File - Export Project

The File - Export Project command allows us to export an entire project to Manifold MAP, MXB or MML format.  


The File - Export command launches the Export dialog.  The Export dialog is very similar to the standard Windows File - Save dialog.  The  Export dialog allows exporting to a variety of file formats, with available formats depending on the nature of the component being exported.


A related command is File - Export, to export an individual component into a given format.  Also related is the use of right-clicking onto a data source and choosing Export to export the data source into a Manifold project.


In addition to the usual Windows File - xxxx style controls the Export dialog provides these controls:

  File name

Enter the name to use for the exported file, or populate the box by clicking on a file in the display pane to choose the same name or to provide a base for a similar name.  The pull-down list for the box provides a list of recently-saved files.

Save as type

 Loaded with a choice of MAP, MML, or MXB format to which the project can be exported.


Export Formats

Projects can be exported to the following Manifold formats:



Manifold .map format is Manifold's standard, everyday working format providing super high speed.   


Manifold .mml format is an experimental XML-based Manifold Markup Language format designed to be able to capture absolutely everything in a project for backup and interchange purposes within a format that can be read by any third party package.  Like every XML-based format it is verbose and is not an efficient way to pack information into the smallest possible file size.  


Manifold .mxb is a highly compressed and compacted archival form of projects.   It can be opened with a simple File - Open into a Manifold project.    MXB is intended as an archival and interchange format.  It provides compact, reliable storage but is not optimized as an operational format for breath-taking speed like Manifold MAP.   Use MXB to archive collections of files that are not in use every day, or to create a compact file for transmission through Internet, for downloads from websites or other exchange tasks where minimizing file size is important.

Why Export a Project to .map?

Given that a project is already in .map format, why would we use File - Export Project to export the project to create another .map project?  Why not just use File - Save As if a new .map project file for the same project is required?   There are three main scenarios:





Most people will simply use File - Save As to save a project as a .map file under a different name if they want a second copy of the project file.   File - Export Project is most frequently used to export to MXB, to create a reduced-size file for archival storage or for exchange through the web.


Three Letter Extensions - Most file names in Windows end in what is called a three letter extension, which is usually three letters at the end of the file name following a dot . character.    The three letter extension is one way Windows at times (but not always) keeps track of what a file is supposed to be.    Unfortunately, by default Windows hides the three letter extensions of files and instead tries to associate files with whatever program it thinks should be used to open that file.   This is confusing when working with the many file formats that Manifold and similar products utilize.  


Therefore, please turn off the hiding of extensions by Windows.  A typical way to do so in most versions of Windows would be from Windows Explorer, choose Tools - Folder options, press the View tab and then in the Advanced Settings pane ensure that the Hide extensions for known file types is unchecked.  Press Apply to Folders and then press OK.  You will then be able to see extensions such as .map and others.  See also the Essay on three letter extensions and why the default hiding of them by Windows is such a bad thing.


See Also

File - Export Project


File - Import


Reproject Component


Formats and Data Sources


SHP, Shapefiles


Latitude and Longitude are Not Enough


Shapefiles Strangely Out of Shape


Three Letter Extensions


That YX Thing


Microsoft Office Formats - MDB, XLS and Friends