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Home - General / All posts - Creating a legend in Manifold 9
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.


5,082 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.

207 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?


8,335 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.

207 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


1,880 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


5,082 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.


5,082 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.


5,082 post(s)
#27-May-18 08:19

that they are just not done automatically?

That they are not done automatically.

465 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.


465 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.



6,230 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.


5,082 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?


6,230 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


3,096 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.

465 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


6,230 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.

207 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


6,230 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

1,529 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.


6,230 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.

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