About this Wiki

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This wiki will help familiarize you with the functions of OCAD.

How to Get to the OCAD Wiki

There are different ways to open the Wiki from OCAD:

  • In the Help menu you can choose the following items:
  • If you want to go directly to an article about a function, press the F1 key when you have selected the function from the menu or toolbar.
  • Many dialog boxes provide a Help button. Click it to go directly to the article for that function.

OCAD Wiki Language

The OCAD Wiki is only available in English.

To translate the Wiki into another language you have the following options:

  • Translate directly in the browser
Chrome has a Build-In Translate tool, Firefox has translation Add-ons and Microsoft Edge has translator extensions in the Microsoft Store.
  • Copy text and have it translated in a translation program
E.g. Deepl Translator (https://www.deepl.com/translator) or Google Translate (https://translate.google.com/)

OCAD Learn Videos

OCAD offers you learn videos for various subjects on YouTube.

Hint.jpg Some videos are made with earlier versions of OCAD. Functions or dialog boxes may have changed. Look for the OCAD Wiki article on the corresponding function to get help for the most recent version of OCAD.


The following conventions are used in this Wiki:

  • Bold: Menu commands, buttons, keyboard, dialog boxes
  • Italics: Files
  • "Quotation marks": Input values, selection values
  • Hint Hint
  • This function is available in OCAD Mapping Solution. This function is available in OCAD Mapping Solution.
  • This function is available in OCAD Orienteering. This function is available in OCAD Orienteering.
  • This function is available in OCAD Starter. This function is available in OCAD Starter.
  • This function is available in OCAD Course Setting. This function is available in OCAD Course Setting.
  • This function is available in OCAD Viewer. This function is available in OCAD Viewer.


The following terms from the disciplines of geospatial technology, computer science and cartography, are used in this manual. An explanation of the most important terms is provided here to keep the explanations as short as possible and avoid any possible misunderstanding.

  • Vertex: Vertices are specified by a pair of coordinates (x/y values). Vertices are used to define the position of points, lines and areas.
  • Object: Each element on a map is referred to as an object (map object). There are point, line, area and text objects.
  • Point Object: The position of a point object on the map is defined by a single vertex. These points can be moved, deleted or rotated. The vertex generally represents the center of the symbol.
  • Line Object: A line object on the map is defined using a sequence of vertices. Individual vertices can be moved or deleted and new ones added. The object can be disconnected, rotated, reshaped or merged with lines of the same symbol. The vertices represent the center of the line. Line objects are directional.
  • Area Object: An area object on the map is defined by a sequence of vertices. Individual vertices can be moved or deleted and new ones added. The object can be stretched, reshaped, reduced, rotated or merged with other areas with the same kind of symbol.
  • Image Object: An image object is an imported vector graphic element. These are solely line and area objects. Not all OCAD editing functions can be applied to image objects. An image object must be converted into an object or assigned to a symbol before it can be edited. Image objects can be converted individually or automatically based on a reference table.
  • Graphic Object: A graphic object is an element created using the Convert To Graphic Object function. This function is used to break an object down into its individual basic elements or to convert it into an outline.
  • Layout Object: A layout object is on the layout layer at the top of the map. The layout layer may contain raster images and vector objects like lines, areas or text. The vector layout objects color model is CMYK. The layout images' color model is RGB.
  • Symbol: Symbols are used to define a map object’s graphic appearance. For example, a tree may be represented by a green circle on the map. Every map object drawn using the “tree” symbol will therefore have the same graphic appearance. If the symbol is changed using the symbol editor, all map objects drawn using it also change. OCAD provides four basic symbol types that correspond to the properties of their respective objects:
  • Point symbol
  • Line symbol
  • Area symbol
  • Text symbol
  • Georeferencing: Georeferencing refers to the allocation of spatial reference information to the map so that its content can be mapped to a geodetic reference system, i.e. augmented by geographic coordinates (geocoding). OCAD supports more than 50 geographic coordinate systems. Information about the geographic coordinate system appropriate for your application is available from national land surveying offices, cartographic institutes or data suppliers.
  • Vector Maps: Vector maps are made up of vectors (points, lines or area objects) defined by vertices. Raster maps can be created using vector maps. OCAD maps are vector maps.
  • Georeferenced Vector Maps: A georeferenced vector map refers to a vector map whose vectors have been referenced using geographic coordinates (geocoded).
  • Background Map: Background map refers to a raster map or OCAD file used as a background. It serves as a drawing template or background map image. Examples include scanned draft maps, satellite pictures, orthophotos, and shading. OCAD cannot be used to edit background maps.
  • Raster Map: A raster map (bitmap) is made up of a series of regularly spaced pixels positioned at right angles. In OCAD, they can only be used as background maps. They can neither be edited nor converted into vector maps using OCAD. OCAD supports the following raster map formats:
  • BMP - Bitmap
  • TIFF - Tagged Image File Format
  • JPG - Joint Photographic Experts Group
  • GIF - Graphics Interchange Format
  • PNG - Portable Network Graphics
  • Georeferenced Raster Map: A georeferenced raster map refers to a raster map whose pixels have been referenced using geographic coordinates (geocoded). Georeferencing information is usually stored in a “world file”, a second file with the same name as the raster map file. The file extension is made up of three letters. The first two letters refer to the raster map file format, the third letter for world file. The world file should be neither renamed nor edited. With TIFF files, georeferencing information can be stored in the raster map file itself; a world file is therefore not always required. OCAD supports the following world files and/or georeferenced raster map file formats:
  • BPW -World file for a BMP file
  • TFW -World file for a TIFF file
  • JGW -World file for a JPG file
  • GFW -World file for a GIF file
  • PGW -World file for a PNG file


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