Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Locate XY’s Hidden Features

Many of you have probably used the Locate XY dialog in GTViewer and not given it much though. This simple tool is the default item under the Query menu when no queries or external applications are found and is first Query menu item when other items are present. The function of this tool is obvious from its name, but there are several features to this tool that are not readily obvious.

For this seemingly simple Dialog box, you get quite a few features and options:

  • The Locate XY dialog can locate on either System coordinates are Computed coordinates. The mode is determined by the Coordinate Readout selected in the Options/Settings dialog. It is sometimes useful to be able to locate on system coordinates especially when you are setting up data for the first time or doing development.
  • To save time keying in coordinates to locate on, you can key in both the X and Y in the X’s prompt. You can separate the values by a space, a comma, a semicolon, or a pipe.
  • With version 4.0.x.19, you can key in four coordinates in the X’s prompt and a fit will be performed instead of a Locate. Use this feature in conjunction with View/Current View Extents as its output can be pasted directly into the Locate XY dialog.
  • All changes to the view performed by the Locate XY dialog are recorded in the View History and are accessible with View/Location History.
  • The Default Zoom setting in the dialog is defaulted to the DefaultZoomLevel entry in the [General Info] section of the .gtm file. The default is 500 if it is not set (and may likely be the wrong default zoom level).
  • You can remove the Locate XY dialog from the Query menu by adding a LocateXYMenu=0 entry to the [Additional Properties] section of the .gtm file.

These features are really not hidden at all. They are all documented; however, most users do not take the time to research the non-obvious functionality of a simple feature like Locate XY. I hope this entry helps you get more use out of this simple tool.

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