VEdit 2.4 Documentation

Starting Out:

VEdit is a vector fill, pen, and marker editor for ArcView versions 3.1 and 3.2; with it, you can create or edit vector fills, composite fills, basic pens, vector pens, composite pens, basic (font) markers, and composite markers. VectorPenMarker, VectorPenVertexMarker, and CompositeArcInfoPen classes are also supported.

WARNING: ArcView 3.1 will not properly handle hairline vectorfills. Version 3.2 fixes that bug, but still does not properly handle dot fills with a smaller pen size than height (e.g. to create hollow dots) unless the pen size is 0.

Place "vedit.avx" in ArcView's EXT32 directory. To load VEdit, open a new or existing project. With the project window active, click "File | Extensions..." to open the Extensions dialog. Check the "Vector Symbol Editor" entry and click the OK Button. Four buttons will appear on the project's button bar (these controls may be duplicated elsewhere in the project, but should the extension be unloaded they will not properly be removed):

The "Launch VEdit" button starts up the symbol editor, with which you can edit an existing symbol or create a new one.

The "Delete Symbol" button removes the selected symbol from the palette.

The "Purge Symbols" button removes all but the first two symbols from the palette.

The "Move Symbol" button moves the currently selected symbol to a different location in the palette.

Using the Editor Dialog:

When you click the "Launch VEdit" button, you will be asked if you want to edit the currently selected symbol. If you click "no" you will then be asked if you want to add a new symbol: if you click "yes" a new symbol will be created and loaded into the editor.

For example, if you are editing a composite fill at position 12 of the palette, the dialog may appear as follows:

The current symbol type appears in the "Symbol Type" combo box. To change the symbol type, select a different type. If "composite" is selected, the "Layer" and "Layer Type" combo boxes will be activated; otherwise, they will be deactivated. To bring up online help for the current symbol type, click the "?" button next to the combo box.

If the symbol is composite, the current layer appears in the "Layer" combo box and the layer type in the "Layer Type" combo box. Fill layers are equivalent to vector fill styles, pen layers may be basic or vector pen styles, and marker layers are basic (pattern) markers. To bring up online help for the current layer type, click the "?" button next to the combo box.

The attribute items for the current symbol or layer appear in the list box, and the value for the currently selected item appears in the edit box. To change a value, type in the new value and click the "Apply" button. The change will be reflected in the current symbol in the palette.

To reload the original value, click the "Reset" button. Note that the "Apply" button must be clicked to reapply that value.

The "Add Layer" button adds a layer to a composite symbol. For example, if there are two layers numbered 0 and 1, clicking the button will add a layer numbered 2.

The "Delete Layer" button deletes the currently selected layer. If there is only one layer, the button will be deactivated.

The "Close" button closes the dialog box.


The symbol window should be open (e.g using Control-P) and the appropriate palette and symbol selected prior to clicking a button.

Symbols in a palette and layers of composite symbols are numbered starting at 0.

If more than one copy of a symbol exists in a palette, the first one that ArcView locates will become the current symbol, even if a different one was originally selected.

The "character" item of a marker (the font glyph) may be specified by a numeric value (e.g. 170) or a character (e.g. "#"). To specify characters "0" - "9" use values 48 - 57. The Windows accessory program "Character Map" is useful for determining the specification of a particular glyph.

"Color lock" is represented by one of the seven supported color names (black, red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, yellow) or by a string representing the RGB list ("255 0 0" equals red). To turn color lock off, set the value to "no". An unlocked layer of a composite symbol which contains locked layers will appear green in the palette.

After creating or editing a composite symbol which contains a mix of locked and unlocked colors, select a different symbol before changing the default foreground color. Otherwise, the symbol's appearence in the palette will be affected. To restore its appearance, edit the symbol and reapply one of its "color lock" values.

The "size" item only affects the appearance of the symbol in the palette. When the symbol is applied, the size of all layers will be set to that specified by the symbol window - i.e., unequal layer sizes are not allowed.


(Before attempting the following exercises, you should first use the "Purge Symbols" button to clear out the fill, pen, and marker palettes.)

Example 1: Creating a Composite Fill

The following steps will create a 3-point staggered hollow dot fill.

The entry in the palette should appear as follows: .

Example 2: Creating a Composite Pen

The following steps will create a 2-point wide composite pen: the bottom layer will be a solid pen of the foreground color, the second layer will be a black hash pattern, and the top layer will be a black outline (hollow).

The entry in the palette should appear as follows: - note that the hollow size does not change when the size of the symbol changes. Thus if you want layer 2 to be a hairline when the symbol size is 6, then "altsize" should be set to 6.

Example 3: Creating a Composite Marker

The following steps will use the "ESRI Geometric Symbols" and "ESRI Cartography" fonts (if installed) to create a composite marker: layer 0 will be a spot of the foreground color and layer 1 will be a black spoked donut.

The entry in the palette should appear as follows:

Example 4: Creating an Asymmetrically Hatched Pen

The following steps will use the default #FONT_HELV font to create a composite ArcInfo pen with a VectorPenMarker layer.

The entry in the palette should appear as follows:

Note that composite ArcInfo pens are always color locked. Although it's possible in Avenue to turn the color locking off, VEdit maintains the locking of all layers.


Mark Cederholm

Home brew software, home brew beer (and mead!) -- Yahoo!!!!