Example: Edit Attributes, Larger Text, IME for Asian Languages

This topic provides a tutorial showing how to edit attributes in a drawing using the Info 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.   This example has been published as the Manifold Future - Future Tour Part 5 Unicode Attributes and IME video on the Manifold Sales YouTube channel.  


To fit into this documentation, illustrations show an artificially small Manifold desktop, with only a few panes, docked to the right side.   In real life we use a much larger Manifold desktop, and all panes would be turned on, with some panes docked to the left and others docked to the right.





We begin with a project that shows the locations of coin hoards from Carolingian times that have been discovered in Europe.    Attributes for each point provide information on the horde found at that spot, such as the year it was found, and the number of coins found, along with occasional scholarly commentary.  The drawing seen above has been styled to apply a different color depending on how many coins were in the horde that was found. To see the attributes for a particular point, we alt-click the point.





The Info pane Values tab immediately pops open to show the attributes for that point.   We undock the Info pane by Shift-clicking the Info tab.  Alternatively, we could right-click the Info tab and then choose Undock from the context menu.

Editing with a Double-Click


To edit a cell we double-click that cell.



We can change the data to 1842 and then press Enter to stop editing the cell.  The new date of 1842 appears in blue preview color.  If we want to commit the edit we can either press the Update Record button or press Ctrl-Enter. To abandon the edit we can press Ctrl-Backspace.  To accept or abandon the edit we could also right-click into the map and choose Save Changes or Undo Changes in the context menu.



When editing a cell, we can right-click into the cell and choose Undo.  For example, suppose in the process of editing the cell we change the date to 1843 and then we change our minds.  We can right-click  into the cell and choose Undo.   This will undo changes made to the cell during that current editing session.   However, it will not undo any changes after we press Enter to end the editing of the cell.

Editing with the Edit Dialog

To view or to edit cells that contain lengthy text we can right-click into the cell and choose Edit from the context menu.  Double-clicking into a cell with multiline text will also automatically launch the Edit dialog.



That launches an Edit dialog that shows the full text in that field.   We can resize the Edit dialog to make it wider or narrower, or taller or shorter as desired.  


The Edit dialog's title bar shows the name of the field that is displayed.   The dialog is a fully functional Microsoft Input Method Editor (IME) enabled text session and fully supports Unicode editing.



Right-clicking into the Edit dialog text will launch a context menu with Unicode and IME choices.   For example, we can choose Right to left Reading order from the context menu.



That will switch the Edit dialog into a display mode suitable for languages that are read from right to left.   Right-clicking into the dialog again allows us to uncheck right to left reading order to restore normal left to right display.



The context menu allows us to insert and to view Unicode control characters.  These are special Unicode characters which control the display of Unicode text within Unicode-aware applications.



We can also open IME mode to input languages using Microsoft Input Method Editor (IME) capabilities that interact with IME-enabled languages installed on our computer.   For example, if we right-click and choose Open IME we launch IME editing mode.    



In this example we have previously installed Japanese language on our Windows 10 system.  Once we choose Open IME to launch IME editing mode, in the Windows taskbar we can click on the ENG notification and choose Japanese Microsoft IME from the languages options installed on our computer.  If Japanese language has not been installed on our Windows system we will not have this option.



When we choose Japanese Microsoft IME as our language option the Windows taskbar switches to show that is the language selected.



Back in the Edit dialog, we can begin keyboarding ordinary English characters from our English keyboard and the IME facility will attempt to match those characters as a phonetic utterance to what we intend in Japanese text.  For example, "nihongo" is a phonetic, Latinized sequence of characters that means "Japanese language."   If we begin by entering the characters n and then i the above display appears.  


As we continue entering the characters h and then o and n and g and o the prediction algorithm will present a list of candidates, in kanji, hiragana and katakana, from which we can choose the desired expression.   Japanese language uses three alphabets for written expressions, so usually variations of all three will be presented.



When we see the hiragana prediction candidate にほんご in the list we think "Perfect!... exactly what I had in mind." and we click it.  It appears in the dialog underlined.  We press Enter to approve it and the hiragana text にほんご appears in the dialog as seen above.   This is Japanese for "Japanese language," often Latinized as the word "nihongo."   We press OK to close the Edit dialog.



The new, edited form of the text, beginning with にほんご , appears in blue preview color.  If we want to commit the edit we can either press the Update Record button or press Ctrl-Enter. To abandon the edit we can press Ctrl-Backspace.  To accept or abandon the edit we could also right-click into the map and choose Save Changes or Undo Changes in the context menu.


The Reconversion option in the context menu within the Edit dialog is enabled when we right-click on highlighted text that has been converted by the Input Method Editor facility from a phonetic sequence of Latin characters into a target language.   It allows us to choose a different conversion from a menu of predictions.



Consider the screen above, where we used IME to translate the phonetic string of keyboarded Latin characters, nihongo, into Japanese language にほんご using hiragana characters.



We highlighted the にほんご string and then right-click on the highlighted text and choose Reconversion.  



A menu appears offering alternate predictions for the original phonetic string.  We click on the second one, for a kanji version.    The third option is the expression in katakana characters.



An underlined version appears (not shown) and we click Enter to accept it.  We have replaced the hiragana prediction with a string using kanji characters.


Three alphabets in Japanese - Yes, really.  There is actually a fourth, Romaji, meaning the use of Latin text, and Arabic numerals are often used as well.   Counting the three main alphabets, Romaji, and Arabic numerals there are five character systems in use, and sometimes together at the same time in the same phrase.  


Carolingian Hoards - Coin hordes are usually small groups of coins buried in centuries past.   Throughout history people have buried small bags of coins, for example, soldiers hiding their coins before going into battle or civilians hiding their valuables in times of trouble.  When such hoards were not reclaimed they became a time capsule awaiting rediscovery. Most coin hordes do not have precious coins, but because the coins can be dated precisely they serve many useful functions for archaeologists.  The Carolingian period runs roughly from mid 700's to 900, the boom times of the Frankish empire under Charlemagne and his successors.


Citation - The example data set of Carolingian Hoards was downloaded from dataverse.harvard.edu and is cited as Coupland, Simon; Maione-Downing, Brendan, 2013, "Geodatabase of Carolingian Coin Hoards: AD 751-987 (Version 1.1)", doi:10.7910/DVN/23984, Harvard Dataverse, V1  


See Also

Getting Started


User Interface Basics






Editing Drawings


Layers Pane


Info Pane


Example: Edit Coordinates While Creating an Object - When creating an object in a map using a tool such as Create Area, right in the middle of the process we can edit coordinates in the Info pane Coordinates tab.   This example shows the step by step process.


Example: Edit Attributes and Move a Point - We look at the attributes for a point in a drawing layer and edit one of the attributes using a more expanded Edit dialog.  We then move the point to a new location. Easy!