Read Me Firstradian_logo.png

See the Installations topic for instructions on installing and activating Manifold.


Radian Studio User Manual

This user manual describes Radian Studio as of 1 September 2017.   


Manifold means the latest Manifold System GIS release based on the Radian engine.  Because Manifold and Radian Studio are based on the same engine with many of the same interfaces, we will often use Radian and Manifold as synonyms in this documentation.   Release 8 means the prior generation of Manifold System GIS products.


Machines running Manifold must have the following Microsoft packages installed:



For downloads of the Visual C++ redistributable package see the Microsoft site at



Administrator Login Required

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.  


See the Installations topic for additional important information on hardware and software requirements.


The Manifold GUI uses English by default.  To use other languages for the GUI, provide a localization file as discussed in the Localization topic.   Anyone can create a localization file for a desired language.  See the Manifold website for examples of localization files contributed by users.

64-bit Windows Limits on 64-bit Manifold

For maximum compatibility with Microsoft products Manifold utilizes Microsoft facilities to connect to formats used by those products.  Due to the limitations of required Microsoft facilities in 64-bit Windows systems, in most such systems Manifold in 64-bit mode will not export, import or link to DB, HTML, MDB, XLS or WKx format files.  


The easy way to import or export such formats 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.

Three Letter Extensions

Most file names in Windows end in what usually is called a three letter extension, which is usually three or four letters at the end of the file name following a dot . character.    The three letter extension is one way Windows at times (but not always) keeps track of what a file is supposed to be.    Unfortunately, by default Windows hides the three letter extensions of files and instead tries to associate files with whatever program it thinks should be used to open that file.   That may be helpful to inexpert consumers, but for skilled users it is inconvenient and can be misleading  when working with the many file formats that Manifold and similar products utilize.  


Therefore, please turn off the hiding of extensions by Windows.  A typical way to do so in most versions of Windows would be from Windows Explorer, choose Tools - Folder options, press the View tab and then in the Advanced Settings pane ensure that the Hide extensions for known file types is unchecked.  Press Apply to Folders and then press OK.  You will then be able to see extensions such as .map and others.  See also the Essay on three letter extensions and why the default hiding of them by Windows is such a bad thing.

Manifold Viewer

Manifold Viewer is a free product from Manifold that is a subset of Manifold System.  Viewer has significant limitations compared to Manifold System:



Despite the above limitations Viewer retains so many Manifold System user interface commands and functions that the same user manual - this user manual -  is used for both Manifold System and Viewer.  Viewer users who read this documentation should keep in mind the above limits.  If a command or menu option does not appear, that is usually because of one of the above limits in Viewer.   In most situations the situation will be clear.


Manifold does not provide technical support for Manifold Viewer.  Hey, it's free!

For Manifold System Release 8 Licensees

Current Manifold releases utilize Radian technology .map format.   A new Manifold edition can open Manifold System Release 8 .map files but Release 8 cannot open newer Manifold .map files.   If we open a Release 8 .map file in Manifold and then Save that .map file it will be saved in newer Manifold .map format.  To retain the ability to read that .map file in Release 8, use Save As to save the .map file using a different name or into a different folder.  




Manifold Release 8 can connect to newer Manifold projects using the Radian ODBC driver.   That facilitates interchange between newer Manifold projects and Release 8.  


Let's go!   Start with the Introduction topic.