Symbol Editor

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In the bundle with metigo® MAP you have received the Symbol Editor SigEdit. The editor enables you to create your own symbols corresponding the requirements of the client. Even though a huge amount of symbols are integrated in metigo® MAP, we would like to enrich the work of our clients with more flexibility in this field.

Note Note: Currently it is obly available with a German user interface.

At any time using the symbol editor, these four symbol types can be defined:

New symbols can be created or existing symbols loaded, modified and added to the symbol library.

Note Note: If you would like to create a new symbol, it is recommended to load a similar existing symbol. By altering the coordinates in the input field, try the different variations of the symbol. In the preview window! The results of modifications are shown immediately and you can familiarise with the functionality of the editor more easily.

The User Interface (GUI)

The main symbol editor dialogue metigo® SIGNEDIT.

The user interface of the symbol editor is designed as following:

  1. At the top of the window, the symbols for editing can be selected.
  2. Using the function keys, symbol type files can be loaded and saved. The pull-down-menu above shows the path of the loaded symbol.
    The Input field below shows the code of the loaded symbol. Here you can enter new code or alter existing.
  3. Aktuelle Signatur (Current Symbol): After selecting a symbol type file, the required symbol can be chosen from the pull-down-menu.
    The character code of a loaded signature is displayed in the input field below. Here you enter the character code for your new signature.
    In addition to the input field, you have further options for managing and editing the signatures.
  4. To create a new symbol, select a symbol type using the tab. Proceed by pressing the button New Symbol and naming the new symbol in the input dialogue.
  5. The character code of a loaded symbol will be shown in the input field. To create a new symbol, the code for the new symbol can be input here.
  6. Beside the input field, further options are available for the management and editing of symbols.
  7. The preview shows the current setting of the symbol.
  8. Besides the preview, additional display options can be selected.

Note Note: The settings below the pull-down-menu Scaling refer just to the display and not to the actual size of the symbol.

Note Note: Activating the semantic test highlights eventual errors in red.

Vector Symbol Type File (*.VEC)

Vector symbols consisted of 3 basic elements – polygons, arcs (circles) and texts – which can be combined arbitrary. Each of these elements starts with the character string: V, F0, R0.

This string pinpoints the start of a new element. In addition, it defines, if it shall be filled in the case of an area and rotated to align a base line or not.

  • V: Reference to a new element in the vector symbol
  • F0/1: Fill on/off for this element (if an area)
  • R0/1: Rotation off/on for this element

Depending on the element to be defined, either one or more polygon vertex rows are following, either exactly one arc definition row, exactly one text definition row, one attribute definition line, one function definition row or one bounding element definition line .

  • Polygon vertex line: VP,0.001,0.001
    This row starts with the character string VP, followed by two values separated by comma,
    • at first, the X-coordinate (at the above example: 1mm),
    • followed by the Y-coordinate (at the above example: 1mm) of the polygon vertex.
Note Note: By several polygon vertex rows a polygon in a vector symbol can be defined. If the first and last point are identical, you will receive a polygon, which can be filled.
  • Arc definition line: VC,0,0,0.002,0,0,S0
    his line begins with the character string VC and is followed by six values separated by comma.
    • Value 1 and 2: Definition of the center of the circle (using the example: (0,0)),
    • Value 3: Definition of the radius in [m] (using the example: 2 mm).
    • Value 4 and 5: Definition of the start and end angle in the interval from 0° to 360° in order to define an arc (using the example, a full circle is defined because both values are 0 ).
    • Value 3: Definition of whether the arc is displayed open S0 or closed S1. For a closed circular arc, a route is drawn from the center point to the start and end point of the circular segment.

The first two define the centre of the circle (at the example: (0,0) ) and the third the radius (at the example: 2 cm). The following two values are giving the start and end angle in the interval of to 360°, so the arc will be defined (in the example both values are 0, therefore a circle is defined). The last value is a string S0 or S1. Thus enables the closure of the arc, by drawing a line from the centre to the start as well as the endpoint.

  • Text definition line: VT,0.01,0,"A",0.005,b1,i0,u0
This row starts with the string VT, followed by seven values or strings separated by comma. The required text (third string in example: A) will be centred corresponding to the insertion point (first two strings at the example: (0.01,0) ) the insertion point will be at the base line of the text. The fourth string defines the font height in m at a 100% printout (in the example: 5 mm). The last three strings influence the font layout (bold, italic, underlined). The above sample creates a text which is bold (b1), but not italic (i0) and not underlined (u0).

Examples for Vector Symbols

The following example displays a vector symbol, which has been joined from two of the three basic elements. It is a triangular polygon (not filled) containing an annotation (A).

