Tools - Options

The Tools - Options dialog allows setting of user preferences. Click on an options category in the left-hand pane and settable options for that category will appear in the right hand pane.


Some options (such as the Location value for File Locations) may be set by double clicking into the option field, entering text, and then pressing Enter.


Automatic Updates


Configures Manifold to check for updates when it starts up. On by default, with a check every seven days. This option functions only when Manifold is launched interactively. It does not apply to runtime editions, nor does it function if Manifold is launched programmatically, such as within an IMS application.


Check for updates automatically

When Manifold starts up, connect via Internet to the Manifold update server and see if an update has been published for the currently running version. On by default.

Check every time the application starts

Check for updates every time Manifold is launched interactively.

Check every [ ] day(s)

Check only every given number of days, seven by default.


When this function runs, upon startup Manifold will connect to the update server, check to see if there have been any updates issued for the currently running version of Manifold and, if so, will pop open a message inviting the operator to visit the update site.


No information is ever transmitted to the update server and no data except information on published updates is ever downloaded from the update server.


This command requires Internet access for Manifold using ordinary HTTP protocol, the same as used by web browsers like Internet Explorer. If the computer is not connected to Internet or if HTTP is blocked by a firewall or other security mechanism, this command cannot work. In general, if you can launch a web browser and visit web sites from your computer this command will work.




Specify default colors for formats and user interface items.


Color Palettes


Lists color palettes available within the system. Palettes are used for thematic formatting and to color surfaces and terrains. See Customization for information on adding new palettes.




Specify which confirmation dialogs will pop up on given actions. Most delete operations, for example, will require a confirmation by default.


Confirm bulk operations on editing conflicts

Used with multi-user editing operations. Turns on confirmations for the Use All Local and Use All Remote toolbar buttons in the Review pane on and off.

Confirm closing project containing checked out components

Used with Enterprise Edition. Raise a confirmation dialog if a project contains components checked out for editing from the Enterprise server. Until such a component is checked in no one else can check out the component for editing.

Confirm creating undo actions larger than…

Never create undo actions larger than…

Undo functionality for large images and surfaces requires creation of potentially very large temporary files on hard disk. These two settings allow setting limits on what size actions can be undone. The larger the sizes specified the slower the system will perform due to the overhead of making ready for an Undo, if commanded. See the Edit - Undo / Redo topic for more information.

Confirm deleting components

Raise a confirmation dialog before deleting a component.

Confirm deleting drawing objects

Raise a confirmation dialog before deleting an object in a drawing.

Confirm deleting image pixels

Raise a confirmation dialog before deleting pixels in an image.

Confirm deleting labels

Raise a confirmation dialog before deleting labels in a labels component.

Confirm deleting layout objects

Raise a confirmation dialog before deleting an element in a layout.

Confirm deleting table columns

Raise a confirmation dialog before deleting a column (field) from a table.

Confirm deleting table records

Raise a confirmation dialog before deleting a record (row) in a table.

Confirm expanding images or surfaces when pasting

When pasting pixels into an image or surface the image or surface rectangle may need to be increased to house both the original pixels and the new pixels. Confirm before doing so. This confirmation is an important step in case what were thought to be identically georegistered images are in fact located far from each other and thus would result in an immensely large image.

Confirm executing action queries

Raise a confirmation dialog before running an action query.

Confirm exiting application

Raise a confirmation dialog before closing Manifold System.

Confirm modifying table structure

Raise a confirmation dialog before modifying the structure of a table, such as through the Design dialog.

Confirm projecting data

Raise a confirmation dialog before re-projecting data. On by default.

Confirm re-assigning projection after projecting data

Checked by default to warn against the almost always inappropriate use of Assign Projection after Change Projection has been used. Un-checking this option is almost certainly a mistake except for experts in rare and unusual circumstances. See the Inadvertent Usage section in the Edit - Assign Projection topic.


File Locations


Locations to be used by default for files can be specified in File Locations. Locations that may be specified include:



The location of customization files.

Also, running a .NET script first searches for referenced assemblies that use relative paths in the Manifold installation folder and then searches in the Configuration folder

Data Cache

Location of cached files used when linking images from OGC WMS image servers and TerraServer and other image servers when the Cache data between sessions option is turned ON (the default). The default value for the location is %MyDocuments%. See the Linked Images from OGC WMS Servers topic, the Linked Images from TerraServer topic and the Managing Cache Files topic.

