Variables and Wildcards

Global Mapper’s menus and toolbars occupy the space above the map view by and provide access to the software’s extensive collection of geospatial tools. In this short lesson, we will explore some of the more important aspects of these important components of the interface, and we will discuss several ways in which the toolbars can be customized.


Virtually all of Global Mapper’s functionality can be accessed from the menus, which are along the top of the interface by default. The menus are intuitively organized by function and offer access to all of the features and functions in the application. Any menu entry with an icon can be found on a toolbar in Global Mapper.

  • File
    The File menu contains all of the options for importing, exporting, and saving data. It also includes a list of recently imported files, providing convenient access to frequently used layers.
  • Edit
    The primary function of the Edit menu is to enable the copying and pasting of features and to control the associated options. The Edit menu also provides access to the undo/redo functionality.
  • View
    The View menu includes an array of settings for configuring the appearance of the interface and of the map itself. There are also options for manually adjusting the zoom level and for saving and restoring a specific map view. This is also where the toolbars are managed, which will be discussed later in this lesson.
  • Tools
    As its name implies, the Tools menu contains a selection of tools that are used to interact with features on the map. Based on the tool that is selected, the function of the cursor on the map will change. This menu also provides access to certain other dialog boxes such as the Control Center and the Map Layout options.
  • Digitizer
    The Digitizer menu contains all of the vector creation and editing operations available in Global Mapper. Depending on which features are selected on the map, different options in the sub-menus will be available.
  • Analysis
    The Analysis menu consolidates many of the analytical functions into a convenient single list. While most of the analysis tools, such as watershed and contour generation, focus on working with elevation data, this menu also offers access to additional functions including the Raster Calculator and Graph and Chart Manager.
  • Layer
    The Layer menu provides access to a variety of operations that are performed on a layer or layers selected in the Control Center. These include attribute joining and calculation.
  • Search
    The Search menu offers several options for querying or editing feature attributes. It also includes an address search function that includes geocoding capability.
  • GPS
    When a compatible GPS receiver is connected to your computer, the position can be represented by a symbol on the map. The GPS menu controls the configuration and interaction between Global Mapper and a connected GPS device.
  • Help
    The Help menu provides access to various help resources as well as the License Manager for activating the software.

While the contents of the menus cannot be customized, the menu bar itself can be undocked and moved to a different location within the interface.


The buttons on Global Mapper’s toolbars offer the most convenient way to select a tool, open certain dialog boxes, or switch between one function and another. Toolbars can be removed from the interface using the Toolbars submenu in the View menu or can be undocked or moved to another position. Within each individual toolbar, buttons can be removed or new functionality can be added.

Follow along as the instructor demonstrates some of the toolbar options.

If you customize your toolbars and would like to share this configuration with another Global Mapper user, you can export/import user settings from the Help menu.

  • Global Mapper’s menus provide access to all of the software’s functionality.
  • The toolbars and corresponding buttons provide a convenient way to access commonly used tools.
  • Unneeded toolbars can be hidden and individual toolbars can be customized.
  • Click here for more information on toolbars, and here for more information on the menus in Global Mapper.

Click on the Mark Complete or Next Topic button to learn more about Zooming and Panning the Map in Global Mapper.