Legends: Tutorial Example

This topic is a companion to the main Legends topic. Please review the Legends topic before proceeding with this topic.


We will create a legend for a map of Monaco that has four layers:  a background layer of Bing streets, plus three drawing layers with a railways layer, a roads layer, and a buildings layer.   The railways layer has a fixed format for all lines, while the roads layer and the buildings layer have thematic formats for lines and areas respectively.



The map appears in a layout frame as seen above.  



With the focus on the layout, the Layers pane shows only one frame in the layout, the frame showing the map.



In the main toolbar, within the Cursor / command mode button, we choose Create Legend.   That pops open the New Legend dialog.



In the New Legend dialog, we specify a Caption of Monaco for the legend.  We would like a Base frame, which underlies the many smaller frames that make up the legend, so we leave that option checked.    For details on all New Legend dialog options, see the New Legend topic.


This layout has only one frame in it that is created from other components in the project, the Map frame, so only Map appears in the pull down menu of which frame should be used for the legend.  If there were more frames in the layout that were created from other components in the project,  those all would appear as options in the pull down menu.


All three drawing layers in the Map have only one type of object each, that is, only lines in the roads and railways drawings, and only areas in the buildings drawing, so we leave checked the option box to Ignore unused geometry types.   That will avoid creating empty legend entries for points and for areas in the roads and railways layers and for lines in the buildings layer.


We uncheck the entry for the Bing streets layer, since we do not want a legend entry for that.  We press Create Legend.



Manifold creates a legend entry that shows the thematic formatting for the buildings and roads layers and the style for the railways layer.



The new legend added many frames to the layout, as can be seen in the Layers pane.  The many frames participating in the legend have been grouped into folders to make them easier to manage.   A Monaco folder contains frames and subfolders for the legend.  Subfolders include frames from each of the layers of the map that participate in the legend, for example, a buildings subfolder for all the frames showing symbology from the buildings drawing, a roads folder showing symbology from the roads drawing, and a railways folder showing symbology from the railways drawing.


We can collapse and expand the folders as desired to make it easy to select and to turn off or on many frames at once within different parts of the legend.     For example, in the illustration at right above we have collapsed the buildings folder, to reduce the list of frames within that folder to just one line for the folder.



In the illustrations above we have collapsed the Monaco folder to reduce the long list of frames in the legend to just a single line for the Monaco folder.    


Next, we would like to pick the Map frame as the active frame, so we can resize it.   We right-click the Map frame and choose Active.



That picks the Map frame as the active frame.   We could have also Alt-clicked the Map frame in the layout to pick it.   However, with many overlapping frames in a complex layout it is often easier to pick exactly the one we want by right-clicking it in the Layers pane and choosing Active.



We drag the edit handles to resize the Map frame as desired.   We resize the Map frame to make room to work with the legend without the visual clutter of a map background.


Next, we would like to select all frames in the legend.  



We do that with one click by Ctrl-clicking the Monaco folder to select it.   Selecting a folder selects everything within the folder, one of the super time savers of keeping layers and frames organized within folders.


Next, we will drag the entire legend to a new location.



We Alt-click the top frame in the layout to pick it as the active frame.  



We drag the active frame to a new location.   Since the active frame is selected, dragging the active frame also drags all other selected frames with it, moving the entire legend.



The entire legend moves to the new location.   This is a classic example of select and pick workflow in layouts and legends.   Select the desired frames, pick one of them as the active frame, and then mvoes applied to that active frame apply to all selected frames.


We choose Edit - Select None in the main menu to deselect all frames.  We could also press Shift-Ctrl-A to deselect all frames.



We expand the Monaco folder to take a closer look at the frames that make up our legend.  The last frame, with a small Ab icon, is the blank text frame that is the base frame.  The other frames are either text frames used as various captions, or sample frames, showing area or line symbology.



By default, layouts show margin lines so we can see the boundaries of frames and the paper margins used for the layout.



We can click the Margins button to turn off display of margins, to see how the layout would be printed.  That shows us the typical, default formatting used for legends, where the base layer has a thin, black border line and other frames do not use borders.




 We click the Margins button again, to turn margins back on.  It is easier to work with frames when we can see their boundaries.


Next, we will delete the mfd_id and fclass text frames, which provide a caption reporting the field on which thematic formatting is based for the buildings and roads layers respectively.  To do that, we will select the two frames and then delete them.



In the Layers pane we Ctrl-click the mfd_id frame and the fclass frame to select them.



They are immediately selected in the layout as well.    


