Problems with Commands or Tools

Manifold uses a context-sensitive, mode-oriented user interface for many command functions. Unexpected action of commands or tools is usually a result of having the focus being on a different window or being in a different command mode than was thought. Many Manifold commands and tools are designed to work within the selection or require a selection to be present; therefore, it is important to note whether a selection is present or not.


The first step in any troubleshooting is to check which window or layer has the focus. If a drawing window or layer is active the toolbars and menus will be configured for drawings. Image commands and tools will not be available unless an image window or layer is made active. See the Windows topic for information on what the "focus" means and what it means for a window to be active.


The second step in troubleshooting is to see what tool or command mode has been selected. If the Select Box button is pressed in the mouse will be in selection mode and cannot be used to zoom in or zoom out, for example.


The third step in troubleshooting is to see if there is any selection in the active component. Commands and tools will change their action to work within the selection, if one has been made. Some commands, such as Crop, work only upon the selection.


Unexpected command or tool action. Command or tool doesn't work.


·      What is the active window or layer? Clicking back and forth between images and drawings will automatically switch the context of commands and toolbars to feature only those commands or tools that apply to the type of component at hand. Images and drawings are different types of components with different characteristics. Although some tools are similar and are usually directly analogous in both cases the precise action of tools will be different in drawings or images.

·      What is the command mode the mouse is in? If you have chosen Zoom Box, the mouse will be in zoom box mode and not selection mode. Get in the habit of clicking out a tool button once you are done with that tool.

·      Will the command or tool cause a visible difference? Some commands may not have any visually obvious effect. Perhaps the command worked correctly but had no visually obvious effect. For example, converting an RGB image to an RGBa image will not cause any difference in the appearance of the image.

·      Does the command require a selection? Some commands such as a Cut or Crop work on the selection. If no selection has been made the command does nothing.

·      Is the command affected by a selection? Commands such as transform toolbar operators will use autoscope, where they will apply to the entire component if there is no selection and will apply only to the selection if one has been made.

·      Is there a selection? Most tools will work only within the selection. If you have made a selection and are trying to paint outside the selection there will be no effect. See the following paragraphs for cases where there might be a selection but it is not visible.

·      When working with tables, check the field type. It's possible that what you think is a number is really a string field, for example. The specific action of commands and tools that work with tables will often depend on the type of the field involved.

·      When working with images, check the settings in the tool properties pane and format toolbar. Painting with a size of 1 will have a greatly different effect than applying the same brush shape with a size of 20. Likewise, the Tolerance setting has a great effect on Touch Selection and the Bucket tool.

·      Is the system busy executing a previous command? Check the System Activity indicator in the in the status bar at the lower right hand of the screen. When the system is busy it will show a 3D "bump". If Manifold is busy it cannot execute a new command for you.


Objects created in Drawing in a Map do not appear.


If a map with several different drawings is open and you try to draw a new object in the drawing and it does not appear:


·      Does the drawing being used have the same projection as the map? Right click on the layer tab for that drawing and choose Project to Map to force that drawing to use the same projection as the map.

·      When creating drawings to be dragged into the map, make sure you click on the opened map first to activate it. While the map is active, click on File - Create - Drawing to create the drawing. If you open the map and click on something else (like, the project pane), the focus will move off the map window and the new drawing when it is created will not be created with the projection used by the map.

·      Try Zoom to Fit to make sure all objects are visible.

·      Does the drawing have 100% transparency set? This will make the drawing and anything in it total invisible because it is completely transparent.

·      Is the drawing hidden from display? Double click on the layer tab to toggle it ON.

·      If the objects are areas, is the drawing formatted so that the foreground color of areas is invisible color? If so, the areas will be invisible since this is a shorthand way in Manifold of turning off areas.


Cannot change the format color of objects


·      In a map, have you clicked on the layer in which the objects are located?

·      If you cannot change the color of red objects… are they selected? If so, they will be seen in red selection color no matter what their color is supposed to be.


Items are not selected. Selection tools have no effect.


·      Is the selection visible? Check the Selection Style to make sure you have not turned off showing the selection. You might be making the selection OK and just cannot see it.

