Transform Toolbar - Drawings


The Transform toolbar makes changes throughout the entire drawing using the specified operators. Transform operators can create new objects, delete objects, change objects (for example, splitting them) and select objects using various algorithms such as the location of a shortest path. The transform toolbar is also used to make spatial selections using commands such as Select Touching or Select Contained within that work between sets of objects.




Target box Operation box Source / argument box


The Transform toolbar consists of three boxes, from left to right: a target box, the operation box, and a source / argument box.


Target box

Also known as the scope box. The objects that will be affected, altered or which will control the operation. Choices in the target box will be [All Objects], [Selection] or the names of any saved selections that have been saved in the Selections pane . The illustration above shows that the operator will be applied to all objects in the drawing.

Operation box

The function to be applied. The operation box is context sensitive and will show only those operations that make sense for drawings. The example shows we will add border buffer zones.

Source / argument box

The value to be used. Depending on the operator, this may be another object set or a value entered by the user. Many operators, such as Boundaries do not require a source or argument. The source / argument box will not be enabled for such operators. In the example above we use 10000 for the size of the border buffer zones, the size being specified in the native units of the drawing.


We use dark blue, black, and violet bold face fonts in this topic to distinguish the three boxes to make examples and explanation more clear. In real life Manifold uses the same black font color in all three Transform toolbar boxes.


Using the Transform toolbar


1. Click on the map layer or drawing that contains the target objects.

2. Make a selection if the operation is to be applied just to the selection and choose [Selection] in the target box. Alternately, choose the name of a previously saved selection.

3. Choose the desired operator in the operation box.

4. Choose or specify a value in the source / argument box, if this operation requires it.

5. Press Apply.

6. Some operators create new objects. Any new objects created will be created in the active drawing/layer and will now be the Selection. Move the Selection to a new layer/drawing if you wish to keep these objects organized separately from the original objects in the drawing (almost always a good idea).


Target box




The left-most box specifies the target objects. These are the objects that will be affected, altered or which will control the operation. The example above shows that there is no selection present, so the Transform toolbar will apply the Transform function to all of the objects in the drawing.




If we make a selection, we can switch the target box to [Selection] to apply the operation to only those objects that are part of the current selection. We could also choose the name of a saved selection.


Operation box




Choose a function from the long list of operators available in the operation box. The example shows Boundaries, which will create lines along the periphery of each area. The Transform Operators - Drawings topic lists operators available for use with drawings.


Source / argument box




Many operators do not require any sources or arguments. For these functions the source / argument box will be disabled.




Other functions will require specification of a source. This may an object set such as [All Objects], [Selection] or the names of saved selections, all of which can be chosen from the combo box.




Some functions require an argument value that is entered by the user. To enter a value, click into the source / argument box, enter the value using the keyboard and then press Enter.




[All Objects] Boundaries - Creates boundary lines on the periphery of all areas (if any) in the drawing.


[Selection] Boundaries - Creates boundary lines on the periphery of all areas (if any) that are in the current selection in the drawing.


[Selection] Split with Roads - Take all objects in the saved selection named Roads and split each selected object using these objects.


The selection pane is often very important when working with the transform toolbar . Saved selections can appear in either the target box or the source / argument box. See the Selection topic details on using the selection pane.


Saved Selections in Maps


When drawings appear together in a map, if any drawing layer has the focus the transform toolbar for the map will list all saved selections in all drawings. This is a great convenience, but it also leads to a slight complication in that all saved selections using the same name are treated alike. Saved selections in the same drawing are required to have different names, but saved selections in different drawings might use the same name.


The transform toolbar for the map will treat all drawing saved selections using the same name as one, combined saved selection. For example, if we have two drawing layers in a map, one called East and the other called West and they both have a saved selection called Cities, then using the transform toolbar to create a convex hull using the saved selection choice called Cities will use the objects from both the East and West drawings that appear in their respective Cities saved selection.


Therefore, it is a good idea to use unique names for saved selections in drawings that might appear together in the same map. For example, we could name the saved selection in one drawing East - Cities and that in the other drawing West - Cities.


See Also


Transform Operators - Drawings for a detailed list of operators available.

Transfer Rules for information on controlling how database table information is transferred to new objects that are created by transform operators. For example, when creating centroids the transfer rules within the drawing's table specify which fields should be transferred to the centroids.