Graphics Convert - Convert graphic type, visibility, symbol size or graphic text to labels
With this function graphic elements in views or layouts can be converted or modified.
- Type: Select the graphics that should be converted (Point, Line, Polygon or Text). You can also select several types at the same time.
- Graphics: Selected uses only the selected, All uses all graphics. The number of the selected and of all available graphics is displayed behind these two options. If no graphics are chosen, you can't run the function (the button isn't active).
- Convert: Activate the checkbox if you want to convert the graphics and select the type you want to convert the graphics to (see Hints
Buffer with Distance: If you enter a distance unequal zero, the resulting graphic shapes (see above) are buffered and buffer polygons are returned (with the exception of converting a text to single points - see Hints below). When buffering polygons, positive values create a buffer to the outside (enlargement), negative values create a buffer to the inside (reduction).
Densify at Distance: This option is important when converting graphics to MultiPoint, Single Points or Line Segments. If you enter a distance unequal zero, vertices are inserted between the existing ones at the defined distance. This means that no point distance or line segment will be larger than this (shorter distances between existing vertices are possible). When converting a Circle, Ellipse or Oval this distance defines the number of created vertices. If no distance is defined, ArcView creates 360 points per circle (normally far too many).
Flip Orientation of Lines: Activate this checkbox to reverse the orientation of the line. This is important when converting to PolyLine and Approximated Line, but also influences the order of the created graphics when converting to MultiPoint, Single Points or Line Segments.
Replace converted Graphics: Removes the original graphics from the view. As the conversion can't be undone in most cases (see Hints below), you should use this option carefully or store the graphics in a ODB file before (see Graphics Save). If you are in doubt, first use the function without this option, check the results, delete the created graphic elements and run the same function again with this option activated. This option normally shouldn't be used for Text, because it can't be reconverted.
- MulitPoint: several points per graphic element;
- PolyLine: multiple lines;
- Polygon: multiple polygons;
- Single Points: one point per vertex;
- Line Segments: straight lines from vertex to vertex;
- Approximated Line: straight line from start to end point without vertices;
- Centroid: real mathematical centroid (center of gravity);
- Center Point: center of the coordinate area (bounding box);
- Extent Rectangle: rectangle of the coordinate area (bounding box).
The following options are available additionally:
- Visibility: Changes the visibility of the graphics.
- Visible: Re-display hidden graphics.
- Invisible: Hide the selected graphics.
- Symbol Size: Changes the automatic adjustment of the symbol size (font size, point size or line width):
- Scale with View (Hookup Symbols): The relative symbol size (points) is automatically increased or reduced when the scale of the view is changing - the absolute symbol size in map units (e.g. meter), i.e. the size of the symbols in relation to the themes of the view stays constant.
- Constant Size (Unhook Symbols): The relative symbol size (points) stays constant when the scale of the view changes - the absolute symbol size in map units changes with the scale of the view, i.e. at a smaller scale the symbols get larger in relation to the themes of the view and vice versa.
- Labels: With this option single graphic texts can be added to groups that share a common symbol (so called Graphic Labels or Siblings). Thereby the size of the project file can re reduced a lot. When formatting one of these graphic labels all other siblings of its group change as well. Graphic labels are created in ArcView by using the function Theme - Auto-label. When modifying these labels, it sometimes happens that some graphic texts fall out of the group. Use this option to (re-)group your labels:
- All in one List: All selected graphic texts are combined in a single group and the most common symbol is taken. Use this option, if you want to standardize the layout of labels, i.e. all divergent labels should be displayed with the same color, font and size as the majority. The conversion of these exceptions can't be made undone, as their unique symbols get lost.
- Group by Symbol: All selected graphic texts with the same symbol (color, font and size) will be combined to one group each. Use this option, if you want to reduce the size of the project file without changing the appearance of the graphic labels or loosing unique text symbols.
- Split Symbols: The selected graphics will be split into single elements with individual symbols (empty groups will be deleted). Use this option, if you want to modify the format of single graphics (color, font or size) separately from the others. The size of the project file may increase considerably though.
- Click on the button to run the function. When finished, the status bar shows the number of converted, displayed/hidden, (un-)hooked graphics or grouped/split labels.
