Example: Add Labels to a Map

In this example we manually add labels to a map.   We can create labels automatically from fields in objects, or we can add them manually by clicking and entering the text for the label.  This example shows how to click and add a label manually.


Suppose we have a map with a variety of layers in it.  We want to add labels to the map manually.   We do that in two steps: first we add a new, blank labels layer to the map, and then we click into that layer to add the labels we want.


Creating labels manually:


  1. Right-click onto a blank location in the Project pane and choose Create - New Labels.

  2. Specify a Name for the new labels component.

  3. The Based on box automatically will be loaded with <new drawing> to indicate a new drawing will be created.

  4. Press Create Labels.  A new labels component will appear in the project, along with a new, blank drawing and new table to support that labels component.  

  5. Drag and drop the new labels component into the map as the uppermost layer in the map.  

  6. Nothing appears since the layer is empty.   But the lower layers will provide visual context so we can add labels in the desired locations.


Adding labels to a new, blank labels layer:


  1. In the main toolbar, choose the Create Point tool for the cursor mode.

  2. Click into the map where a label is desired.   The Info pane will pop open.

  3. In the Info pane's Text box, enter the text desired for the label.  Press Ctrl-Enter or Add Record to create the label.

  4. To format the labels layer, use the Style pane.




We start with a map that has one layer in it, a drawing that shows the regions of France as areas.   We would like to add labels that give the names of surrounding oceans and countries.



We Right-click onto a blank location in the Project pane and choose Create - New Labels.  In the New Labels dialog we accept the defaults that are offered and press Create Labels.



 A new labels component called Labels will appear in the project, along with a new, blank drawing and new table to support that labels component.  We drag and drop the new Labels component into the map as the uppermost layer in the map.  



With the focus on the Labels layer, in the main toolbar's cursor mode button, we choose Create Point.  We will create point labels, that is, labels which are anchored to a specific point wherever we click.


Shortcut: Press Shift-P to launch Create Point mode.



We click onto the location for the first label.



A blue preview square icon appears at that location.



The Values tab in the Info pane pops open.  We double-click into the Text box to edit the text there, entering Atlantic Ocean as the text for the label.



We press Enter to enter the text and then we click Add Record.   A keyboard short cut instead of pressing Add Record is to press Ctrl-Enter, to commit the edit.



A new label appears at the spot we clicked, with the text we entered.    The cursor is still in Create Point mode, so we can click again at a different spot to create another label.



We enter the text English Channel for this label, and then we press Add Record.



A new label appears at the location we clicked, with the text that we specified.



We click a few more times, specifying the desired text and then pressing Add Record for each label.    We create a series of labels surrounding France, which show the names of ocean regions and countries on the borders of France.



To change the appearance of the labels, we use the Style pane.


Move Labels

We may want to shift the positions of labels.



Begin by switching the cursor back into Default mode.   All of the standard moves now used for editing drawings now will apply.  


Shortcut: Press Shift-Space to get back to Default navigation mode.



We Alt-Click the label to be moved to pick it.  The Info pane pops open to show attributes, like the text, for the picked label.



We click the label's handle to enable it for editing.  We can also click the Coordinates tab in the Info pane to enable it for editing.



That chooses it for editing and immediately marks the anchor point for the label with a larger, blue square icon, indicating it may be dragged to a different position.



We drag the square to a different location, and then we click Update Record in the Info pane or simply press Ctrl-Enter to apply the change.



After being moved, the label is still in edit mode, with the Values tab of the Info pane engaged.  That allows us to change the text if we like.  If we are happy with the new position, we press Esc to exit the editing mode or simply Alt-click onto any blank spot of the map.

Edit Labels

To edit the text of a label we Alt-click it.   For example, we could Alt-click the Atlantic Ocean label.



A small blue square appears on the label, as seen in the prior map illustration, and the Info pane opens.   When the row cursor is on a cell, we can click that cell to open it.



