Getting Started

How to get going quickly with Manifold.

Projects and .map Files

Finding our way around a project.

Importing and Linking

Making the choice between importing data or linking to external data.


Exporting tables, drawings, images or maps.

How to Edit a Single File

How to edit just a single file in place or as an import.


Two ways to print in Manifold, including printing to PDF.


How to get supercomputer computational analytic performance for next to nothing using massively parallel computation on hundreds or thousands of GPU cores.  Nothing else comes close.

User Interface

Basic moves to view and navigate.

Cursor Mode

Main toolbar button that launches different command modes for the mouse cursor in drawings, layouts, and other components.  Add points, lines, areas, make measurements, edit control points, set snap parameters and more.

Project Pane

Lists all items in a project.  Our main interface for keeping order in a project.

Layers Pane

Lists all layers in a window and provides basic controls.  The Layers pane is the primary user interface when maps have many layers, and for setting layer characteristics, like layer opacity, even when maps have few layers.  

Spatial Data

Data that has to do with location is spatial data.


All data in Manifold is stored in a table somewhere.

Data Types

Handy list of all data types Manifold works with.

Styling Table Fields

Changing the display format of table fields.

Styling Choices in Tables

Specify a set of choices for numeric or text fields, used to provide a pop-up list of allowed choices when editing a field, or to provide aliases for values that can show the contents of a field in more understandable form.   For example, using the Choice style option, land use classification numeric codes can be aliased to a corresponding text description, showing the text description Cropland and Pasture instead of the numeric code 21.

Editing Tables

User interface moves for editing tables.


All index types available in Manifold tables.


An important dialog used to view and to alter the structure of tables.

Add an Index to a Table

Most tables are created with an index automatically.  If not, here is how to add one.

Computed Fields

Computed fields are computed on the fly within tables.  Computed fields are a great way to automatically compute areas, bearings and other characteristics,  to create custom text configurations from other fields, and for many more purposes.  We add computed fields to a table using the Schema dialog, or with SQL queries.


Interactive selection in both tables and map windows is a very powerful Manifold tool.

Sorting Columns

Order rows in tables by sorting or sub-sorting on a column.


Show only the records desired in a table window. Fast!  Easy!


Maps contain layers that are drawings, images and labels.

Layer Opacity

Layers can vary opacity from zero to 100%, allowing layers below to show through partially transparent layers.


Locations save a particular geographic location with an associated scale, thus saving a given view in a map or other window to which we can return.


Drawings display vector data that is stored in table.


How coordinates make up objects in drawings.

Editing Drawings

How to edit existing objects in drawings and how to create new objects in drawings

Snap Modes

Snapping jumps the mouse cursor directly to a desired location, like a point or the end of a line, when the mouse cursor moves near that location.


Measure distances and bearings.

Copy and Paste between Drawings or Tables

Copying and pasting objects between drawings, between tables or between drawings and tables.


Images display raster data, including photos, terrain elevation and multispectral data.


Labels display the content of attributes of objects in drawings.

Label Text

How patterns are used to create label text, from simply taking text from a field to using expressions to create the text of labels.


Layouts provide an interface with which we can compose a print layout, to print to PDF or to a printer.


Legends provide a visual guide to symbology used in maps, drawings, images, and labels.

Show / Rename / Delete Related

The idea of related components is to find all components that will need to change if a specific component changes, for example, by being renamed or being deleted.  These three commands appear in the Project pane when right-clicking a component: they make it easy to find related components, to rename them using a common pattern while updating properties as necessary, and to delete related components.


Simple text comments in projects.

Web Servers

Connecting to web servers like WMS servers, Google Streets and much more.


Spatial data uses projections.  This topic provides first steps in a big subject.


Georegistration is the process of adjusting a raster image or vector drawing to match the coordinate system and conformation of a known-good reference window that contains one or more spatially accurate layers.   Georegistration is also known as georeferencing.

Rotated Views

Most projections show a "North Up" display.  The topic shows how to create rotated views where North is not up.


Using the command window to write queries using SQL.

Editing Queries, Scripts and Comments

Editing text within queries, scripts, and comments uses similar commands.


Manifold fully supports collations, an essential part of international use of GIS and databases.  Collations specify how characters for a given language are to be sorted using rules that define the correct character sequence, with options for specifying case-sensitivity, accent marks, kana character types, use of symbols or punctuation, character width, and word sorting.

Street Address Geocoding

Assigning spatial locations to street addresses.


A traverse is a way of defining lines and area boundaries as they are described in surveying in the United States.   Traverses are also known as metes and bounds descriptions or, in ESRI jargon, COGO (computational geometry) descriptions.


How to use 11 different programming languages in Manifold.

Regular Expressions

Massively powerful notation for matching patterns in strings.

Collecting Data in the Field

Manifold makes it easy to collect data in the field via mobile devices or the web, even when disconnected from Internet., using tight integration with KoBo Toolbox and KoBo web servers.   That provides a complete solution for creating, sharing, and analyzing surveys and data collected in the field using forms, including smart forms with skip logic, defaults, and support for multiple languages.

Manifold Commander

Manifold Universal and Server editions include Manifold Commander, a console application version of Manifold that provides the full range of Manifold SQL query and scripting capabilities from a command line, making it easy to automate GIS, DBMS, and ETL tasks.

Manifold Server

Manifold Server is a read-only, parallel, spatial database server that shares the contents of a Manifold .map file to one or more Manifold clients.   

Performance Tips

How to work faster and with bigger data.  Manifold is fast.  This topic covers how to make it even faster.