Guide to map legends in Surfer

Legends and color scales help identify the visual elements of groups of data.  In Surfer you can customize the legend or color scale for multiple supported map layers, helping identify important map elements in a way your stakeholders will understand.

 

Add a legend or color scale to a map

Legend

A legend contains entries for each map layer in your project that supports legends. To add a legend click Map Tools | Add to Map | Legend. Map layers that support legends include but are not limited to post, classed post, drillhole, and vector map layers. For a more complete list of map layers that support legends please refer to the Surfer help page for Legend.

Example of a Legend in the lower left in red box.png

Example of a Legend in the lower left in red box.

Color scale

You can add a color scale to color relief, contour, vector, and 3D surface maps.

Example of Color scale on right of image in red box.png

Example of Color scale on right of image in red box.

To add a color scale follow the instructions below for the map type in question:

  • Color Relief Map
    1. In the Contents window, select the Color Relief layer.
    2. In the Properties window, select the General tab.
    3. In the General section, check the box next to Show color scale.
  • Contour Map
    1. In the Contents window, select the Contours layer.
    2. In the Properties window, select the Levels tab.
    3. In the General section, check the box next to Color scale.
  • Vector Map
    1. In the Contents window, select the Vectors layer.
    2. In the Properties window, select the Symbol tab.
    3. In the Color Scaling section, ensure that Scaling Method is NOT Disabled.
    4. In the Color Scaling section, check the box next to Show color scale.
  • 3D Surface Map
    1. In the Contents window, select the 3D Surface layer.
    2. In the Properties window, select the General tab.
    3. In the General section, check the box next to Show color scale.

 

Edit Legend Properties

 

Add layer names to legend

By adding layer names to a legend you display the map layer name shown in the Contents window that each legend pertains to.

  1. Select the legend from either the Plot window or Contents window.
  2. In the Properties window, select the Layers tab.
  3. In the General section, check the box next to Show layer name.

On the right Show layer name is ON so that each map layer name is visible.png

On the right Show layer name is ON so that each map layer name is visible

 

Edit individual layer properties 

When you have multiple map layers in a legend, you can edit the look of each layer properties separately, you can also change the order in which the layers are displayed.

  1. Select the legend from either the Plot window or Contents window.
  2. In the Properties window, select the Layers tab.
  3. To Edit the Properties of an individual layer.
    1. In the Layers in Legend section, for Layer to edit select the desired layer from the drop down.
    2. Edit the properties for that layer in the section below.
  4. To change the display order of the layers in the legend.
    1. In the Layers in Legend section, for Layer position select Move up or Move down as desired for each layer to acquire the desired order

 

Customize the format of legend items

The Template box customizes the format of the legend items. The specified template is applied to each class or sample in the legend. Normal text and math text instructions can be included within the template, in addition to the following special legend template directives:

  1. Select the legend from either the Plot window or Contents window.
  2. In the Properties window, select the Layers tab.
  3. If your legend includes information for more than one layer.
    1. In the Layers in Legend section, for Layer to edit select the desired layer from the drop down.
  4. Go to the  Layer section (below the Layers in Legend section, it includes the name of the map layer referenced). The Template field section allows you to customize the format of the legend items. 
    1. Normal text and math text instructions can be included within the template, in addition to all of the special legend template directives found listed in Surfer Help>Legend Layers Properties>
      Template Section
    2. Example - the following templateIncluding \lower \symbol and up to \upper 
      produces  a classed post map legend that looks like:

A sample classed post map legend shows classes, symbols, and text in the class lines..png

A sample classed post map legend shows classes, symbols, and text in the class lines.

 

Add or remove a map layer to the legend

By default, the legend for a map in Surfer contains entries for each map layer in the project that supports legends at the time the legend was added to the map. In Surfer the map layers that support legends are post, classed post, and vector map. You can remove any of the default layers or add a new layer to an existing legend at any time. 

To add a layer to the legend:

  1. Select the legend from either the Plot window or Contents window.
  2. In the Properties window, select the Layers tab.
  3. In the Layers in Legend section, in the Edit Layer List field, click the Edit List button.
  4. In the Layers for Legends dialog, select the layer you would like to add in the Available Layers list.
  5. Add the selected layer to the Selected Layers list by using the Add the selected layer.png button.
  6. The layer should now appear in the Selected Layers list.
  7. Click OK.

To remove a layer from the legend:

  1. Select the legend from either the Plot window or Contents window.
  2. In the Properties window, select the Layers tab.
  3. In the Layers in Legend section, for the Edit Layer List field, click the Edit List button.
  4. In the Layers for Legends dialog, select the layer you would like to remove from the Selected Layers list.
  5. Remove the selected layer from the Selected Layers list by using the Remove the selected layer.png button.
  6. The layer should no longer appear in the Selected Layers list.
  7. Click OK.

Layers for Legend dialog.png

Layers for Legend dialog

Click the red/top button to add a layer, and click the blue/bottom button to remove a layer.

Additional Surfer map legend and Color scale scale resources

For more in-depth information about these topics please click the links below.

Updated January 2024.

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Date Votes
  • Hi Loic,

    Top level legends for multiple map layers are a new feature in Surfer 14.  Surfer 13 does not support legends for post map layers.  It is possible to add a legend for classed post maps in Surfer 13 but each layer would have a separate legend.  Alternatively, a legend can be created using the drawing tools, but it would not be linked to the map data.

    If you'd like to test this new feature in Surfer 14, the two week free trial is fully functional and can be installed side by side with Surfer 13.

    Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

    Katie

    0
  • Hi,

    I have several post maps on one map. I'm working with surfer 13.2.438 . I can't seem to locate any button that says "map tools". How do I add a legend for all my post maps in this surfer version.

    Thank you,
    Loic

     

     

    0

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