Warning: Once you clicked on using the option Replace converted Graphics the original graphics will be deleted - you can't undo the conversion with the Ctrl+Z key! In that case it is advisable to save the project file before calling the function - then you can close the project without saving it in order to cancel the modifications. Without this option you can "undo" the conversion by simply deleting the created graphics (call the command Edit - Delete Graphics or just press the Del key).
Hints for the conversion of shapes:
- The following graphic types can be converted between each other and each conversion can be reversed: MultiPoint to PolyLine to Polygon. If the graphic type is not changed (e.g. converting polygons to polygons), multiple spatially separated parts will be divided into several graphics ("Explode multi to single part graphics").
- Single Points and Line Segments can be created for all graphic types, but not reversed.
- The Centroid and the Center Point can be created for all graphic types (of a single Point they correspond with the point itself - the conversion has no effect though).
- The Approximated Line can be created for all graphic types excluding single points. Lines are usually approximated as a straight between start and end point, closed line segments and polygons as the line of maximum diameter (actually it's just the maximum diameter of its bounding box, because only the 2 most distant points of the 4 corner points with minimum or maximum X-/Y-coordinate are connected).
Hints for the conversion of text:
- The conversion of text can't be reversed, therefore the option Replace converted Graphics shouldn't be used. Only the conversion to Single Points creates graphics that are almost similar to the text. All other conversions create graphics that can be used for layout purposes only (emphasize, frame, underline or cross out the text).
- All settings regarding font size, font type, rotation, alignment (flush left, right or centered) and line spacing (mulit-line text) will be considered at the conversion. Spline text isn't supported yet.
- The following examples show the conversion of a graphic text with two lines that is rotated by 30° (see below). The left image shows the result without a buffer, the right image with different Buffer Distances.
- Single Points: For each character (excluding blanks) a single point with a corresponding font symbol is created. The position of each point corresponds to the center of the character, but can just be approximated (the current estimation was optimized for the font Arial). These points can be used for coloring the single characters of a text differently or for varying their size. If these points are buffered, no buffer polygons will be created but the font size will be enlarged or reduced accordingly. As the characters stay at their original position they can be displayed overlapping or with expanded distances in between (i.e. with negative or positive spacing).
- MultiPoint: For each character (excluding blanks) a point in the middle of the text line (i.e. in the center of each character) is created. These points can be used to emphasize each single character with rectangles (rotated 45°), circles or other symbols. By buffering the points you get a curved area that frames the contours of the characters.
- Centroid: Central point of each single text line (i.e. several points for a multi-line text). These points can be used to emphasize each text line with rectangles (rotated 45°), circles or other symbols. By buffering the points you get a curved area that frames the contours of the text lines.
- Center Point: Central point of the whole text (center of its bounding box). This point can be used to emphasize the full text with a rectangle (rotated 45°), a circle or another symbol. By buffering the point you get a circular area that frames the full text.
- Line Segments: Base line of each single text line (i.e. several lines at multi-line text) that can be used to underline the text. If it is buffered, it will be moved down from the baseline by the same distance, so the buffer polygon just touches but doesn't overlap the text. Using a negative buffer distance, the line will just be moved down and won't be buffered. Therefore you can use small buffer distances to create more or less wide underlines below the text (if you create an unbuffered line and use a comparable line width, it will be overlapping with the text).
- Approximated Line: Central line in middle height of each single text line (i.e. several lines for a multi-line text) that can be used to cross out or emphasize a text (if you choose a large line width). If it is buffered, normal buffer polygons are created that are rounded at the corners. Using a negative buffer distance, the line will be moved down and not buffered.
- PolyLine: Surrounding line of each single text line (i.e. several rectangles for a multi-line text) that can be used for framing the text. If it is buffered, it will also be expanded with the same distance, so the buffer polygon just touches but doesn't overlap the text. Therefore you can use small buffer distances to create more or less wide frames around the text (if you create an unbuffered line and use a comparable line width, it will be overlapping with the text).
- Polygon: Surrounding rectangle of the whole text that can be used to emphasize it (if the text is rotated, the rectangle is rotated accordingly). If it is buffered, it won't be rounded at the corners but stays rectangular. If you want to smooth the corners, create the polygon first and buffer it in a second step.
- Extent Rectangle: Rectangle of the coordinate area (bounding box). If it is buffered, it won't be rounded at the corners but stays rectangular. If you want a frame with round corners, create the rectangle first and buffer it in a second step.
© 2003 WLM Klosterhuber & Partner OEG