We could have Ctrl-clicked those frames in the layout as well.  However, Ctrl-clicking onto frames that overlap other frames, like the way the mfd_id and fclass text frames overlap the base frame, would also select the overlapped base frame.   We do not want to select the base frame (since the next step is deleting selected frames), so we selected the mfd_id and fclass text frames in the Layers pane instead of in the Layout.


We can avoid such overlap conflicts by taking a moment to turn off the base frame by clicking the visibility button for that frame in the Layers pane. If the frame is turned off it cannot be selected by accident with a Ctrl-click in the layout.   Many users turn off the base frame while they tinker with other frames in a legend.  


Having selected the mfd_id and fclass text frames, we delete them by choosing Edit - Delete, pressing OK in the confirmation dialog.   We could also press the Delete key on the keyboard.



The two text frames are deleted.   They may not appear to be deleted other than the text disappearing, since the margins for surrounding frames and the base frame are still visible.    



We can see the visual effect of the base frame by making it the active frame.   We do that by right-clicking the base frame in the Layers pane, and choosing Active.   In the illustration above we have collapsed the various folders for a simpler display.



The base frame appears as the active frame, with blue border and edit handles.   We can see how it precisely aligns with the other frames.


To get a better view of the layout, from this point onward in this tutorial we will zoom into the layout and resize the layout window for a better view.    We will also include an adjacent illustration showing the Layers pane or Info pane.



Let's turn off the base frame so it does not get in the way of upcoming action.   We click the visibility box for the base frame in the Layers pane.



Turning off a frame means it is no longer the active pane.   Without the base frame displayed, we can see the other frames in the legend that remain, after we deleted the mfd_id and fclass text frames.   


We next will edit the buildings and roads text frames, to alter their text.



Alt-click the buildings frame to pick it as the active frame.   Since the overlapping base frame is now hidden, we do not have to worry about accidentally picking the base frame as the active frame instead of our intended frame.



The active frame automatically appears as the context for the Style and Position tabs in the Info pane.    We alter the text to Buildings by mfd_id, and then we press Update Record.



We Alt-click the roads text frame to pick it as the active frame.   



In the Info pane we alter the text to Roads by fclass.  We press Update Record.  



Our next task is to bring the separated clumps of legend frames together.     We want to select all frames except the base frame.


A fast way to do that is to Ctrl-click the topmost Monaco folder to select all frames in the legend, including the base frame.   We then Ctrl-click the base frame to deselect it.



We Alt-click any of the selected frames to pick it as the active frame.   


We Alt-click the Roads by fclass layer to pick it as the active frame, since that is in the middle, and will allow the other frames to stack adjacent to that frame, maintaining the relative position of the legend in the layout.



In the main toolbar, within the Align button we choose the Stack Vertical command.



Instantly, the selected frames stack vertically above and below the active frame, removing blank space in between.  


Now that we have our legend adjusted as we like, we will resize the base frame to match the new arrangement of the other frames.



In the Layers pane we click the visibility button for the base frame to turn it back on.  We can see that it is now too big for the remaining, stacked legend frames.  


In the Layers pane, we right-click the base frame and we choose Active, to pick it as the active frame.



The base frame appears as the active frame, with blue border and edit handles.



In the main toolbar, within the Align button we choose Resize to Selected.



That moves and resizes the active frame to precisely align with all selected frames.   In this case, the command moves and resizes the base frame so it precisely aligns with all the other frames in the legend.



We choose Edit - Select None to deselect all frames.   We click outside the base frame to unpick it as the active frame.   



We click the Margins button to turn off display of margins, to see how the layout would be printed.    We can see from the above view that adding some padding to sample frames would improve the appearance of the legend, by providing some more white space between the legend's border line and the samples.    


We will show how to do that in another tutorial.   That is easy to do: we arrange one of the sample frames to our liking, we select all frames we want to have that same formatting, and then we use the Same Format command in the Align button to apply that same format to all selected frames.



Style overrides excluded - Legends created using Create Legends will capture formatting in the Style pane, but will not capture style overrides used to style objects individually if such have been applied.


See Also





Info Pane


Layers Pane




Layouts: Info Pane


Layouts: Create Commands


Layouts: Alignment Commands




New Legend


Legends: Raster Images




Style: Thematic Formatting


File - Page Setup


File - Print


File - Print Preview


Example: Layout Properties - Editing properties which appear in the mfd_meta table for a layout changes the content of that layout.   We can exploit that effect to create standardized layouts which are then re-cycled for different content.