Manifold System installations require a Radian serial number with available activations.   If you do not have a Radian serial number with available activations you can procure a serial number on the online store.   All Radian serial numbers are x64, fully 64-bit serial numbers and will authorize both 64-bit and 32-bit installations.    Manifold Viewer is a free product based on Manifold System that does not require any serial numbers.


Manifold and/or Manifold Viewer and/or Radian Studio can be installed on the same machine that hosts a Manifold 8 installation with Manifold System, Radian Studio, Viewer and Manifold 8 being launched at the same time.   All types of Manifold and/or Manifold Viewer installations can run at the same time.  For example, all at the same time we can launch 32-bit Manifold, launch a 64-bit Manifold session, launch Viewer in 32-bit or 64-bit mode and also launch a Manifold .exe from a portable installation folder, and we can do so at the same time as launching a Manifold 8 session.


For a step-by-step example of installation and activation see the Installation and Activation topic.


Manifold and Manifold Viewer run on Windows 10, 8, 7 and Windows Server 20xx editions, both 64 bit and 32 bit. Manifold explicitly supports Windows 10 with no need to run in a Windows 7 compatibility sandbox within Windows 10.  Manifold will use DirectX12 when run on Windows 10 for improved display performance.   Manifold recommends Windows 10 or more recent.


You must login with genuine and full Administrator privileges to install Manifold.   Being a member of the Administrators group often is not enough as some Windows versions by default do not give full Administrator privileges to users who are members of the Administrators group.  It is best to login as THE Administrator login to install Manifold.


Machines running Manifold or Manifold Viewer must have the following Microsoft packages installed:



Manifold and Manifold Viewer .exe installation files include C++ Redistributable and will install it automatically if required.  Portable installations (packaged as a .zip file) do not include the C++ Redistributable.  For links to .NET and Visual C++ Redistributable installations, visit Manifold's System Requirements web page.

Manifold Installation Files

There are three types of Manifold installation files:



All Radian serial numbers are 64-bit and will authorize both 64-bit and 32-bit installations.  If you have 32-bit Windows, please make sure to download and install the 32-bit Manifold installation file.   If you have 64-bit Windows, download and install the 64-bit Manifold installation file.


Important: Installation files do not contain viruses.  Each file is published with an SHA1 checksum that you can use to verify the file you download is virus-free.   See the Using SHA Checksums topic for step by step instructions on how to verify an SHA1 checksum.


Installation using .exe installation files is described in the Installation and Activation topic.   .exe files will install the product as a regular part of your Windows system, accessible from the Start button and uninstalled by the Windows Control Panel's Programs and Features applet.  Use the .exe files if you want to install Manifold and/or Manifold Viewer in the usual way.

Installing Manifold or Manifold Viewer from a .exe File

Uninstall any prior installation before installing a new Manifold System installation. If Windows Installer reports any problems, read the  Windows Installer Problems page for advice.

Installing Manifold from an .exe File

  1. Download the correct .exe file.
  2. Double-click on the .exe file to launch.
  3. If Windows 10 launches a Windows protected your PC dialog.
  4. Follow the installation dialog steps.
  5. Save the .exe file for future use.  We may need it some day to uninstall or to repair an installation.


For a step-by-step example of installation and activation see the Installation and Activation topic.


Before using Manifold please review the short Read Me First topic.   

Portable Installations

Portable installations are for technically knowledgeable users.  Portable installations are self-contained zip files that do not utilize or otherwise interact with Windows Installer.  They provide a way to quickly launch Manifold or Viewer without doing any Windows installation or having to remove a previously-installed Manifold package.  Developers who want to try out working builds without altering their main Manifold installation will use a portable installation.  Users who want the very latest software will use a portable installation.    Multiple, different portable installations can be run side by side so developers can use them to launch different Manifold builds at the same time.


To use a portable installation download the .zip file, unzip the file to create a folder hierarchy.   The 32-bit executable is in the bin folder (short for "binary") and the 64-bit executable is in the bin64 folder.  To launch Manifold in 64-bit mode, double-click on the manifold.exe file found in the bin64 folder of the resulting folder hierarchy.   If we like, we can right click on the manifold.exe file and choose Pin to Start to add it to our Windows 10 Start button choices.  If we do that, we have to remember to unpin it if we prefer to switch to using a different portable installation.   To launch Manifold in 32-bit mode, double-click on the manifold.exe file found in the bin folder of the resulting folder hierarchy. If Manifold has been activated on that machine, then Manifold will run from a portable installation without any further need to activate.   If Manifold has not been activated, then on first launch the Activation dialog will pop open.  Viewer is exactly the same except that since it is free and does not use a serial number or activation there is never an activation dialog that pops up.


