How can I reshape/edit individual contour lines in Surfer?

In Surfer 14 and newer versions, you can reshape/edit contour lines from the Grid Editor window. To do so:
  1. Right click on your grid-based map layer in the Contents window and click Edit Grid. Alternatively, if you don't have a grid-based map created, click File | Open, then in the Open dialog, choose your grid file and click Open. Your grid is opened in a grid editor document window.
  2. To edit the contours, use the Warp, Smooth, Push Up, and/or Pull Down commands in the Tools group on the Grid Editor ribbon bar tab. For more information on these options, see the Knowledge Base article How can I edit my Surfer grid?
  3. When you're done editing your grid, click File | Save to save the changes to the grid file.
  4. If you used the Edit Grid rather than the File | Open command to begin editing the grid file, you can click Grid Editor | Options | Update Layer to update the map with the updated grid file. 

In Surfer 13 and previous, there is not a way to physically move or edit the shape of a contour line, but there are some workarounds: 
  1. Edit the grid in the grid editor document window
    You can change the grid node values of the grid file to affect the shape of the contour lines. To do this:
    1. Click Grid | Grid Node Editor, select the grid file and click Open. By default, a small cross is displayed at the grid nodes. A blue X will appear on blanked grid nodes.
    2. Click on the grid node you wish to modify. The X, Y, and Z coordinates of the selected grid node are displayed at the top of the grid editor window.
    3. Alter the Z value of a grid node by typing in a new value into the Z box at the top of the window.  This will not affect the Z values of the surrounding grid nodes.
    4. Click File | Save to save the modified grid file when you are finished, and create a new map with the new grid file, or substitute the new grid file in an existing map.

  2. Convert the contours to a base layer and reshape the contour polylines
    You could convert the Contours layer to a Base layer containing drawn objects (polylines). Then manually reshape the contour polylines in the Base layer:
    1. Select the contours and click Map | Export Contours.
    2. Choose to save it in an AutoCAD DXF file, give the file a name, and click Save.
    3. Click Map | Add | Base Layer, select the DXF file and click Open. The base layer of the contours is added to the original map. Each polyline in the Base layer has the original Z value as an attribute, which you can see by selecting the line and clicking the Info tab in the Property Manager.
    4. Uncheck the check box next to the Contours layer in the Object Manager so you no longer see the original map.
    5. Select the line in the Base layer to be reshaped and click Geoprocessing | Reshape to display the vertices of the contour line.
    6. Click on a vertex and drag it to a new location to reshape the polyline.  For more information on how to reshape click Help | Contents. In the Help, click the Contents tab and then click Editing | Geoprocessing Commands | Reshape.
    7. Select another polyline to reshape or press ESC on the keyboard to exit Reshape mode.
    8. From here, you can continue to add other layers to the map, or export the map in map units.

  3. Insert dummy data points
    If there is a particular area where the contours need to be better constrained, then you could add some dummy data points in that area to the raw data to help make the contours in the shape you want.  For example:
    1. Create the contour map by clicking Map | New | Contour Map, selecting the grid file and clicking Open.
    2. Right click over the contours and click Digitize.
    3. Click in the area where you want to better constrain the contours. The XY (and optionally Z) values for each location you clicked are entered into the Digitized Coordinates window.
    4. Edit the Z values of these points to what you want them to be, or add them if they are not already added.
    5. Click File | Save As in the Digitized Coordinates window and save the coordinates to a DAT file.
    6. Press ESC on the keyboard to exit digitizing mode.
    7. Click File | Open, select the original raw data file you gridded and click Open. It will open in the worksheet.
    8. Scroll down to the first empty row, and click on the cell in the X column, click File | Import, select the data file of the digitized coordinates, and click Open. The new coordinates are imported into the data file.
    9. Make sure the X, Y and Z values are in the correct columns and click File | Save to save the data.
    10. Grid this new data file and update the contour map.


Updated November 8, 2019

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