Example: Vector symbol * Triangle A
Code Description Result
V,F0,R0 new element, fill off, rotation off
The insertion point of vector symbol Triangle A is shown red.
VP,-0.004,-0.004 definition of a polygon vertex
VP,0.004,-0.004 definition of a polygon vertex
VP,0,0.004 definition of a polygon vertex
VP,-0.004,-0.004 definition of a polygon vertex
V,F0,R0 new element, fill off, rotation off
VT,0,-0.002,"A",0.004,b0,i0,u0 vector text, definition of the position, the font, the font size and the text format
Note Note: The unit for all dimensions are Meter respectively decimal degrees.
Mark decimal places by a point, not a comma! The number of elements used for the creation of vector symbols will just be limited by the capacity of your computer.
Achtung Caution: Wrong code will be marked in red and has to be replaced. Keep special care for the correct selection of symbol types. Code of a symbol in the tab of the wrong symbol type will not be displayed.

Further Examples:

Example: Vector Symbol * Rechtangle 2x3 mm unfilled
Output of a rectangle with 2x3 mm edges and centre as insertion point.
character string description result
V,F0,R1 new element, fill off, rotation on
The insertion point ofthe vector symbol Rechtangle 2x3 mm unfilled is deisplayed in red.
VP,-0.002,-0.003 definition of the polygon vertex
VP,-0.002,0.003 definition of the polygon vertex
VP,0.002,0.003 definition of the polygon vertex
VP,0.002,-0.003 definition of the polygon vertex
VP,-0.002,-0.003 definition of the polygon vertex
example: Vector Symbol * circle top filled, bottom unfilled r=4mm
output of a circle with 8 mm diameter (top filled semi-circle, bottom unfilles).
character string description result
V,F1,R1 new element, fill on, rotation on
The insertion point of the vector symbol circle top filled, bottom unfilled r=4mm is displayed red.
VC,0,0,0.004,0,180,S0 definition of the upper semi-circle
V,F0,R1 new element, fill off, rotation on
VC,0,0,0.004,180,0,S0 definition of the lower semi circle
Example: Vector Symbol * A 1m italic & underlined
Output: A with 1 cm height (italic & underlined) / does not rotate.
character string description Ergebnis
V,F0,R0 new element, fill off, rotation off
The insertion point of the vector symbol is displayed red. It is defined by the parameters hl and vb.
VT,0,0,"A",0.01,b0,i1,u1,hl,vb definition of the text
example: vector symbol * trigonometric point
character string description result
V,F0,R0 new element, fill off, rotation off
The insertion point of the vector symbol TrigonPoint is turned off. Turned on, it will be displayed on top of the small black circle.


definition of the polygon vertex of the triangle
V,F1,R1 new element, fill on, rotation off
VC,0,0,0.0005,0,0,S0 definition of the circle in the centre
V,F0,R0 new element, fill off, rotation off
definition off the attribute fields for the x-coordinate
definition off the attribute fields for the y-coordinate

Line Type File (*.LIN)

To create a line symbol, please open the tab Linientypen. The character code of a line type file can be defined as single or multiple rows. As for vector symbols the first line contains a star with the name of the symbol in quotation marks.

Note Note: The units for dimensions are [m] and decimal degrees.
The decimal places are marked with a point, not a comma! The number of elements with which you want to design your line signature is only limited by the capabilities of the computer.
Note Note: Line patterns can also be combined with vector symbols

Definition with A

The first row starts with A and the succeeding character string for the line, thereby the individual drawing commands are divided by comma.

  • A positive number draws a dash with the length of the corresponding numeric value [in m].
  • A negative number creates a gap of the corresponding width.
  • The value 0 draws a dot.

The so defined line pattern will be repeated continuously.

The definition can also contain vector symbols. For that further five values will be defined after the last value of the pattern.

  1. The introductory value V serves as an indication that a vector symboll follows.
  2. the name of the vector symbol in quotation marks
  3. distance for the repetition of the vector symbol
  4. distance along the line's direction, measured from the origin point of the line definition
  5. The perpendicular distance of the vector symbol from the line

The definition of the corresponding vector symbol can be found at the end of the line type file. This area is separated by the character string # VECTORSIGNATURES #.

Further line definitions start

In the row with B and C. The row starting with B defines a symbol at the supporting line A (e.g. strokes, chevrons) and their continuing spacing at the supporting line, a a row starting with C defines the line section of a symbol (e.g. dash length, angle and positioning at the supporting line).

