For the moment, for a legend in M9 I ended up taking screen shots of representatives areas from the layout and pasting the images into a drawing program. I added legend text, title, disclaimer info and a North arrow. Then exported the finished legend as a jpeg and imported back into M9 and added the image to the layout. The effect works as the colours match exactly the components for which I have reduced opacity to less than 100%. Actually this works quite well, I can lay up the legend as I want, in multiple columns.



6,335 post(s)
#27-May-18 09:10

I had send detailed suggestions for Mfd 8 legends years ago, that not in integration into GUI but in result are still valid for Mfd 9. Are they still heard or should we send new suggestions?

I now have repeated my first priority suggestion for legends:

A legend should be able to display a text for a key code used for classification in formating taken from a lookup table. This lookup table should be editable without having to flatten elements and loose connection to the data. (We had this since ArcView 1, the JSON string is OK to store the lookup table but the style pan needs extension.)

More text inline formating options, respecting the new multiline Text in legends, bold, TABs lineing up at position, not just number of spaces, .... are other suggestions of less priority.


5,491 post(s)
#27-May-18 09:25

I had send detailed suggestions for Mfd 8 legends years ago

Best to send what you want in 9.

A legend should be able to display a text for a key code used for classification in formating taken from a lookup table. This lookup table should be editable without having to flatten elements and loose connection to the data. (We had this since ArcView 1, the JSON string is OK to store the lookup table but the style pan needs extension.)

I can't quite visualize that... can you post some examples, perhaps with images of what Arc does?


6,335 post(s)
#27-May-18 13:02

Here is a visualization of styles derived from a color key but the legend should only use an editable text explanation. I have chosen an example based on a drawing that as well could represent a palette image. The editable title of the text column could be used as heading in the legend. The default text would be a CStr of the key value. Keys are for internal use and don't need a representaton in the legend.

Re-Tally the values should keep settings for existing classes.

BTW this is the feature request answering @enries question.

Style with lookup text for the legend.jpg


3,113 post(s)
#27-May-18 14:23

some general ideas for cartography, maybe others can chime in:

1. Layout capabilities with the 6 cartographicprinciples (layouts are really important, even if they are only at the level of what 8 has).

a. Border

b. Map

c. Scale and north arrow

d. Add text

e. Inset

f. Legend

Let's look at each of the above:

  • Border - include grid coordinates, thickness, etc.
  • Map - thematic shading like 9 has now. Add graduated circle capability with an associated legend output of the graduated circle - it is very cumbersome to fake these in 8.
  • Scale and North arrow - Scale bars in 8 are very cumbersome to change. Also, you need a few more choices. For north arrow, let me add orientation to include grids and graticules like in 8. Allow graticules to be moved up or down, so they don't always appear over the text.
  • Add Text - this sort of works in 8. But, the ability to add an invisible curved line in a layout, and then have text populate that would be great.
  • Inset - allow other components to be dragged into the layout
  • Legend - legends are pretty good in 8 if you take the time, but you need better control over the legend elements. Ability to change the values in a legend and their font/size without having to go through so many buttons (perhaps a right-click to access the properties, like Word of Powerpoint)

2. Thematic formatting is good, but maybe add more symbol libraries.

533 post(s)
#27-May-18 20:50

Adding to Art's list:

- Setting up legend colours, thematic formatting and text for individual components in M8 was great as the formatting carried over to the legend in a Map and/or Layout. In M8, was very handy having a Map or Layout legend adapt to show or not show a legend item depending on whether a component layer was visible or not. Suggestion for M9 is to be able to adjust the legend for a layer (a component) in Map (or Layout) view instead of needing to find and open the component, View > Legend then go back to the Map (or Layout view). It would be great to work entirely in a Map adjusting the legend, so click on a layer to make it active and under Style, or a new operation "Legend", and be able to change any text associated with that layer directly in a Map (or Layout).

- Make legends float by default, similar to M8 View > Legend > Align > None. Then it's simple to drag the legend to where it fits best. In M8 the default is Align top left, then need to Edit Legend > Show Legend >Align: None > Unshow Legend > OK. Many steps.