Datum Grids

The location of .gsb and their accompanying .xml files used to specify custom datum grids for NTv2 transformations. By default, contains the value %Manifold%\Grids to use a Grids folder within the main Manifold installation folder. See the Custom Datum Grids for NTv2 topic.

Geocoding Database

The location of the Manifold Geocoding Data product to use for street address geocoding. See the Street Address Geocoding topic.

Geocoding Extensions

Location of the file used for user extensions to the street address geocoding database. See the Street Address Geocoding topic.

Import and Export

The location of files used for import and export. Normally specified as a dot, the current folder.

MrSID Decode Utility

The name of the auxiliary program used to decode MrSID files into standard GIS format, which must be in the Windows PATH for executable files. By default, mrsiddecode.exe. See the Import Image - SID, MrSID topic for details.

MrSID Info Utility

The name of the auxiliary program used to provide information on MrSID files, which must be in the Windows PATH for executable files. By default, mrsidinfo.exe. See the Import Image - SID, MrSID topic for details.


The default location to use for opening and saving projects.

Web Pages

Location to which web sites created with the File - Export - Web Page command should be saved. By default, C:\Inetpub\Wwwroot. See the Map Server Overview topic.


In addition to literal settings such as "c:\storage\gisfiles" file locations can be specified using escape sequences as follows:



Desktop shared by all users


Folder for documents shared by all users


User-specific desktop


User-specific folder for generic documents


User-specific folder for music files


User-specific folder for image files


Manifold installation folder


(dot) Current folder.


For example,




… will open the My Documents folder whenever a project is saved or loaded. Import and export will occur in whatever folder was last active.




The above setting assumes we have created a folder called Manifold Projects in the My Documents folder for this user. Opening or saving any project will occur by default within the Manifold Projects folder.


Escape sequences are case-sensitive. %MyDocuments% is not the same as %mydocuments%.


Caution: Cache files persist forever and, in extreme cases, use up your free disk space unless they are manually deleted. See the recommended actions in the Managing Cache Files topic.




Default fonts used by various system elements. Fonts used with script windows will be restricted to fixed-width fonts.




Use default country

Set the country to be used if the table does not contain any explicit country field. By default, the United States. Not significant unless MapPoint is being used to geocode addresses outside of the United States. Note: although not all countries listed in the combo box are supported by MapPoint, the list of countries is taken from the Microsoft MapPoint programmatic interface for compatibility with any future extensions that may be offered. This option may be turned off to aid geocoding with both MapPoint North America and MapPoint Europe at the same time.

Use Manifold Geocoding Database

Enabled if the Manifold Geocoding Data product has been installed. Check this box to use the geocoding database (for US street address geocoding). Will be disabled if the Manifold Geocoding Data product is not installed.

Use MapPoint North America

Enabled if Microsoft MapPoint North American edition has been installed. Check this box to use MapPoint’s North American database. Will be disabled if MapPoint North America is not installed.

Use MapPoint Europe

Enabled if Microsoft MapPoint European edition has been installed. Check this box to use MapPoint’s European database. Will be disabled if MapPoint Europe is not installed.

Use geocoding extensions

If checked, the geocoding engine first searches data in user supplied extensions to the street address database and only if a match is not found does it search the Manifold geocoding data (if installed) and then MapPoint (if used). By default, the option is turned on. See the Street Address Geocoding topic. Will be disabled if no geocoding extensions have been installed.

Give MapPoint priority over Manifold Geocoding Database

Check to use Microsoft MapPoint’s database to search for addresses before searching for addresses in the Manifold Geocoding Data product. If checked, Manifold attempts to find a street address in MapPoint and if a building-level match is not found searches the Manifold Geocoding Data product, if installed. Using the default choice of an unchecked box, Manifold attempts to find an address in the Manifold Geocoding Data product first and only checks the MapPoint geocoder if a building-level match is not found. See the Geocoding with MapPoint topic.

Use the following Manifold Geocoding Servers

A list of installed modules that support the Manifold Geocoding Server interface for generic geocoding data sources. Check the boxes to enable use of desired modules.


