Info Pane: Coordinates

The Coordinates tab in the Info pane shows the coordinates of a path or of a picked object (area, line, or point), label that is in coordinates editing mode.  


The Info pane automatically launches with the Coordinates tab when drawing a path.   To see the Coordinates tab for an object or label, pick an object or label by Alt-clicking it.  That launches the Info pane showing the Values tab.   Switch into coordinates editing mode to show the Coordinates tab with any of the following moves:



The Coordinates tab shows a list of coordinates, the values being X, Y, and Z values for the coordinate system of the active layer, which define the object, label, or path.   Coordinates that are not read-only may be edited, which will edit the object, label position, or path.    The coordinates that define an object are also called the geometry of that object.



 The Coordinates list format picker button allows switching the Coordinates tab display between XYZ values and traverse mode to show geometry using traverses in a variety of popular formats.   Traverse format allows specifying line segments in terms of direction and distance.   Although typically used to define traverses as used in surveying in the United States, traverse commands are very convenient in many other vector editing settings as well.



The traverses display can also be adjusted to use different formats for the traverse.   The example above shows use of DD (Direction + Distance) format, where a line is specified by the direction it should go and the distance (length) of the line.   See the Traverses topic for examples and more information.

Coordinates Tab Controls

Click any vertex or segment in a picked object to switch to the Info pane Coordinates tab.  



The Coordinates tab allows us to view and edit the coordinates that define the object or path, and to enable the object or path for interactive mouse editing in the map window.  The Coordinates tab also opens automatically whenever we begin creating a new object or path in a map window, for example, using the Create Area, the Draw Path, or other tool.


The coordinates tab shows a list of coordinates that define the picked object or path, using the coordinate system of the active layer.   An inverted T symbol in the right margin of the coordinates list marks the end coordinate of a branch.


Click to pick the previous record or the next record.  Applies to both the Values tab or the Coordinates tab.  This is useful for data sets where records are in order.  When records are not ordered in a table, as usually is the case in enterprise class databases, these buttons will have limited utility in such cases.

Move only within selected coordinate rows.  When enabled (only possible if there is a selection), constrains Previous and Next motion to the previous selected coordinate row or to the next selected coordinate row.

Zoom to the object.

Delete selected row.  Enabled when a row has been selected.

Load coordinates for this object from a coordinates text file or from an Esri traverse format text file.  The format will be detected automatically from the text file.

Save the coordinates shown in the list to a text file.  Coordinates will be saved as shown in the list, either in Manifold coordinates text format for XY or XYZ coordinates, or in Esri traverse text format when the coordinates list shows a traverse.  See the Traverses topic for information on Esri traverse file format.

Coordinates list format picker  - Enabled for lines and areas: Choose the coordinates list format, showing the coordinates list as XY / XYZ coordinates or as a traverse.  Also allows launching the Traverse Parameters dialog: see the Traverses topic for details.


The Coordinates tab remembers the last used coordinates list format setting for each window.   For example, if we are working with two different map windows and in one we have used the coordinate list format picker button to show XYZ coordinates and in the other we have used it to show traverse commands, as we switch back and forth between the two different map windows the Coordinates tab format will automatically switch back and forth between showing XYZ coordinates and traverse commands.

An inverted T symbol appears in the right margin of the coordinates list to mark the end coordinate of a branch.  


Move the current cell to the clicked row, and display the corresponding vertex in the window using a larger blue preview box.


Select or deselect the row.


Select a swath of rows from that record to the next nearest (up or down) selected row, inclusive.



Enter to open the current cell for editing, or double-click into a cell.  Enter closes the cell for editing, leaving it in blue preview color until a Ctrl-Enter commits the change.  This is the same style of cell editing used in tables.


Abandon an edit.


Right-click a row to Copy that coordinate or to Copy Coordinate List, to copy the entire coordinate list in whatever format is currently in use.   When coordinates are shown as traverse commands, a right-click also allows switching between DD and AD direction formats.   See the Traverses topic for examples.


Pressing the Insert key opens a new row  just below the current cell row.   Clicking the mouse in the map window will add a coordinate into that row, or we can manually keyboard or copy/paste X or Y coordinate values into that row.

Arrow Keys

Move current cell up / down / left / right.  Moving the current cell moves the larger box indicating the corresponding coordinate in the map window.


Move current cell all the way to the left (layer names).


Move current cell all the way to the right (on/off box).


Move current cell to the top layer.


Move current cell to the bottom layer (Background).

Page Up

Page Down

Move current cell up or down one page's worth.

Scroll bar

A vertical scroll bar appears when there are more layers than can fit into the display.   Scrolling the display does not move the current cell.

Scroll bar context menu

Right-clicking onto the scroll bar calls up a context menu:


  • Scroll Here - Drag the scroll bar handle to the spot right-clicked and scroll the display accordingly.

  • Top - Scroll the display to the top.

  • Bottom - Scroll the display to the bottom.

  • Page Up - Scroll the display up one page.

  • Page Down - Scroll the display down one page.

  • Scroll Up - Scroll the display up one row.

  • Scroll Down - Scroll the display down one row.