- Ability to have multicolumn legends to better fit available space in a Layout to place the legend

- If the opacity of a layer is less than 100% then for the thematic formatting in the legend reflect the opacity settings. Sometimes I have to manually create new legend items with colours that better match the less than 100% opaque colours. Then I have un-associated the thematic formatting.

- For aesthetics, eliminate or change that option in M8 that the top of the Legend Bar is always black. In M8 if I change to Transparent, then the border lines around the Legend and the background both become transparent and map details show through the legend. So "Standard" is the only usable option View > Legend > Style. Also if I change the colour of the black bar to another colour other than black, say blue, then the colour of all the Legend text changes to blue. So really black is the only usable option for that bar at the top of the legend and the text colour in M8.

- Allow Legend text to wrap to give control over Legend width. My options in M8 is to shorten and abbreviate text as much as possible or let width of Legend expand to accommodate length of Legend text.

- More choices of North arrow symbols. I found some antique maps online and saved screen clips of the North arrows as images that I place into Layouts as .jpg images for North arrows. Otherwise in M8 the most suitable stock North arrow is Rose (N). More aesthetically pleasing options for N arrows in M9 would be nice.

- Ability for a legend to have a text box for free entry of text info such as date, projection, sources of data, disclaimers, my company name, revision number, etc. with some ability to apply rich formatting and different alignments (left, centre, right). Currently in M8 these are added to a Legend as single text line items.

- Scale bars: would be nice to have some default settings so as to not start from scratch with the settings. For each scale bar I set units to kilometres, select a composite bar, and enter a distance to display. Could the length of the bar and the maximum distance change by just adjusting the width of the scale item? In M8 I have to specify the maximum length, say 25 km, then adjust the width of the scale bar item to show the entire length. If my box is too short, the end of the scale bar gets cut off. My wish in M9 is to drag the right hand end of the scale bar box left or right and the scale bar changes the maximum distance to fit the size of the box.


In M8 I needed to check Show Legend in order to edit the legend then had to uncheck "Show Legend" to avoid having two legends: one that I could move around and one that was aligned to top left of the layout (see attached file, image blurred as it's a client's map but you can see the two legends). Maybe I was not using layouts correctly, but in M9 can the workflow be simplified with fewer clicks to activate Legend to edit and disable to not have 2 legends?

Duplicated legends M8.jpg


6,335 post(s)
#27-May-18 22:14

Concerning automatically wrapping legend text I would prefer to use the new feature of multiline text we have in tables and the existing editor for a better control.

BTW you can use a multiline text zu classify a legend. But tally counts only different first lines. A second record with the same first line but differing continuance is not noticed in the style pane an gets formated in default style.

But if you manually edit the JSON string in mfd_meta you can distinguish objects that differ in the rest of a multiline field. But beware to use the style pane again.

Well, and than I have a modest wish for layouts in general. Just a full featured graphical editor would be OK for me.

226 post(s)
#28-May-18 11:20

One thing that would be great to be able to do on a legend is change all of the text style in one go. Don't think I ever use the default I always change the size and make them bold so I have to edit every entry which takes a while when I've got 15-20 entries. What also slows things down is the way when you have to scroll down the list to edit it always jumps back to the top the window doesn't stay focused at the last edit line. Means you have to scroll down each time, gets really annoying


6,335 post(s)
#12-Oct-18 13:24

I vote for not a general text style but a multiple selection. Easy to expand to all elements by <CNTRL><A> but good to have the choise.

It's currently difficult to test because in the latest builds tally doesn't work any longer.

Mike Pelletier

1,602 post(s)
#12-Oct-18 15:21

+1 Good suggestion Klaus. It would be nice to apply text formatting without having to open up a dialogue for each layer's formatting.


6,335 post(s)
#14-Oct-18 10:58

Thinking about legends I'm a split personality. And the more I think about legends both of my views seem to be incompatible.

Legends in Mfd8 are optimized for an IMS environment IMO with the drawback of a permanent consumption of the spare space on the monitor. Prepared for some interaction but much too restricted customizable for a paper map or nowadays for a nice PDF presentation.

I have no idea how to reconcile these completely different environments for the legend. I guess these should be two different elements, each optimized for its special purpose with a common part of a default derived from thematic formating but flexibly connected or loosened or reconnected.