Import and Export


Detect read-only data sources for linked components

Automatically check permissions on the source table of a linked component and make the component read-only if the source table can not be modified. On by default.

Import data to separate folders

Create a new folder in the project pane when importing components. Useful when importing complex components that result in the creation of many files.

Import empty columns in tables

When importing tables, import even those table columns that contain no values. Off by default.

Show system tables and views in external data sources

Show system tables (such as those embedded within Access database .mdb files) when browsing tables in databases. Most database applications hide system tables. Not checked by default.

Trim imported strings

Delete leading and trailing token separator characters from imported table strings.


The Trim strings option (just like the Trim table transform operators) removes characters listed in the Tool Properties pane's list of token separators. By default, these are the "white space" characters consisting of the space character, tab, newline and carriage return. Note that adding any other characters to the separator list in Tool Properties will subject them to removal as well if they occur as leading or trailing characters.


Info Bar


When a new component (other than a new map component) is opened for the first time, by default Manifold can show an info bar in the window reminding the user to verify the projection of that component. The info bar appears whether the component is opened for the first time in its own window or if it is opened for the first time as a layer in a map.


Clicking the info bar launches the Edit - Assign Projection dialog. To verify the projection without any changes simply click OK. If the projection should be changed, make the changes in the Assign Projection dialog and then click OK.


Prompt to verify projections of new components

Show an info bar when a new component is opened reminding the user to verify the projection of this component. Checked by default. Un-checking this option will result in no info bar ever being shown.

Suppress prompt for non-default projections

Show the info bar only if the component has been imported in Orthographic projection or if it has been imported in Latitude / Longitude with coordinate locations outside the expected range (+/- 90 latitude and +/- 180 longitude). Checked by default. Only active if the Prompt to verify projections of new components option has been checked. If the prompt option is on, then un-checking this option will cause the info bar to be shown for all new components.


When Manifold imports components from formats that do not provide coordinate system (projection) information, the component will be imported using Orthographic projection by default. Therefore, the Suppress prompt for non-default projections option, if checked, is a handy way of assuring that the info bar prompt (which rapidly becomes annoying to experienced users if raised for all new components) is shown only when a new component has been imported from a format that does not store projections.


Latitude / Longitude coordinate values outside the expected range (+/- 90 latitude and +/- 180 longitude) are also a tip-off that projected data has been imported from a format that does not store projections, so Manifold will raise the info bar by default in those cases as well.


The default settings are preferred by most users, but they do not guarantee the info bar is raised only when it is required, nor do they guarantee that the info bar will always appear when it is needed. In general, because components imported from geographically-unaware formats will appear in Orthographic projection or when latitudes and longitudes are out of range the short hand rule of urging users to take a look and verifying the projection is a good rule of thumb. But it is not perfect.


For example, the info bar also will be raised when importing components from geographically-aware formats if the component happens to use Orthographic projection. But such cases usually are only a small subset of all projected components that are imported.


A more serious situation is that sometimes certain formats like shapefiles accompanied by .prj files or image files accompanied by "world" files can give enough indication of a coordinate system to cause a projection other than Orthographic to be assigned but not enough coordinate information to have all parameters assigned correctly. In that case, it could be useful to have the info bar raised to remind us to check the assigned projection in all details, but the default options settings will not cause it to be raised.


If new users will be doing a lot of imports from projected shapefiles or from formats that use "world" files, it may be a wise choice to un-check the Suppress prompt for non-default projections option. This will cause the info bar to be raised on all new components, causing some annoyance but also reminding the new users to always verify the projection of a newly-imported component.




Manifold can automatically log information to the History pane when the following options have been checked:


Log query execution time

Logs execution time of queries.

Log rendering time

Logs the time required to render a given window.

Log script execution time

Logs execution time of scripts.

Log transform time

Logs execution time for the Surface - Transform dialog, spatial overlays and topology overlays in addition to Transform Toolbar operations.


Command line switches take priority over the above settings if Manifold is launched using one or more command line options for the above.


Why have options to log the time required for something like rendering? Developers who create applications based upon Manifold are often acutely interested in creating applications that render as rapidly as possible. They'll use timings to explore how altering different factors like those mentioned in the Performance Tips topic will affect performance.




