Style Pane

The Style pane controls the visual appearance of layers such as drawings, labels, or images.   Style settings include choices of colors and symbology in drawings, fonts and sizes in labels layers and choices of channels and other display attributes within images.


For drawings and labels, the style pane allows us to display characteristics in a fixed way or to dynamically vary display characteristics for each object based on the value of a field, a process known as thematic formatting in GIS.


By default, the Style pane controls the appearance of all objects or labels in a layer.  The Style pane's Options tab for drawings and labels provides an option to use  Style overrides,  to allow individual objects or labels to ignore the overall Style properties for the layer and instead to use their own, individual styles.


Switch to the Style pane by clicking its tab if it is open, by choosing Style in the View - Panes menu, or by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+6.



The Style pane changes its appearance to provide Style controls to match the window that has the focus.   The controls in the illustration above appear in the Style pane when a drawing layer has the focus.  Different controls will appear if a labels or an image layer has the focus.


Shift-click the pane's name tab to undock the pane.   Shift-click the title bar to dock it again, or right-click the title bar and choose Dock.  An undocked pane can be resized and moved anywhere on our Windows desktop.   Close a docked pane by choosing its tab and then pressing the X button to close.  Close an undocked pane by right-clicking the title bar and choosing Close.


When using undocked Style panes, resize the pane to provide more vertical room for controls when working with thematic formats.




Choosing the Style pane we can click on one of the Style properties, such as Fill Color for areas, to see the formatting being applied.



We can change the style, for example, by reversing the palette and by changing the Fill method from closest lower value to interpolate.  We press Update Style and the new formatting will be immediately applied.     As we work with different windows and different layers the Style pane will automatically adapt to show the formatting in use for the active window and layer.

More Information

The appearance of the Style dialog varies depending on the component type, drawings or labels, or images, for which it was opened.   For step by step instructions and illustrations see the relevant Style topics:


Style: Drawings

Using the Style dialog to control the appearance of drawings.

Style: Thematic Formatting

Use a field to control style properties.

Style: Overrides

How to override a layer's Style properties to apply different style properties to individual objects in drawings or to individual labels.

Style: Labels

Using the Style dialog to control the appearance of labels.

Style: Images

Using the Style dialog to control the appearance of images.

Style: Areas

Details on style dialogs for areas in drawings, with illustrated examples.

Style: Lines

Details on style dialogs for lines in drawings.  Similar controls also appear with areas for effects such as inner and outer border lines.

Style: Points

Details on style dialogs for points in drawings, with illustrated examples.

Style: Bitmap Symbols

How to use bitmap images within point styles and area styles.  

Style Topics

Topics discussing details of various Style capabilities



Example - For a detailed example, see the Example: Style Pane Quickstart topic, which provides a step-by-step, tutorial introduction to using the Style pane to apply color, symbology, size and rotation to areas, lines and points in drawings.


Styling fields in Tables - Change the format, that is, the style, for how fields are displayed in tables by right-clicking the column head for the field and choosing Style.  That allows us to choose different ways of displaying dates and times, or different styles for latitude and longitude numbers, such as decimal degrees or degrees, minutes, and decimal seconds.  See the Styling Table Fields  topic.


Many fields - Drop down lists of fields for thematic formatting of drawings will show up to the first 4000 fields in the drawing's table.  It is not productive to create tables with thousands of fields so the 4000 fields in a drop down list limitation should not be an issue in any rational use.


Selection commands - Many of the same keyboard shortcut selection commands that work in tables work in various panes that show rows of items such as the Layers pane or interval rows in the Style pane when doing thematic formatting.


Ctrl-A selects all rows.


Ctrl-I inverts the selection, deselecting those rows that were selected and selecting those that were not selected.


Ctrl-click the row handle for a row to toggle selection for that the row.   Ctrl-click selects an unselected row, and deselects a selected row.


To Select None from the keyboard, do a Ctrl-A followed by a Ctrl-I.


See Also

Getting Started


User Interface Basics






Editing Drawings


Styling Table Fields












Project Pane


Layers Pane


Info Pane


Register Pane


Select Pane


Transform Pane


Layer Opacity


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: Style Pane Quickstart - A tutorial introduction to using the Style pane in the Contents pane to apply color, symbology, size and rotation to areas, lines and points in drawings.


Example: Format a Drawing using the Style Pane - In this example we provide a first, step by step look at how to format areas in a drawing using the Style pane.  We can specify the same formatting for all areas or use a field to automatically set formatting, a process usually known as thematic formatting.


Example: Format the Size of City Points by Population - A common GIS task is to format the size of points in a drawing based on some value.  For example, the size of points that represent cities might be formatted based on the value of the city's population, with cities that have larger populations being marked by larger point icons.  This is an example of thematic formatting and is easy to do using the Style dialog.



Manifold Future - Future Tour Part 1 - This video shows how to download and use a portable installation for Manifold Future.  The video also shows the Contents, pane, layers and layer opacity, one click use of data source favorites, using your own archival favorite and getting record values instantly.  If you are using Viewer or Radian Studio, download and use the Future version to get access to all these powerful new features.


Manifold Future - Future Tour Part 2 Editing - The video shows how to create new objects, how to add fields and vertices and move vertices around, how to edit existing objects and how to use simple selection methods to choose vertices to move together, including moving all objects.


Manifold Future - Future Tour Part 3 Editing - The editing tour continues with a look at how to create branched objects, including how to create areas with holes and islands, how to add branches to lines and how to add coordinates between vertices in existing objects.  We finish up by creating an area that traces over a pond in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris using a Google satellite view, and then we add a hole to that area and two additional islands.


Manifold Future - Future Tour Part 4 Edit Attributes, Move a Point - We use Manifold Future to see how to view attributes of objects in drawings, including use of the new Edit dialog to view long, multi-paragraph text fields.  We edit fields and see how easy it is to preview edits and either accept them or abandon them. We switch to editing the geometry of objects in a drawing, viewing the coordinate locations and using mouse moves to reposition points. We edit the location of a point to correct an error in a drawing, using Google Satellite view to provide context for the correction.  Fast and easy, with previews all the way!


Manifold Future - Future Tour Part 5 Unicode Attributes and IME -  We take a tour through Manifold Future attribute editing, showing how to edit attributes in a drawing using the Record pane Values

tab and the expanded Edit dialog, including advanced Unicode facilities and use of the built in Input Method Editor (IME) to input text in Japanese language.


Manifold Future - Future Tour Part 6 Cell Context Menu - A short video showing a fast and easy way to copy between cells in tables using the context menu.  Also... one step undo of pending changes,  setting the value of a cell to NULL and more. The context menu on cells is such a simple thing but it makes repetitive editing of tables much faster and easier.


Manifold Future - 5 Minute Style Quickstart - A five minute, fast and easy introduction to the new Style and formatting capabilities in Manifold Future. In just five minutes learn how to rapidly change colors, symbology, sizes and rotations for area, line and point objects in drawings.


Manifold Future - Example: Style Pane Quickstart - A video that repeats the Example: Style Pane Quickstart topic.  The video shows how to format points using the Style pane, including simultaneous formatting of multiple style properties using the same thematic format setup. See how to use free meteorology symbols from a popular, free font, how to use letters and other symbols as point symbology and more.


Manifold Future - Example: City Sizes by Population - A video that repeats the Example: Format the Size of City Points by Population topic. The video shows how to vary the sizes and colors of points in a map by the populations of cities those points represent, a classic example of thematic formatting. See also what the percentage numbers in the intervals list mean and how interval methods are automatically calculated by Manifold based on the data in the drawing.