6,335 post(s)
#13-Nov-18 21:09

For IMS the function to show the meaning of formating and symbols in a legend ist less important. You can always use an info tool to get informations about every object. The visible area on a monitor is precious. But a legend can be extended with some controls for visibility and transparency of layers or user defined order of the layer stack. Legends in IMS should be interactive.


6,335 post(s)
#14-Nov-18 07:48

For me there are two sorts of paper maps or PDF maps with basically the same requirements but different priorities.

My bread and butter maps are figures integrated in a text document or presentation. My workflow in Mfd8 is to create an image component and by copy/paste insert it into the word processor. The screen snapshot is not a useful tool, because images in a document should have a known scale in printer resolution and no limits of the monitor extent. In this case the legends of Mfd8 are not the worst implementation of a simple and clear arranged standard if they are placed in the map. The standard legend for Mfd9 should offer a userdefined column size in addition to the few controls we have.

But often we use a figure only for the legend, that applies to many similar map figures. Those need the same attention as the other type of legends for cartographycally ambitious maps.

For these "real" maps we need a full featured publisher for the legend and the labels. There are no standard requirements for this sort of arty legends. The standard legend is only the starting point for this type of legend. But export to a publisher data format is no good solution. We don't want to loose the living link between thematic formating of the map. But we need multiline texts and generally the freedom of arrangement you can only get if you explode the legend to single elements - without loosing the link of symbols to thematic formating! Thus I'd prefer different levels of explosion and the possibility to rearrange groups.

... more to come.


6,335 post(s)
#16-Nov-18 07:45

Back to the simple layout carried over in figures of a text: "... in addition to the controls we have" referred to the properties of a legend in Mfd8 of course, not to the current state in Mfd9. None of those is surplus IMO.

Some examples of requests for the advanced legend meant to clarify priorities for the legend editor end item properties. Asking for a "full features publisher" isn't very helpful, I confess.

  • We usually have a shortcut as key in the data but in the legend we want to read plain language. So we need a lookup table for plain text integrated in legends (high priority)
  • ... and have the opportunity to show the key in addition, perhaps in brackets or in a separate column. (low priority)
  • We often group symbols. For instance for the overview the area background of all types of dry woods use one color, all types of wet forest have another background. ... The legend editor should make it easy to regroup the annotation of identical formatings based on one of the properties AreaBackground, AreaForeground, ... into one multiline annotation of one symbol. Perhaps by means to choose some useful order of that property or alphabetic order of the key. (high priority but no low hanging fruit, a useful order of colors has been asked for in color pickers before)
  • We often have to respect owners of data sources in the legend. But that is of minor importance and usually offset and displayed in a small or a different font. So we need to be able to edit line spacing and not with an empty line only and we need to have full control over the font style and size for every element in the legend. (high priority)
  • <please add your demands>

I'm not positive as to how types of legend - IMS-legend, simple legend, advanced legend - should be implemented.

Mike Pelletier

1,602 post(s)
#16-Nov-18 15:19

Good suggestions Klaus. Sounds like legends will be another month out from what Adam posted yesterday.

Here's a thought. Sometimes it is nicer to show in the legend an area/line/point with a background, such as an aerial, so that it is seen exactly how one would find it on the map. This is especially helpful if transparency is being used. In Mfd8 this can be done manually with image clips. Perhaps there could me a means to help make that easier within the legend dialog for each area/line/point type, such as setting a window over the map or loading an image from the project pane.

125 post(s)
#18-Nov-18 08:13
  • It is important that legends are flexible concerning alignment of objects (area/line/point symbols and descriptions). Instead of only arranging objects automatically in columns/rows it would be better to have the option to move them around, probably snapping them on an auxiliary grid. Also options to align objects one to another and evenly distributing horizontally or vertically is useful.
  • The user should have to option to draw basic shapes on the legend, such as rectangles, lines etc and also add images and scale bars in the legend. Again the "snapping" grid would be very useful.
  • Sometimes one might want to combine multiple symbols in one description row. For example combining various point symbols for religious buildings in one row (church symbol, then mosque symbol, then synagogue symbol, one next to the other). Or various similar geological area symbols one next to the other. Or one might want to combine all symbols related to parks (area symbol of park, next some point symbols showing facilities etc) in one row. I think there should be such an option.
  • Sometimes on might want to combine area/line/point symbols one over the other. For example one might want to show an area symbol for parks, and place the various facilities that might exist in the park in the park symbol. Also one may need to place some text in the area symbol. The later is very common in geological maps.
125 post(s)
#20-Nov-18 17:58

Related to the 1st of the ideas in my original post, there is a video with legend creation in mapinfo:

The way the grid works seems nice. Also the guidelines seem useful.