Smooth freeforms at

Rounding radius to use to include / exclude pixels when working with images using tools like Paint Freeform or Select Freeform.

Limit number of sequential approximations

Some computations within Manifold use a series of sequential approximations. This number gives the number of sequential approximations to compute.

Automatically list completion suggestions when editing queries

Automatically popup lists of possible completions when editing queries. See the Autocompletion in Queries topic.

Automatically select query records

When querying a drawing, automatically deselect any selected objects and then select all objects returned by the query. When a query includes more than one drawing, deselect all previously selected objects in all of the drawings and then select objects in the first drawing for which an ID column is found in the query. On by default.

Compress .map files to save space

On by default. Will compress a .map file using "zip" style compression when creating or saving a .map file.

Create empty document on startup

Creates a new, empty project when Manifold is launched.

Fill new pixels with current color

If checked, uses foreground color for new pixels added with the Add Margin transform operator. If not checked, uses transparent color for new pixels.

Make new queries ANSI-compatible

Use ANSI-compatible SQL to parse any new queries. Checking this box will set the ANSI compatibility option in any new queries. See the Queries topic.

Make new queries cached

Set the Use cache option on/off by default for new queries. See the Queries topic.

Override system data with custom config files

Off by default. When turned on, the system allows user-supplied configuration entities (for datums, ellipsoids, palettes, presets, styles and units) to override corresponding system entities with the same names. When turned off, the system rejects user-supplied configuration entities whose names are the same as system entities. Toggling the value of this option requires a restart of Manifold.

Process global events with scripts

Allows (the default) or disallows the processing of click and double click events with scripts. See the Click Events topic.

Refresh linked components after opening file

Turned on by default. Fetch current data for any linked tables, inked drawings, linked images or linked surfaces when a .map project file is opened. This option has effect even if a script is used to load a .map project that contains linked components. The names of any linked components that failed to refresh in the process of opening the .map file will be logged into the History pane.

Save file prior to running script

Off by default. A safety measure to save the .map project file before running a script.

Set transfer rules for new columns to Copy / Copy

If checked, changes the default behavior of transfer rules for newly created columns from Sample to Copy for both 1 to N and N to 1 transfers.

Shade new surfaces

Turns on Shading option in the View - Display Options dialog for new surfaces. On by default.

Split branched objects after transforms

Automatically decompose branched objects into separate non-branched objects after running a transform toolbar operator.

Use custom datum transformations

Use NADCON formulae and similar custom transformation methods when converting between datums in locations served by such custom methods.

Use English measurement units

Toggles between Metric units and English units. If checked, use English units.

Use GDI-compatible offscreen cache

Off by default. This option uses a lower performance method of rendering the display screen that may be used in case of buggy or incomplete video drivers. For example, some ATI-based cards have a driver bug that causes the drawing display to refresh and then go blank. To avoid triggering the ATI video bug, check this option. A better solution, of course, is to use a video card that does not have buggy drivers.

Use GPGPU technologies (NVIDIA CUDA)

On by default. Enables use of NVIDIA CUDA massively parallel processing if appropriate CUDA-capable hardware and CUDA drivers have been installed. See the NVIDIA CUDA topic.




Optimize printing of images and surfaces

When on, the system avoids rendering image and surface components in full resolution during print job setup, deferring final rendering to the printer driver, provided the image or surface can be rendered with either no re-projection or with simple scaling and shifting. This makes the size of the print job smaller and offloads the task of scaling raster images to the printer driver. Most printer drivers can automatically re-scale images and surfaces within the driver for better performance and reduced print job size. Some drivers cannot do so and will so cause the job to be printed more slowly than if Manifold renders images and surfaces. By default the option is turned on since most modern printer drivers can automatically render and re-scale. If the print job is slow or if the printer or plotter in use is suspected to be Windows unaware, try turning this option off and see if performance improves.

Print blank pages in multipage printouts

Print all pages in multipage layouts, even those that may not have any ink on them. See the Multipage Layouts topic.

Print using GDI+

On by default. If unchecked, prints using GDI mode instead of GDI+ mode. GDI is an earlier Microsoft technology. Provided for use in case of a buggy or incomplete printer driver. Printing in GDI mode does not support antialiasing or transparency for drawings. See the Layer Opacity topic for information on transparency. Curved (rotated) or labels aligned to lines cannot be printed n Windows 9x systems if the Print using GDI+ option is turned off.