·      In a map, have you clicked on the layer in which the objects are located?

·      Is the selection very small or not in view? You might not realize there is a selection because it is only a few pixels in a large image and is not visible, or because the selected region is scrolled off screen. It might be off screen when making selections from table windows or via SQL or other non-mouse selection methods.

·      Have you enabled selection for the types of objects you wish to select? If Select Areas has been enabled and Select Lines and Select Points have been disabled, any selection made with the mouse will apply to areas only. Making a mouse selection over lines or points will have no effect because they are not enabled for selection.

·      Are you using a "closed" selection tool when an "open" tool is required? Default selection tools select objects that are entirely within the mouse selection zone. You may be trying to select a line, for example, that partially extends outside the selection zone drawn with the mouse cursor. Use SHIFT with the selection tool to get an "open" style of selection that will select all objects any part of which are within the zone drawn by the mouse.

·      Maps will display the selection for all components/layers within them. It is possible to select areas in a drawing that is seen in a map layer above an image layer, where the selected area in the drawing appears to be a region of selected pixels in the image. This might occur in certain combinations of area styles and transparency effects for images and drawings. Click layers on and off to resolve any visual ambiguity.

·      It is important to understand the different types of objects that appear in drawings. Trying to select the "inside" of a region in a drawing that is outlined by lines and is not an area object will have no effect because there is nothing there to select. See the Drawings topic for a discussion.


Missing objects in drawings or missing regions in images


·      Have the objects or pixels been deleted?

·      In drawings, have the objects been formatted to the same color as the background? Click off the background in the Layers pane.

·      Missing points? Increase the point size so that small points are visible.

·      Are the objects or pixels on screen? Click Zoom to Fit to make sure that everything within the drawing or image is within the window that's open.

·      In drawings, are the objects smaller areas covered by larger areas? Click using Touch Select on any spot and see how many objects are selected. If two objects are selected where you think there is only one area there is another area under the area that you see. Select the smaller areas in a table window and move them to a different drawing. You can then organize them in layers in a map so they are above the larger areas.

·      Missing regions in images might simply be regions of very high transparency in RGBa images.

·      If you are running Windows '95, the operating system cannot display objects made up of more than 32,000 coordinates. See the Limitations topic. Switch to Windows 2000.

·      If the objects are areas, is the drawing formatted so that the foreground color of areas is invisible color? If so, the areas will be invisible since this is a shorthand way in Manifold of turning off areas.


No panes are visible.


·      Panes are not displayed until they are checked on in the View - Panes menu or with a SHIFT-ALT (key) keyboard shortcut.


No scroll bars are visible.


·      Manifold does not use scroll bars for images, drawings or maps. Hot scrolling using CTRL-right click is used instead because it is faster and uses less space. See the Windows topic.


Some toolbars are missing.


·      The default installation of Manifold System contains the toolbars described in this documentation. If toolbars are missing or do not appear in the Tools - Customize dialog, check the Config folder within the Manifold System installation folder for an XML files that may have been added containing <addin> entries. An add-in may be used to add commands to Manifold and also to control the availability of toolbars.


Objects disappear when pasting into drawings.


·      Were the objects selected? Manifold's Paste into drawings is a standard Windows Paste: if something is highlighted/selected when a paste occurs, that something gets deleted and is replaced with whatever is being pasted in from the clipboard. See the Using Cut, Copy and Paste in Drawings topic.

·      Were the objects copied from a drawing that was not correctly georegistered? If you create or import a CAD drawing from a non-geographic format (such as DXF) the objects are created in Orthographic projection at the 0,0 intersection of the Prime Meridian and the Equator. If you then paste them into a correctly georegistered drawing (such as, for example, a drawing of city streets in some town in Europe or the US) the objects will not be seen in the drawing. They are in the drawing but they are still in a location somewhere off the coast of Africa at the 0,0 intersection. To remedy this, correctly georegister all drawings that will be used.

·      If the objects are areas, is the drawing formatted so that the foreground color of areas is invisible color? If so, the areas will be invisible since this is a shorthand way in Manifold of turning off areas.


Compressed images don't appear in maps.