Update Record

Press to apply any changes.



Tech tip:   Editing cells in the Coordinates tab display is the same as editing cells in a table.  Enter or double-click to begin editing a cell. Edit the cell and press Enter again. That shows a preview in blue preview color of the proposed edit.  More than one cell can be edited in that way.   Press Ctrl-Enter to commit the edits to the entire record, or Ctrl-Backspace to abandon.  

Coordinates or Traverse

 The coordinate list format picker button allows us to choose between showing the coordinates that define a line or an area in either XY/XYZ format or in traverse format.   Traverses are a way of defining lines or areas, but not points, so there is no traverse format for a point.



XY/XYZ format simply lists the X,Y or X,Y,Z (in the case of lines or areas with a Z value) numbers for each vertex or control point of a curved segment.   Traverse format describes lines or areas as they are described in surveying in the United States, for example, giving the direction and distance to each next vertex.  Esri traverse format is used in the coordinates list when we choose Show Traverse.  Other words used for traverse descriptions are COGO (coordinate geometry) descriptions, and metes and bounds.  

Traverse Parameters

There are many different notation options for specifying traverses, for example, whether the direction uses North Azimuth, and whether degrees or some other angular units are used, and if degrees are uses whether they are decimal degrees or use degrees - minutes - seconds format.   The Traverse Parameters dialog allows us to choose desired options.  


See the Traverses topic for an illustrated guide to working with traverse parameters.

Formats for Saving and Reading Coordinate Lists

The Info pane can read from a file or save to a file a coordinates list in either Manifold Coordinates format or Esri Traverse format.  Whichever format is displayed when we press the Save button will be the format used for the text file that is created.  Manifold Coordinates format saves coordinates as X Y numbers, adding a third Z number if the object has a Z value.  Esri Traverse format saves coordinate geometry in standard Esri traverse file format.   See the Traverses topic for information on Esri traverse file format.



Manifold Coordinates Format

Manifold coordinates format closely matches what is displayed in the list and preserves all data.  


The first line contains a single character specifying the type of object: P for point, L for line, or A for area.  Lines following the first line contain coordinates, with each line beginning with a C, CC, CE, CS, or E code indicating the nature of the coordinate:


C <x> <y> [<z>] - coordinate.

CC <x> <y> [<z>] - circle arc coordinate.

CE <x> <y> [<z>] - ellipse arc coordinate.

CS <x> <y> [<z>] - spline coordinate.

E <x> <y> [<z>] - coordinate that ends a branch.


Coordinate values are separated by one or more whitespace characters.


Example: A text file saving coordinates for an area with four vertices might contain:



C 826590.1661996043 5425098.995517982

C 826608.2333529602 5425149.516990494

C 826635.595683797 5425139.733152165

C 826630.820077642 5425126.359355299

C 826617.5285304413 5425089.211733231

E 826590.1661996043 5425098.995517982


The area above has no Z value, so just X Y coordinates are listed.

Copying Coordinates

We can  right-click onto a coordinate row to either Copy that single coordinate or to Copy Coordinate List, to copy the entire list of coordinates for the object.


We will work with a drawing called buildings, which shows building footprints in Monaco as area objects.



We Alt-click a building of interest, and then in the Info pane we switch to the Coordinates tab.   The first coordinate is shown in the drawing window as a larger editing handle, and in the Coordinates list it appears with a darker edit handle, the first row.



To copy any of the X or Y coordinates, we right-click the cell desired and we choose Copy.   That copies the coordinate as a text value into the Windows clipboard.  We can then Paste it where we want:




We can copy the entire coordinate list if we want.



Right-click any cell in the coordinates list and choose Copy Coordinate List.   That copies all of the coordinates to the Windows clipboard using Manifold format.


We can Paste the coordinates list:



C 826435.0981489292 5424037.430645572

C 826449.1355367184 5424041.081813897

C 826452.4417255949 5424032.131062059

C 826496.4240564073 5424042.853478372

C 826520.7362331965 5423986.360657816

C 826457.4399707315 5423960.078596306

E 826435.0981489292 5424037.430645572

C 826457.6514777641 5424010.824918336

C 826463.406695438 5423992.338065611

C 826468.9392741303 5423994.202154915

C 826469.852093955 5423999.517122354

C 826487.8413236671 5424005.756435864

C 826490.8580818677 5424001.612298764

C 826495.0325627723 5424003.014218543

C 826486.5166217268 5424021.069731846

E 826457.6514777641 5424010.824918336

Copying Traverses

Copy and Copy Coordinate List also works when coordinates are shown in traverse format.   Whatever format is displayed will be copied.


 Using the coordinate list format picker button we switch to traverse format, which uses DD format by default.



Right-clicking any row and choosing Copy will copy that row's traverse command to the Windows clipboard as plain text.   Pasting it, we see we have copied:


DD 75.42024985018784 14.504457455641425


We can copy the entire coordinate list in traverse format:



Right-click any row in the coordinates list and choose Copy Coordinate List.   That copies all of the traverse rows to the Windows clipboard using Esri traverse format.