Proxy Server


Allows specifying parameters for a proxy server to use while retrieving data from the Internet, for example, when using images linked from OGC WMS servers.


Connect via proxy server

Check if a proxy server is being used.


URL for proxy server.


User name if required for proxy server.


Password if required for proxy server.


Different proxy server settings may be required for different tasks. For example, at a given domain that uses a proxy at a user connecting to an ECWP server might use a setting of:


…but for a WMS link it may be necessary to include the port:


This depends upon the proxy server in use and how it is configured and the connection to be achieved.




Options that control rendering of text and graphics objects, both onscreen and in certain rendered exports such as exporting layouts to AI, PDF or PS files.


Adjust display scale for monitor resolution

Automatically scale objects so that size 1 objects are 1/72 inch (one point) regardless of how many pixels that requires in the monitor resolution in use. This option also automatically scales text to preserve desired point size within component windows regardless of the Windows Display setting for Large Font / Small Font. This option also provides the same physical representation on very high resolution monitors

Antialias lines

Use antialiasing for a smoother line appearance. On by default. When on this option also antialiases area style patterns, area borders and the borders of text box labels. See Lines and Line Styles .

Antialias text

Use antialiasing for smoother appearance of text labels. On by default. When on this option will also antialias TrueType symbols in point styles, excepting those using halos.

Render data progressively

Enables progressive rendering so the contents of windows showing large or complex data are rendered in stages, with the system becoming responsive to other commands before rendering is completed. This is very useful with large, complex components that might take some time to render. For example, even before a large drawing finishes rendering we can begin zooming in to a region of interest. When a component is small enough to render very quickly, progressive rendering will not be noticed because the component will be rendered in a single pass. On by default.

Smooth large vector objects for performance

Checked by default. Renders large, complex vector objects with reduced detail. Results in faster rendering performance without significant degradation of visual appearance.




Options of interest to scripting:


Cancel user interface operations after ... seconds

Specifies the number of seconds the system should wait before timing out during user interface scripting. 120 seconds by default.

Process global events with scripts

Allow scripts to process global events. On by default.

Save file prior to running scripts

Save the .map project file before running a script. Off by default.


Server Storage


Options related to Enterprise Edition only. If you do not have Manifold System Enterprise Edition installed these options will not be applicable


Cache newly shared components

Specifies whether newly shared components will be cached or uncached. By default, this option is checked so that newly shared components are cached. If this option is not checked, newly shared components will be uncached. See Cached and Uncached Components .

Get latest versions of shared components after opening file

If checked, when a project .map file containing shared components is opened the system will execute a Get Latest Version for each shared component. This will fetch the latest version from the component's Enterprise server if the component has changed since the project has last been opened. Not checked by default.

Refresh state of shared components every [ ] seconds

Specifies time interval on which Manifold will check the Enterprise server for each shared component to see if it has changed status, such as, for example becoming checked out by another user. 120 seconds by default.




At times we may launch a very demanding command that will take some time to accomplish. Some jobs may be so computationally intensive that they may require hours or longer to run. It is often convenient to set such jobs running while we continue work on another computer; however, in such cases it is also convenient to have Manifold play a sound or otherwise alert us when the job is done.


The Tools - Options - Sounds dialog allows us to specify whether or not we want a sound to be played at the conclusion of a lengthy process, how long the process must be before a sound is played and, optionally, a .wav file from which a sound can be taken.


Play sound after lengthy operations

Check to enable sound-playing after the completion of a lengthy process.

Wait at least … seconds

The length of time before a process is considered "lengthy." For example, if this value is set to 30 seconds any operation that takes less than 30 seconds will conclude silently.

Sound file

An optional .wav file to use for sounds. Leaving this box blank or choosing a file other than a .wav file will result in use of the default "beep" sound. Use the Play button next to the browse button to play the specified file to preview how it sounds.


It's fun to browse a Windows system for .wav files to use for sounds. Windows ships by default with many sounds.


Status Bar


Status bar options configure the status bar at the bottom of the Manifold display. Changes take effect immediately. See the Getting Started topic for notes on the status bar.