·      A compressed image may or may not be displayed in a map, depending on the projection used for the image and the projection used for the map. If the projections are not the same, the compressed image will not appear in the map unless the projections are sufficiently similar to each other (not usually the case) so that the conversion between the two can be accomplished by applying an offset and altered scale.


Data attributes disappear or do not appear as expected after an operation.


·      Many operations such as those in the Spatial Overlay dialog require correct setting of transfer rules for the fields that are to be transferred.


Strange Changes in object shapes when pasting into drawings


images\sc_copy_paste_proj_error_01.gif images\sc_copy_paste_proj_error_02.gif


If we Copy selected objects like those at the left and Paste them into a different drawing and get the result at the right, the problem is that the drawing on the right uses Orthographic projection while the drawing at left uses Geographic Latitude Longitude projection. If a drawing is created when the project pane has the focus, by default it is created using the Orthographic projection. When the objects were pasted into the Orthographic drawing they appeared as they would be shown in that projection.


Situations like the above arise when we selected the objects in the lat-lon drawing, chose Edit - Copy and then clicked on the project pane and chose File - Create - Drawing. At the moment we clicked on the project pane we moved the focus to the project pane and so the new drawing was created in Orthographic projection. What we should have done was choose File - Create - Drawing while the lat-lon drawing was still the active window. In that case, the new drawing would have been created by default to match the drawing that was open and had the focus.


Note that the pasted North and South America objects are correctly seen in default Orthographic projection, which is, after all, a view from space centered on the intersection of the Equator and the Prime Meridian just off the coast of Africa. From that position North and South America appear greatly foreshortened as they are on the edge of the visible part of the Earth. The default Orthographic projection uses a "transparent globe" so that Alaska in the drawing at right is seen through the Earth. See the Projections topics for more information.


We can retrieve the situation by re-projecting the drawing on the right into Geographic Latitude Longitude projection.


Problems printing. / "No System Resources" error when printing


·      Make sure you are using the latest version of Manifold and the latest Service Pack.

·      What version of Windows are you using? Windows 98 and Me are full of bugs that often affect printing. Use Windows Server 2003, Windows XP or Windows 2000 to prevent bugs in Windows from interfering with print jobs.  

·      What printer resolution are you using? Try decreasing resolution and see if it helps. If you print in color, try black and white. If either of these steps helps, it is almost certain that the problem arises from a bug in the printer drivers supplied by your printer manufacturer. Download the latest version of your printer manufacturer's drivers to see if they remove the bug.  

·      How much RAM memory do you have installed in your system? 32 or 64 MB are not enough for serious printing jobs and 128 MB is only marginally OK. At least 256MB of RAM should be installed in the system.

·      How much free space do you have on your hard disk? Print jobs can require lots of free space for temporary files.


"Unknown Error" or "No System Resources" or "Can't Read Data Stream" errors when working with large images or other commands


·      32-bit Windows editions are fragile when large processes are used. Switch to 64-bit Windows so that Windows errors do not interrupt work.

·      Such errors are frequently caused by running out of free space on hard disk. Check the amount of free space on hard disk. If working with very large files and a system crash occurs (such as during a power failure) Manifold temporary files beginning with bdh may be found in the system TEMP folder and may be very large. These bdh*.* temporary files may be safely delete after a crash to save space on disk.

·      Errors may also be caused by limitations of the particular Windows configuration in use or by Windows bugs in Windows '95, '98, '98SE or Me. Check all items suggested for the Problems with Printing section above.

·      Are you using Windows Server 2003, Windows XP or Windows 2000 with the latest Microsoft service packs installed? If not, the above messages are almost certainly caused by memory management or other bugs in older Windows releases.

·      Make sure you have lots of free space on hard disk. Do you have a few gigabytes of free space on hard disk? If you don't have enough free space on disk to allow Manifold to create and use necessary temporary files the system cannot operate.

·      Do you have a static Windows pagefile (where the minimum size is the same as the maximum size)? Has it been set to a very large size? If not, you could be running out of pagefile when Windows attempts to swap parts of a large job in and out of memory. Set up a large, static page file.

