How can I draw objects in Surfer and have them be part of a base map (to move and resize when I move or rescale the map)?

Q: I used the drawing tools to add lines, rectangles and text to my map, but these objects don't move when I rescale the map. How can I get them to be part of the map?


A: You can draw items directly onto a base layer so that they are attached to the map.  To do this:

  1. Select the existing map and click Home | Add to Map | Layer | Empty Base.
  2. Right click over the new Base(vector) layer in the Contents window, and click Start Editing.
  3. Click the Features tab, and draw as many items as you like on the map using the Insert commands. They will all be added to the Base(vector) layer created.
  4. Press ESC on the keyboard to exit drawing mode.
  5. When you are finished adding items, right click over the Base(vector) layer and click Stop Editing.
  6. Now when you move, limit or rescale the map, the drawn objects will be moved, shifted and rescaled accordingly.


If the objects are already drawn on top of the map, and you want to add them to be part of the map, you can use the Home | Clipboard | Move/Copy to Layer tool to move or copy the object to a base layer in a Map object. This tool also allows you to move/copy objects between base layers, or from a base layer to the plot document. 

  1. Select the object(s) you would like to move or copy to a new layer. If there are multiple objects, hold either the CTRL or SHIFT keys to select multiple objects.
  2. Click Home | Clipboard | Move/Copy to Layer.
  3. In the Move/Copy to Layer dialog, select your Destination layer. 
  4. Toggle your preferred Operation and click OK.

    Picture of the Move/Copy to Layer dialog


In Surfer 15 and previous, this command was not available. In these versions you can create a new base layer and then copy or cut the items you want and paste them into it. If you copy and paste them, any formatting of the objects (e.g. fill color, fill pattern) will be retained. To do this:

  1. Select the drawn objects to be added and click Home | Clipboard | Copy.
  2. Select the map and click Home | Add to Map | Layer | Empty Base.
  3. Right click over the Base(vector) layer in the Contents window, and click Start Editing.
  4. Click Home | Clipboard | Paste. The objects are pasted in the base layer.
  5. Select the pasted objects and move them so that they are directly over the original objects. To move them, you can click and drag, or you can use the arrow keys on the keyboard.
  6. When they are positioned correctly, right click over the Base(vector) layer in the Contents window, and click Stop Editing.
  7. You can delete the original objects if you wish, or turn them off by unchecking them in the Contents window.
  8. If you want a separate base map file with these objects, select the Base(vector) layer with the objects in it and in the Properties window, on the General tab, click the Save File button to save the file to a SHP, DXF or other file type.


Updated October 25, 2018

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