Component-specific information

Readouts relevant to particular components, such as the number of selected objects (appears for drawings for example, but not for comments components).

Coordinate system

Report the coordinate system (projection) in use.

Current location

Location readout for the mouse cursor using various ways of reporting coordinates. Options with examples beginning with the default are:

latitude / longitude:

122°19.701' W 37°34.119' N

latitude / longitude (decimal):

-122.3816 37.5597

latitude / longitude (deg-min-sec):

122°19'04" W 37°33'25" N

projected coordinates:

550833.8339 4155957.9227

USNG coordinates:


Current modes for mouse, selection and tools

Show mouse status such as snap mode, status of selection mode and the current command being used.

Current scale

Show scale on status bar using Report setting.


Choose style of scale or size status readout. Scale is accurate only for projected components. Options are:

absolute scale (#:#) - Absolute scale in 1:xxx form.

relative scale - Relative scale as ratio between one centimeter or inch and the scaled number of meters/kilometers or feet/miles, depending on setting of the Use English measurement units option.

horizontal extent - Shows the horizontal size of the current window.


Note: The relative scale option will automatically switch from large units to small. For example, in metric units once the scale falls below 1 centimeter to 1 kilometer it will switch to reporting the number of meters per cm.


User Interface


Grid lines in tables

Show horizontal and/or vertical lines in tables to separate rows and columns.

Paint palette colors using [ ] pixel boxes

The size of color well boxes shown in palette windows for palette images.

Zoom magnification factor

Specify the change in magnification to use when zooming in or out in the range from 1.1 to 4.0. The default value is 2.0.

Apply table cell editing to all selected records

On by default: editing one cell in a set of selected records will apply that value to all such cells in the selected records.

Automatically set insert mode

When editing drawings, automatically choose Create Areas, Create Lines or Create Points depending on which shape creation tool is used. See Adding Shapes .

Automatically set paint mode

When editing images, automatically choose Paint Areas, Paint Lines or Paint Points depending on which shape creation tool is used. See Image Editing Tools .

Autoscroll window on edit or selection operations

If the mouse is in a command mode (such as drawing a selection box) automatically pan (scroll) the window when the mouse nears the edge of the window. Indispensable in some operations and insufferable in others if inappropriate options are specified. On by default.

Margins - Gives the distance in pixels from the edge of the window at which autoscroll occurs. Set to 5 pixels by default.

Distance - The distance in pixels the window is scrolled for each autoscroll. Set to 10 pixels by default.

Require Alt key - Disables autoscroll unless the Alt key is pressed. Off by default.

Highlight entire line in script window

Changes the background color of script lines containing bookmarks, breakpoints or the current execution line. Breakpoint colors override bookmark colors, so if a line contains both a bookmark and a breakpoint it will be highlighted with the breakpoint color. The current execution color overrides both breakpoint and bookmark colors.

Open newly created component

When a new component is created in the project pane, automatically open it in a window.

Pop up Project pane when creating or opening a file.

Automatically pops open the Project pane when creating or opening a component.

Quiet system activity indicator

On by default. Causes the system activity indicator in the lower right corner of the display to show a 3D "bump" when the system is busy. Unchecking this option causes the system activity to toggle from a large green dot to a red dot when the system is busy.

Restrict mouse wheel to only operate over focused window

On by default. Disables the wheel in wheel mice when the mouse pointer is not over the window that has the focus. This prevents accidentally changing the current scale via the scale combo box in the Navigation toolbar and other unintentional actions using the mouse wheel.

Save last used view in component

If checked, zoom to a view called Startup in the views pane if such a view exists, or to the most recently used view when opening a drawing, image, labels, map, profile, surface or theme window. On by default. If this option is not checked, then on opening the component will be zoomed to fit the display window.

Show grid lines in Variables and Watches

Show horizontal and vertical lines in these panes for greater visual separation of cells. Off by default.

Show splash screen

Display the Manifold System splash screen when Manifold launches.

Use Explorer-style menus and toolbars

Removes all colors from toolbar buttons until mouse hovers over them as in IE. Since Manifold does not use gaudy icons like IE the effect is bland and not recommended. Takes effect the next time Manifold is launched.

Use selection style for palette

Use defined selection style to show which palette box is chosen in a palette window used with palette images. If not checked, a plain border style will be used.