·      Make sure your TEMP directory is on a hard disk that has lots (many gigabytes) of free space.

·      How much RAM do you have? Running with lots of RAM is a good way to avoid stepping on Windows bugs.

·      If some operations work OK and others do not, try saving the project to a .map file prior to the operation to move image data from memory to file mapping.

·      Keep in mind that images stored in compressed formats will expand to their real operational sizes when used in Manifold. Thus an image that takes only 200 MB in some compressed format could end up being a gigabyte in size when actually used. Make sure you have lots of free disk space to be able to work with such images.


Problems Saving or loading Projects


·      Encountering errors of the form "Can't overwrite target file. The project is saved to [path] bdh17a.tmp"? This happens when you don't have enough space on the target disk drive or when the temp file or target file can not be read or written due to a locking error. Locking errors might occur because you have opened the temp file or the target file name in an editor, such as a hex editor, or have the target .map file name opened in another instance of Manifold. Rename the .tmp file given to a .map file to rescue the project that was saved under the .tmp file name.

·      "Incorrect Data Check" errors indicate hardware problems, not Manifold problems, and usually arise from disk errors. This error message may occur seemingly at random as disk errors are encountered in an unpredictable way. Windows places information in scattered places on disk as free blocks become available when files (including temp files created or deleted by different programs or system processes) are created or deleted. Depending on the semi-random usage of blocks, a particular save or load may or may not involve a bad patch on disk. Note that disk is used in loading a project, because decompressing the project involves temp files created on disk. Likewise, saving a project to disk will involve not only the actual disk blocks used in the saved project but also disk blocks used for temp files created temporarily during the compression process. Regular use of Windows disk maintenance utilities can help avoid such problems; however, as systems age intermittent disk failures may indicate unreliable motherboard or disk circuitry and can be difficult to diagnose or eliminate.

·      "[Can't overwrite target file ...]" errors usually indicate flaws in virus-checking software. The overwriting of the old file with the new file is done using a system routine, which gets called after Manifold closes both the old file and the new file. When a system routine is not able to overwrite the old file, some other process besides Manifold has locked it. This behavior is frequently experienced with virus scanners and other protection software. Trying to change the name in background won't work either: By the time you see the error message, the new file is already closed. In fact, it is closed even earlier, prior to the call that generates the error in the first place. Not being able to rename the file is yet another indication it has been locked by some other process besides Manifold. Important: Virus scanners and other protection software are frequently designed to inject a portion of their code into every running process. In this case, the behavior mentioned above can seem to be caused by the Manifold process, despite the fact that it is being caused by software external to Manifold that has been injected into the Manifold process.


If the geocoder does not work, check the following:


§      Manifold Geocoding Tools extension product has been installed.

§      All state files required are present (that is, required files have not been removed after installation).

§      The Geocoding Database folder in the Tools - Options - File Locations correctly specifies the folder used to install the geocoding database. By default, this location is C:\Program Files\Manifold System\GCDB.

§      If geocoding functions do not work within IMS, check that the geocoding database has been installed within the main Manifold installation folder, such as in the default path above.


If an address cannot be located in the geocoder, check the following:


§      The address is correct. Nowhere is the ancient maxim of computing, "Garbage in, garbage out" more correct than in street address geocoding.

§      The address does not contain secondary address information, such as "Apartment 20" co-mingled with the primary street address field.

§      The address is a real street address and is not a virtual address, such as a Post Office box address (which, of course, can only be geocoded to a zip code).

§      Try manually breaking up a single line address into street, city, state and zip fields.If the zip code cannot be found, check the zip code against the US Postal Service's website to make sure it is a valid zip code.




·      For normal operation you should have four times the maximum size of the files in use available in free disk space. If you are working with a 100 MB image you should have 400 MB free on disk. The extra space is needed to keep temporary versions of the image to allow Undo or abandoning of edits as well as to provide space for copy and paste operations.

·      See the Memory Requirements topic for additional information on RAM and disk space requirements when working with larger projects.


General Advice


Run 64-bit Windows using 64-bit Manifold. Doing so eliminates an entire class of 32-bit Windows bugs.