For portable installations, if you do not have a recent C++ Redistributable installed on your computer, you must download and install the appropriate C++ Redistributable to run a portable installation.   See Manifold's System Requirements web page to get C++ Redistributable installation packages.




If any of the above is confusing, do not use the portable installation but instead use a regular .exe installation that will install Manifold as part of the Windows Start menu system.

64-bit Windows Limits on 64-bit Manifold

Due to a lack of required Microsoft facilities in 64-bit Windows systems, in most such systems Manifold in 64-bit mode cannot export, import or link to DB, HTML, MDB, XLS or WKx format files.


The workaround for importing or exporting such files is to utilize the 32-bit version of Manifold that is automatically installed in every 64-bit Manifold installation in addition to the 64-bit version of Manifold.   To import  we launch Manifold in 32-bit mode and import into a Manifold .map project file.   We can then launch Manifold in 64-bit mode and open that .map project file or link to that .map project file.  To export, we launch Manifold in 32-bit mode, open the .map project desired and export to the desired format.


For important information and discussion please see the Essay on .mdb files and 32-bit or 64-bit Manifold.

V8, CUDA and External Libraries

Manifold installations include V8 and CUDA.   There is no need to download or install other files to turn on either built in JavaScript or GPGPU capability.  Manifold Viewer is not GPU parallel and does not support scripting so it neither installs nor uses either V8 or CUDA.


External libraries are loaded using a shared service. Libraries that are part of the operating system are loaded from system paths.   Other libraries are loaded from both system paths and Manifold paths. The results of loading are reported in the log with successful loads of system libraries reporting nothing, successful loads of non-system libraries reporting the full path of the loaded module (useful when there are multiple modules with the same name) and failed loads report errors both for failed loads of system libraries as well as failed loads of non-system libraries.

Cutting Edge Builds

Cutting edge builds are published to the Cutting Edge section of the georeference user forum.   They are experimental builds that try out new ideas and provide an opportunity to beta test proposed new features before they appear in an official build.   


Cutting edge builds are not supported in any way.  They are provided for advanced users who wish to experiment with the absolutely latest Manifold build.    After a few such builds are explored and beta tested by advanced users who have a taste for the latest and greatest, Manifold incorporates changes from them and fixes into the next, formally supported and officially published Manifold build.


System memory is cheap and your time is expensive.   Manifold is very fast and faster still with more memory.  Load up your computer system with the most memory you can afford, ideally to maximum system RAM.  Larger memory is much more important than paying disproportionately more for a slightly faster processor.


TEMP storage space will be used if operations do not fit into memory available.  For maximum performance, specify the Windows TEMP location to the fastest local disk drive, for example, a fast SSD drive.


Large disk drives have become very cheap, while your time is getting ever more expensive.  Manifold is designed to happily trade off making files and saved projects larger if that helps to improve performance and to make your work go faster.    Data sets often used with Manifold are huge, with data sets in the tens of gigabytes size being typical.   When Manifold imports and saves such data sets in projects the resulting project files will be even bigger.   


Invest in large disk drives that can store terabytes of information.   Big disk drives are not only cheaper for the storage they give, they are also faster than smaller disk drives.    Disk drives are so cheap you should always have at least two so you can configure RAID mirror storage for an automatic backup if a disk drive fails.


Anybody working with big data is likely to already have a reasonably powerful processor with at least four cores.   If you can afford it, it doesn't hurt to buy a faster processor with more cores.   Manifold parallelizes just about everything so if you have more cores they will more often than not be used.    


Do not go crazy spending a lot of money to get just a slight increase in performance.   Instead of spending twice as much for a processor that has a clock rate only 10% faster than a less extreme version, put the extra money into more system memory and into larger and faster hard disks.




Manifold uses GPUs for massively parallel computation, known as General Purpose GPU or GPGPU.  Manifold Viewer does not use GPGPU.   GPGPU capability requires installation of an NVIDIA GPU of at least Fermi architectural generation or more recent.  Since you must have graphics display in any event it is crazy not to have a GPGPU capable graphics card.   Unless you are a Manifold expert and know for sure the extra cost is worth it, there is no need to spend a fortune to buy the most extreme possible GPGPU card.   Virtually any sensibly middle-of-the-road GPGPU card will be fine.    For greater discussion of GPGPU use and configuration, see the GPGPU topic.


See Also

Installation and Activation


Using SHA Checksums