Change the label text to whatever we want and press Update Record.



Immediately, the label updates in the map to use the new text.

Multiline Labels

If the text in the field used by the label for text contains multiple lines, the label will also contain multiple lines.



To enter text as multiple lines into a cell of a table or into the Text cell of the Info pane, we Right-click onto the cell and then choose Edit in the context menu.



The Edit dialog allows us to edit the text more conveniently than in a one line cell.  If we press Enter at the end of a desired line, a new line starts.



That enables us to enter multiple lines.   When we are happy with the result, we can press OK.



The new text appears in the Info pane, with three dots ... to indicate there are other lines.  Press Update Record to apply the change, or press Ctrl-Enter as a keyboard shortcut, to apply the change.



The map updates to show the multiline text.    In the illustration above we have Alt-clicked onto a blank spot of the map to clear the picked status of the "Go West" label, so the text can more clearly be seen.


Multiline labels can be formatted, for example, right justified or centered, using the Position tab in the Label Style dialog.   See the Style: Labels topic.



Background maps -  If we are not sure what countries and features surround France, we can create labels and move labels about based on some background layer reference, such as a web server layer as seen above with partial opacity set in the Layers pane for that layer, which we can turn off or on as desired.



5 Minute Tutorial - Labels from Fields and Expressions


Since the videos below were created, the Style pane has acquired a label text section that gives the text pattern for creating labels.  However, all information shown in the videos below on how to format labels in terms of colors, symbology, sizes and so on are exactly the same so the videos are still a great help in learning how to format labels.


Manifold 9 - Style Pane Quickstart - Points - A fast and easy introduction to the new Style and formatting capabilities for Pionts in Manifold Release 9 and Viewer.  Learn how to rapidly change colors, symbology, sizes and rotations including the use of vector symbols, fonts and even bitmap images. The new system is "always on" and immediately shows changes in the main workspace for rapid, easy choice of exactly the visual effect we want.  This video gets right to the basics used every day.


Manifold 9 - Style Pane Quickstart - Lines - Learn how to use the spectacular new style capabilities for lines in Manifold Release 9 and Manifold Viewer to create an endless variety lines quickly and easily.  See how to add arrowheads or other symbols to the ends of lines, how to customize lines with repeating symbols, how to start lines with custom symbols and how to add accessory left and right lines for exactly the right effect.


Manifold 9 - Style Pane Quickstart - Areas - New area style capabilities in Release 9 and Viewer make it easy to rapidly create spectacular visuals that get the story across with clarity and compelling effect.  Learn how to use point and click controls to fill areas, control borders, draw "inner area" effects and "outer area" effects for a seeming infinite range of options, all available with a rapid click of the mouse.  Use bitmap images for area effects too!


Manifold 9 - Style Pane Quickstart - Labels - Recent builds of Release 9 have added extensive new style facilities for labels, making it easy to choose a wide variety of effects, including sidecar icons, box frames, drop shadows and many others. This video shows how fast and easy point-and-click dialogs make it easy to create exactly the label look you want.  Works for the free Manifold Viewer, too!


Manifold 9 - Bitmap Styles - A quick, first look at very extensive additions to Style, enabling use of bitmaps for styles, inner and outer area hatches, left and right line style additions and many other new features.


See Also

Getting Started










Label Text


Label Overlaps


Layer Opacity




Project Pane


Info Pane


Layers Pane


Example: Project Pane Tutorial - In this example we take an extended tour of the Project pane, engaging in a variety of simple but typical moves that are illustrated step by step.


Example: Layers Tutorial - We take a tour of the Layers pane, learning how to manage layer display order, select layers, turn several layers on and off at the same time, alter opacity settings for one or more layers and how to change background color.


Example: Create Maps - Maps are used to show layers that can be drawings, images, and labels.  This topic shows how to create new, blank maps, how to create maps from existing components, and how to create maps from other maps.