About this Wiki

From OCAD Wiki - English
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This wiki will help familiarize you with the functions of OCAD.


There are a number of ways of opening the OCAD Help; via the Help menu, by pressing the Help button in the dialog boxes or by pressing the F1 button.

OCAD Help contains the following menus:

  • Content: Select this tab to open the table of contents.
  • Menu: Select this tab for information about the menu commands.
  • Toolbars: Select this tab for information about the buttons in the toolbar.

OCAD Learning Videos

OCAD offers you learning videos for various subject areas. They help you learn about the various functions and solutions offered by OCAD step by step. The learning videos are on the installation CD. If there is an OCAD learning video for a specific subject area in this manual, you can open it by clicking its link in this document. Example exercises are available for most of the learning videos and can be downloaded from the OCAD website at http://www.ocad.com/en/howtos.htm. The learning videos and example exercises are available in English only.

video available OCAD basics


The following conventions are used in this manual:

  • Bold: Menu commands, buttons, keyboard, dialog boxes
  • Italics: Files
  • "Quotation marks": Input values, selection values
  • hint Useful information
  • video available OCAD learning videos


The following terms, from the areas of geomatics, informatics 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 misunderstandings.

  • 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.
video available Image objects
  • 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.
video availableGraphic objects
  • Symbol: Symbols are used to define a map object’s graphic appearance (characteristic). For example, a tree is represented by a green point 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 are also changed. OCAD provides four basic symbol types that correspond to the properties of the respective objects:
  • Point symbol
  • Line symbol
  • Area symbol
  • Text symbol
  • Georeferencing: Georeferencing refers to the allocation of spatial reference information to specific objects so that they 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 the 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.
  • Georeferenced Vector Maps: A georeferenced vector map refers to a vector map whose vectors have been referenced using geographic coordinates (geocoding).
  • 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
  • Georeferenced Raster Map: A georeferenced raster map refers to a raster map whose pixels have been referenced using geographic coordinates (geocoding). Georeferencing information is 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 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


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