Code Description Result
Line symbol * dash-dot 3 mm
Line symbol * dash-dot 3 mm
A,0.003,-0.003,0,-0.003 dash, space, dot, space
Line symbol * Angle 60° 4mm plain
Line symbol * Angle 60° 4mm plain
A,0.001 Base line (continuing line)
B,0.006,0 Spacing of symbol elements on the base line (6 mm)
C,0,0,0.004,60 Positioning, Length and Angle (1rst Line Part of the


C,0,0,0.004,120 Positioning, Length and Angle (2nd Line Part of the


Line Symbols can be combined with vector symbols, so that the vector symbol is displayed repetitively with a given spacing on the base line. To integrate a vector symbol in a line symbol, the row with a leading A will be enlarged after the definition of the line pattern. This extension consist of five strings, which are separated by comma. The first string (V) signalises the insertion of a vector symbol. It is followed by a string representing the name of the vector symbol to insert. The last three strings are values, the first the repeating distance along the line, the second is the distance to the start of the line and the third the perpendicular distance to the supporting line. To insert vector symbol(s), this definition has to be written in an additional block behind the line definition. The start of these blocks is marked by the string #VECTORSIGNATURES# and followed by the known definition of one or more vector symbols.

Example: Line Circle & Rectangle
Code Description Result
A,1,V,"Circle&Rechtangle",0.012,-0.005,0 definition of a continues line, definition of the insertion point of the symbol
Line Circle & Rectangle
V,F0,R1 new element, fill off, rotation on
VC,0,0,0.004,0,180,S0 definition of the circular arc
V,F1,R1 new element, fill on, rotation on
VP,-0.004,0 definition of the start polygon vertex
VP,-0.004,-0.002 definition of a polygon vertex
VP,0.004,-0.002 definition of a polygon vertex
VP,0.004,0 definition of a polygon vertex
VP,-0.004,0 definition of the last closing polygon vertex

Achtung Caution: Decimal places are allways separated by a point not a comma!

Hatching Type File (*.PAT)

The format is constructed similar to the line type file, yet missing out “A,B,C“ at the beginning of the row. A fill pattern can be created from one or more line type. For the description of a hatching line follows a row with the following variables, which are always separated by comma:

  1. Angle of the line rotation in degree
  2. X-coordinate for the displacement of the line insertion point (in the WCS)
  3. Y-coordinate for the displacement of the line insertion point (in the WCS)
  4. Spacing of the lines in x- direction
  5. Spacing of the lines in y- direction
  6. Definition for the line pattern

Note Note: The pattern of the line can be constructed as described in the section Line Type File – including the integration of vector symbols.

Example: Hatching * Line+Dashes 45°ri 2mm
Code Description Result
45,0,0,0,0.002 45° continues Line, line spacing 2mm
Hatching * Line+Dashes 45°ri 2mm
45,0.001 4,0,0.003,0.002,0.002,-0.002 new element, fill off, rotation off, line definition of the dashes

Reference File for Image Symbols (*.REF)

Image Symbols are based on image files in the TIFF–Format. As these are not vector symbols, they cannot be edited in the symbol editor.

If own images shall be used as image symbols, to insert a location sketch or a corporate logo, you are able to create image symbols directly in the project. Open a class management and with the button Symbols the symbol management. Using import, images can be imported, their size altered and inserted in the project. For more detail compare section Symbol Management.

Alternatively, there is the facility to create symbols in the reference file.

In the reference file *.REF, any symbols can be defined for use in mappings. They will be saved in text files and extended at any time. To create a link of an image in the reference file, open it in the directory Image Symbols in the Metigo program path. Symbols can be added to an existing file, alternatively old entries can be discarded and the file saved under a new name with the updated symbols. The creation of new symbols in a reference file may be advantageous for often used symbols.

Note Note: *.REF-files cannot be opened by double click on the icon in the directory, but directly with a text editor.
Imagereferencefile shown in the text editor.
Two rows are needed for each symbol. The first row contains the name of the symbol, which is also used in the program interface of metigo MAP. In the second row the following variables divided by spaces describe the symbol:
  1. file name of the symbol file (TIFF-format),
  2. column number of the insertion point for the symbol,
  3. row number of the insertion point for the symbol.

The insertion point serves as reference value for the coordinate exact insertion during mapping.

Note Note: The listed symbols in the reference file have to be accessible as TIFF – file in the same directory as the reference file. Compressed file formats cannot be read by the software.

Note Note: The variables of file name, column and row will be separated by space and uploaded individually from the symbol file. Do not use spaces in the file names of the image symbols, as these cannot be read otherwise.

Colour Code File (*.COL)

The current software version contains already five common colour coding systems: ACAD, NCS (Natural Color System) , PC-Farben (PC-16), RAL-colours and STABILO-crayon colours.

