Set the post label plane to screen when overlaid on a 3D surface in Surfer

Labeling points in a post map overlaid on a 3D surface map using the screen as the label plane requires the use of a 3D wireframe map. 

3D surface map in Surfer with labeled post map overlay.

Label a post layer on a 3D surface layer with the Screen orientation by overlaying it on an invisible 3D wireframe map.

To overlay the post map on the 3D wireframe map, position the wireframe overlay to be on top of the 3D surface map, and turn off the visibility of the wireframe:

  1. Click Home | New Map | 3D Surface | 3D Surface, select your grid file, and click Open to create the desired 3D surface map.
  2. Click Home | New Map | 3D Surface | 3D Wireframe. Choose the same grid file you used for the 3D surface map in step 1, and click Open.
  3. Add a post map to label the map containing the 3D Wireframe:
    1. In the Contents window, click the Map object containing the 3D Wireframe layer.
    2. Click Home | Add to  Map | Layer | Post, select the data file containing x,y locations and the labels, and click Open.
  4. Position the maps:
    1. If necessary, in the Contents window, click and drag to order the maps so that the map containing the 3D Wireframe layer is above the map containing the 3D Surface layer.
    2. Select a Map object. In the Properties window, click the View tab and set the Projection as desired.
    3. Repeat 4.b. for the other Map.
    4. Press CTRL and click on the other Map in the Contents window so both maps are selected.
    5. Use the Layout |  Arrange | Align | Center command to align the plots horizontally.
    6. Use the Layout |  Arrange | Align | Middle command to align the plots vertically.
  5. In the Contents window, for the map with the 3D Wireframe layer in it, uncheck the boxes for the 3D Wireframe layer and each of the 5 axes.
  6. In the Contents window, click the Post layer to select it.
  7. In the Properties window, click the Labels tab.
  8. In the Label Set 1 section, click the Worksheet column drop down menu and select the column containing your desired labels.
  9. In the General section, click the drop down menu for Label plane, and choose Screen.

Attached is an example Surfer file (3D Surface Labels.srf) using the Demogrid.dat and Demogrid.grd sample files.

If you would like to add your vote to our suggestion file for the ability to label post map overlays on 3D surfaces in the screen plane directly (without the wireframe), contact


Updated September 16, 2020

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