Example: Complex Point Style using a Circle Box

This example creates a complex point style, which uses a variety of different colors within the different effects tabs in the Point Style dialog.   Please read the Style: Points topic before continuing.


The various style dialogs within Manifold all follow the same overall design: tabs provide compartmentalized controls for symbol, box and other elements, and within each tab there are often choices to move, add a shadow, or a halo.   These can be combined to create overall effects that utilize several different colors and effects.


An example is the point style below, which uses a variety of colors for the symbol and box, and for the shadows and halos on symbol and box.



To see how the point style seen above is composed, we can click on the Total Style button in the Style pane for points.    The point style uses a car accident symbol that is surrounded by a round box.  



The Symbol tab shows that we have used the Accident vector symbol from the Glyphs collection of symbols.   The symbol uses red Stroke color with a Stroke width of 2 points and black Fill color.  The symbol is sized 40 points and rotated 15 degrees. The Shadow box has been checked to provide a drop shadow for the symbol in black color, at an angle of 135 degrees and an offset of 2 points.  We have set a dark gray background color for the preview pane.  


The Halo box has also been checked, using a halo of orange color with Padding of 2 pixels.  Halos are drawn first, and then any drop shadow appears based on the symbol with halo.


If no surrounding box were used, the settings in the Symbol tab would create a point style as seen above.  The symbol appears using red stroke color and black fill.  It is surrounded by an orange halo that is two points in width, and a black drop shadow appears as well.  


However, in this case we do use a box, as seen below:



The Box tab shows the settings chosen for the box.   The box is a round box, a circle that surrounds the symbol given a Padding of 20 points.    The box uses a brighter orange Stroke color with a Stroke width of 4 points, and a brown Fill color which fills the inside of the box.   The Halo box is checked, which draws a halo of 2 points thickness around the circular box using the dark brown color specified.  The Shadow box is also checked, using black color at an angle of 135 degrees to draw a shadow offset by 2 points.


The Style pane controls compartmentalize the various choices we can make.  For example, if we want to change just the symbol used we can switch back to the Symbol tab and choose a cat symbol instead of the automobile accident symbol.



Right away, the preview changes to show the cat symbol, with all other settings the same.



The result in the drawing is a cat symbol being used for the point style.   The other characteristics of the box, shadow/halo applied to the symbol or box, colors, etc., are not changed.


If desired, using the collection picker button, in the drop down menu we can chose Image and then choose a bitmap image to use as the symbol.   See the discussion in the Style: Bitmap Symbols topic.



With a simple point and click we can choose a new symbol from images we might have, such as those above from a clipart collection contributed by a Manifold user.   Change the symbol and the box elements and other parameters stay the same.   We might want to change colors or other characteristics or we might not, but we can change the symbol instantly without altering other characteristics.  



If we use sensible settings for parameters such as the symbol size and the various box parameters, we can easily adapt the existing choice of box elements to symbols that may come from bitmaps which have different proportions and the effect will stay the same.   We can see how that works using the bitmap image above, a portrait of Richard III of England.



The illustration above shows the Symbol tab for the Point Style dialog.   The main Size setting is 58 points to provide room for a larger bitmap image, so the portrait of Richard III is more clearly visible.  We keep the overall size of the round point style about the same by reducing the amount of Padding for the box, so the bitmap image occupies a larger proportion of the inside of the box.  


The Images pane is full of images we have loaded from a folder that contains clipart.   To see one of the small bitmap thumbnails more clearly, we can click on it to see it in the Preview pane.   There is no harm to doing that since we can always click Cancel to not apply any changes.



The Box tab shows the settings used for the box, including the use of % specifiers instead of using fixed point sizes.   Beginners almost always prefer to use fixed point sizes because those are obvious and easy to use: enter a single number, like 2 or 5 and that is the width in points for, say, the Stroke.    The problem with that is a stroke line, for example, the line that draws the boundary of a circular box, which looks good using 4 or 5 points when the circle is overall 58 points in size will look far too fat and out of proportion when the circle is only 24 points in size.  


We can get around that problem by using a percentage.  Instead of using a stroke width of 3.5, which looks good with a 58 point symbol, we can use 6%.   Six percent of 58 points is 3.48 points, about 3.5 points, the same thing.   However, when the Size is changed so the circle is only half the size, then the stroke width will also be reduced proportionately, keeping the appearance in balance.  More experienced users tend to use percentages when defining styles.   That gives them greater freedom to change the Size parameter within the main Style pane and as the point styles become larger or smaller the various elements stay in proportion automatically.


For an additional example of interesting point styles, see the Example: Point Style using Move and Rotate topic.



Point Styles and Pixels - When using point styles that include precisely vertical or horizontal lines, with some choices of border stroke width and point size we can encounter visual effects where some point symbols seem sharper than others when seen on a computer monitor.  That is a result of thinner lines being interpolated slightly differently for rendering on the grid of pixels that makes up the display screen.   We can deal with that easily, as discussed in the Style: Symbol Sizes and Pixels topic.


Richard III as a point style - Why might we need an icon with a portrait of Richard III?   That might be handy if we have created a map to illustrate a history of England and we wish to show regions loyal to Richard III and those loyal to the former Edward IV and supporting the bid for power by Henry Tudor.   


Richard III was the last English king to die in battle, at Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485.   At a key moment in the battle, with tremendous bravery and skill, Richard III led his knights in a charge directly against Henry Tudor, seeking to end the battle by personally killing his rival.  


In his furious charge, Richard III unhorsed a jousting champion, killed Henry's standard-bearer, and came within a sword's length of Henry himself before being surrounded and killed by Henry's allies.  But for a few moments' delay in the charge, the famous Tudor dynasty may never have begun.


Tudor dynasty propagandists, assisted by Shakespeare's malevolent characterization, spared no effort to portray Richard III as a deformed monster in their quest to legitimize Henry Tudor's seizure of the throne.   In real life a handsome man, Richard III had a reputation as a fair ruler, who performed many good acts in the interests of the common people of England.  He was certainly no worse than the Tudors who followed.



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







Style: Drawings


Style: Thematic Formatting


Style: Overrides


Style: Labels


Style: Areas


Style: Lines


Style: Points


Style: Bitmap Symbols


Style: Label Placement


Style: Label Icon Placement


Style: Symbol Sizes and Pixels




Example: Change Point Style - Using new Style pane controls to change point style, either very rapidly one property at a time, or using the total Style button to compose a new style with changes to several properties at once.


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


Example: Point Style using Move and Rotate -  The Move parameter for symbols allows us to move symbols in an angular direction even as we rotate them.   This example shows how to create point symbols that are clock faces with hands, using Move and Rotate.


Example: Line Style with Multiple Effects -  We can use effects from all of the Line Style dialog tabs to create a more complex line style.  This example shows how to create a line style with an arrowhead symbol at the end of the line, a symbol at the beginning of the line and accessory lines in different colors to the left and right of the main line.


Example: Fill Areas with Bitmap Images - We can use bitmap images as "fill" symbology for areas, including for the fill of the area itself, or as fill for Inner or Outer effects.  In this example we use Style Overrides to fill different areas in a map of provinces with a different bitmap image pattern.


Example: Use Repeating Images to Fill Areas - Areas are often filled with bitmap images that form a seamless pattern when tiled.  If we like, we can use any bitmap image that can be used as a symbol, which will repeat within the area.


Example: Inner and Outer Effects using a Bitmap - The Inner and Outer effects with area styles can use bitmap images for fills.   We first illustrate an Outer effect using a bitmap, and then add an Inner effect.