Below colour types in the symbol editor, you can create user-defined colours for use in your mapping.

A row is needed for each new colour. In general, the following variables are used for the description of the colour. The variables are separated by a comma from each other:

1.-3. reference to colour by hyphen/semicolon -;-;
4.-6. colour values for RGB (0..255)
7.-10. colour values for CMYK in percentage (to date not used)
11. colour values for 256 grey scales

Using the colour systems RAL and STABILO, the row always starts with colour name, colour number and pencil number.

Code Description Result
Colour, PC-16, * Magenta
Colour, PC-16, * Magenta
- ; - ;255;0;255;43;69;0;1;0 RGB-value for magenta
Colour, RAL, * Light red orange
Colour, RAL, * Light red orange
RAL 2008;54/221;225;109;50;0;60;100;0;0 RAL colour number for light red orange
  1. To define a new colour, select the tag Colour Types at the top.
  2. Continue by pressing the New Symbol on the right.
  3. Enter the RGB-value for the new colour (the fields for CMYK-colour are at present only displayed, no user-defined settings are possible).
  4. In the input field Colour No: an own name and/or number can be given (optional).
  5. The preview window shows the current colour selection.

Create Vector Symbols from a Selection of Elements

metigo MAP offers the capability to create vector symbols from selection of elements. Annotations, polygons and circles/arcs are allowed.

To create a vector symbol in metigo MAP, select a number of elements, which shall be used. After the selection, press the button Creates a vector symbol. and a dialogue to create vector symbols opens.

Dialogue in MAP converting drawings to vector symbols.
  1. By inputting the required value in [m], (for output) in the corresponding input field Width or Height of the vector symbol can be determined The other corresponding value will scaled accordingly to the width-to-height ratio.
    Achtung Caution: Please, note that the measures are valid for 100% printout. This means have you entered a width of 0.01 m, the created vector symbol will be 1 cm wide in printout, if you will keep the scale of the symbols untouched.
  2. The pull-down-menu enables the definition of the base point for the vector symbol, one of the four corners or the centre can be selected. Further, the entry Measure can be selected. If so and once the corresponding push-button has been clicked, the base point can be measured in the opened window. After measuring the base point, return to the dialogue.
    Note Note: Measuring the base point, you have the possibility to refer to the object snap mode.
  3. After naming the vector symbol, this will be created by clickng the button Create.
    Achtung Caution: When creating vector symbols, pay attention, that the name of the vector symbol is unique within the project.

Vector Symbols with attributive Extensions

Now, vector symbols can also comprise a function or an attribute. Thereby, the function refers to one or more coordinates. How many coordinates of the vector symbol should be allocated, is noted in the first row of the definition. PNUM=3 means 3 coordinates are needed.


The definition of a function is similar to the definition of a text with the following differences:

  • the row starts with VF instead of VT,
  • the 3rd value of the definition row is the string for the function,

A function refers to one or two included coordinates.

In the following table are predefined functions (the ? represents the index of the required coordinates – 1...PNUM):

PNum(?) Displays the point number of the selected coordinate „?“
Code1 (?) Displays code 1 of the selected coordinate „?“
Code2 (?) Displays code 2 of the selected coordinate „?“
Xkoord(?) Displays the x-value of the selected coordinate „?“
Ykoord(?) Displays the y-value of the selected coordinate „?“
Zkoord(?) Displays the z-value of the selected coordinate „?“
DeltaX(?1 ,?2) Displays the X-difference of the selected coordinates “?1 “ - “?2“
DeltaY(?1 ,?2) Displays the Y-difference of the selected coordinates “?1 “ - “?2“
DeltaZ(?1 ,?2) Displays the Z-difference of the selected coordinates “?1 “ - “?2“
DistXY(?1 ,?2) Displays the XY-difference of the selected coordinates “?1 “ - “?2“
DistYZ(?1 ,?2) Displays the YZ-difference of the selected coordinates “?1 “ - “?2“
DistZX(?1 ,?2) Displays the ZX-difference of the selected coordinates “?1 “ - “?2“
Dist3D(?1 ,?2) Displays the 3D-difference of the selected coordinates “?1 “ - “?2“


The definition of an attribute is similar to the definition of text with the following differences in the definition row:

  • the row starts with VD instead of VT
  • the 3rd value of the definition row is the string of the callable attribute

The displayed attribute has to be assigned to the element using the vector symbol.

Code Output
x-coordinate 1 x-value of the second coordinate with 1 cm height (italics & underlined) / doesn't rotate with the angle (3 coordinates are needed)
Index index of elements, which contains the vector symbol with 1 cm height (italics & underlined) / does not rotate with the angle