6,335 post(s)
#22-Nov-18 08:24

I followed the mapinfo example showing the freedom to manually edit a legend.

This map legend is composed of the legends for every component each grouped in a frame. Component legend frames are composed of a title and a user-defined number column(s) of symbols, a fixed gap and column(s) for plain text. So far no basic difference to the concept of legends in Mfd8.

The basic difference is that the legend editor allows to move the frames of component legends around in the map legend free and aligned with the help of snapping to a grid and aligning to guidelines.

With this example in mind what do we want from a Manifold legend editor ?

  • TMHO we should stick to the two levels to edit legends: Component legends that can be included in every map that contains the component and Map legends organize Component legends and additional elements (text, vertical and horizontal line separators, symbols, images). The component legend controls thematic formating, used keys and plain text lookup and a basic layout (title, order of symbols, no. of colums, ..). The Map legend controls the organization and offers tools to align frames and additional elements.
  • I want to control grid spacing independent in x and y direction as we have it in Mfd8
  • In contrast to the mapinfo legend editor I'd like to see the grid and guidlines not only in a legend editor but in the complete layout component affecting other elements in the layout as well.
  • However legends are independent of layouts. So legend grids and guidelines should be "exported" to layouts.
  • Map legends could be able to overrule the alignment in component legend frames in that columns of symbols and columns of text of the component legend would automatically stick to magnetic (grid?) or guidelines. The outer frame of component legends is not the primary aim of alignment.
  • This automatism is powerful and may not be wanted in every case. So I'd like to be able to lock a component legend against internal reorganization in a Map legend.
  • We should have controls for manual alignment (up, down, left, right) to the next grid line or guideline. They should jump from one line to the next if clicked repeatedly.
  • I want to switch Magnetism of grid lines and guidelines on and off.

BTW the difference between IMS legends, simple legends in the two levels of component and map legends extended legends is that the later live in a layout component ! - usually or in every case? And what does that mean for the legend editor?

533 post(s)
#22-Nov-18 16:46


  • I want to control grid spacing independent in x and y direction as we have it in Mfd8

Klaus, in M8 is there the ability to control grid spacing in legends? Best I can achieve for layout in M8 is to change the order of legend items up or down, insert blank lines to create separation, and to insert horizontal lines to group similar legend items.


6,335 post(s)
#22-Nov-18 21:51

Correct. So lets setup the wishlist for Mfd9 before Santa ties up the sack


6,335 post(s)
#18-Nov-18 10:10
  • I love the function in Mfd8 that allows to copy the legend and paste it into another component. There often is a lot of work and coordination with the client in the legend. But it would be nice to be able to re-link legend symbols to the thematic formating of the new component. Not automatically but manually one by one.

8,634 post(s)
#19-Nov-18 08:57

Just want to quickly say that we are listening to this thread and are using it to shape our design decisions. We'll come back to the specific points after we do our first iteration of legends - it won't be in the build scheduled for this week, but pretty likely in the build coming right after.

Mike Pelletier

1,602 post(s)
#19-Nov-18 16:24

Good to hear that Adam. Here's an example of using image clips (my comment above) with a USGS topo map background. It really helps with transparent areas for subdivisions and jurisdictions.

The local mile markers symbol in the legend is made up of a 3 layers: rotating arrow that follows the road direction, a background point and text. This is an example of what geozap mentioned.

The address label in the legend is an example of picking a sample address rather than a label that just uses "text" with the corresponding format.

This is an index page for a mapbook and thus justified the time spent doing a nicer legend. This also let me squeeze the legend into an odd shape to fit the space on the page. Anything you can do to facilitate this type of legend making would be great.


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