We can paste from the Clipboard to see what was copied:




SP 826435.0981489292 5424037.430645572

EP 826435.0981489292 5424037.430645572

DD 75.42024985018784 14.504457455641425

DD 159.72700281493383 9.541846957351323

DD 76.29916412030833 45.27047200202614

DD 156.71495254886483 61.50220089257601

DD 247.45065298480898 68.53585630337115

DD 343.88953915590065 80.51395237531338

SP 826457.6514777641 5424010.824918336

EP 826457.6514777641 5424010.824918336

DD 162.70789888824018 19.36197960308958

DD 71.37980793465422 5.838172309767734

DD 9.745197822842863 5.392783967074161

DD 70.87160998604611 19.040520441955927

DD 143.94695067627083 5.125885517582794

DD 71.43635656987976 4.403597380321702

DD 334.74894053735807 19.96303615563394

DD 250.45921440113085 30.62927912708347


Whatever traverse format was used in the Coordinates list is what will be copied.  


 For example, we can click the coordinate list format picker button and choose Traverse Parameters to change the format used.



We can choose to use Degrees-minutes-seconds format for angular direction units.



The traverse commands in the coordinates list immediately switch from using decimal degrees to degrees-minutes-seconds format for directions.    We can right-click any row and choose Copy Coordinate List.  


Pasting from the Clipboard, we see what was copied:




SP 826435.0981489292 5424037.430645572

EP 826435.0981489292 5424037.430645572

DD 75-25-12.899460676237595 14.504457455641425

DD 159-43-37.21013376177325 9.541846957351323

DD 76-17-56.99083310999981 45.27047200202614

DD 156-42-53.829175913385825 61.50220089257601

DD 247-27-2.3507453123374944 68.53585630337115

DD 343-53-22.34096124233929 80.51395237531338

SP 826457.6514777641 5424010.824918336

EP 826457.6514777641 5424010.824918336

DD 162-42-28.435997664648767 19.36197960308958

DD 71-22-47.30856475520568 5.838172309767734

DD 9-44-42.71216223430784 5.392783967074161

DD 70-52-17.79594976599583 19.040520441955927

DD 143-56-49.02243457499026 5.125885517582794

DD 71-26-10.883651567146444 4.403597380321702

DD 334-44-56.18593448903994 19.96303615563394

DD 250-27-33.17184407106197 30.62927912708347


The coordinates list was copied using the new format, using degrees-minutes-seconds format for angular directions.

The Coordinates Tab and Tables

Alt-clicking a record in a table launches the Values tab in the Info Pane.   The Info pane with tables does not show the Coordinates tab; however, if we want to see the coordinates of a Geom value, we can do so by right-clicking the geometry cell in the Values tab list and choosing View Coordinates.



We open a table that includes a Geom geometry value for each record.   We Alt-click one of the records to pick it.



The record appears as a picked record, with a triangle icon in the row handle.  



The record appears in the Values tab of the Info pane.   We right-click the geometry value for the Geom field.



Choose View Coordinates from the menu.



The Coordinates tab appears in the Info pane, with coordinates for the geometry field.   The Coordinates display is read only for tables.  To edit coordinates, open the table's drawing (creating a drawing if there is not already a drawing for the table, and then edit the coordinates list by picking the object in the drawing.


Coordinate systems - The Coordinates tab reports values in the coordinate system of the active layer.   That might be confusing if we expect to see latitude and longitude decimal values and the layer uses some other coordinate system, such as Pseudo-Mercator, for which the coordinate values will be reported as long numbers in a meter based coordinate system.    When drawing paths to make measurements, to see coordinates reported as latitude and longitude decimal values the active layer must use the Latitude / Longitude coordinate system.


If we want to measure in a map in a layer that does not use Latitude / Longitude coordinate system, we can simply create a new, blank drawing using the Latitude / Longitude coordinate system, and then drag and drop that drawing into the map as a layer.   With the focus on that layer tab, we can use the Draw Path tool and the Coordinate tab will report values as latitude and longitude decimal values.

See Also

Info Pane


Info Pane: Component


Info Pane: Values


Info Pane: Style


Info Pane: Related


Info Pane: Pixels


Info Pane: Position


Info Pane and Images


Getting Started


User Interface Basics


Project Pane


Layers Pane


Style Pane


Transform Pane
















Assign Initial Coordinate System


Repair Initial Coordinate System


Reproject Component




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!


Example: Edit Attributes, Larger Text, IME for Asian Languages - A tour 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.


Example: Assign Initial Coordinate System - Use the Info pane to manually assign an initial coordinate system when importing from a format that does not specify the coordinate system.


Example: Change Projection of an Image - Use the Reproject Component command to change the projection of an image, raster data showing terrain elevations in a region of Florida, from Latitude / Longitude to Orthographic centered on Florida.


Example: Create Parcels from Traverse Files - Traverse files using Esri traverse file format are widely used by surveyors and government organizations in the US to define parcels and lines by describing a sequence of directions, distances and curves from a starting point.  Manifold automatically handles both tangent and non-tangent curves in Esri traverse file format as well as the full variety of options used to specify angles, distances and curves.  This video shows how it's easy to create a parcel from a traverse file.