I created a Surfer contour map from my grid, but don't see any contour lines. What is wrong?

This condition has several possible causes. The two most common are:
  • The contour line levels are not within the gridded data range.
    1. Select the Contours layer in the Contents window.
    2. In the Properties window, click the Levels tab.
    3. Make sure the Minimum contour and Maximum contour level values are within the range of your gridded data. For example, a contour map appears blank if there are 2 contour lines, at 0 and 100 while the gridded data ranges from 20 to 80. The data range of the grid file can be viewed at the top of this tab. 
    4. You can click the Reset Levels button to reset the levels for the grid file back to their default values. This is useful if you've replaced the grid file for a contour map with another grid file with different Z extents.

Levels tab of Contour layer Properties

  • The grid file is not within the map limits. Select Map in the Contents window, and in the Properties window, click the Limits tab. If the check box for Use Data Limits is not checked, check this box to reset the map XY limits to include all the data in the map.

Limits tab of the Map Properties


If you have checked both the contour levels and the map limits and still cannot see any contour lines, please zip and email the SRF file to


Updated October 26, 2018

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