Course Setting Printing

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This function is available in OCAD Mapping Solution.This function is available in OCAD Orienteering.This function is available in OCAD Starter.This function is available in OCAD Course Setting.

This page provides an overview of how orienteering courses can be printed.

Print Preparation

Normal Printing

Normally, your course setting project consists of a course setting file, in which you load the map file as a background map.


Nowadays, most maps for orienteering trainings and smaller competitions are printed with laser printers in one single step with a satisfactory result.

To avoid that the course setting objects covers important map details, the Blend Mode simulates an overprint effect.
By default, the blend mode for OCAD course setting symbols is set correctly and no further action is required.
The blend mode effect is not visible in the Preview mode in OCAD. You have to export a PDF and open it in Acrobat Reader to see the blend mode effect.

BackgroundMap NoBlendMode NoCut.png
Map file loaded as background map in course setting project, no blend mode set for any color.

BackgroundMap BlendMode NoCut.png
Map file loaded as background map in course setting project, blend mode set for course setting objects.

Also, you can cut control circles and connection lines to make map details visible below.

BackgroundMap BlendMode Cut.png
Map file loaded as background map in course setting project, blend mode set for course setting objects, control circle cut.

Hint.jpgIn offset printing (a printing technology used by professional printing companies), the courses and other additional course information can be over-printed by an extra print with purple color after the actual map is printed.
In this case, an overprint effect will appear making important symbols visible through the course symbols.

Import an OCAD Map

An approach other than the loading the map file as background map is to import the map file into the course setting project.
However, the following process requires a good knowledge of OCAD and is more time consuming.

With this method, you can place the purple color for course setting in the color order below the colors for black, brown and blue point and line symbols.
This way, important map features like paths, contours, streams and stones are above the course setting objects. This gives a similar effect as the Blend mode.

This is how it works:

  1. In your course setting project, make sure that no background map is loaded.
  2. Choose the Import command from the File menu.
  3. Select the OCAD map (which you would use as background map) in the browser and click the Open button.
  4. The Import OCAD Map dialog appears. Read the Import OCAD Map article if you do not know how to deal with this dialog.
  5. Click the OK button to finish.

Also, you can use this process for example to import ski or bike orienteering maps, where control circles and connection lines are not printed over all map objects.

For more information, see this video on YouTube by IOF FootO Commission member Christer Carlsson.

ImportMap NoBlendMode NoCut.png
Map imported into course setting project, no blend mode set for any color.

Create a Layout

See the Create a Layout page to find an overview of the different possibilities to create a map layout in OCAD.

Layout EditLayoutObjects.png

Printing Process

There are basically two ways to print maps in OCAD.

Export and print PDF

Due to the colour display, we recommend that you always create a PDF from OCAD first and then print this PDF, e.g. in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  1. In OCAD, choose the Export command in the File menu to export your map or your orienteering course as a PDF.
  2. Open the PDF with Adobe Acrobat Reader, as the Acrobat Reader supports the printing process very well. Do not open and print the PDF files via a web browser such as Edge, Firefox or Chrome, as this may lead to incorrect results.
  3. When printing the PDF, choose Actual size and not Fit. The option Fit (to paper) would scale the map and result in wrong map scale.
  4. Print the PDF.


Hint.jpg Choose the Canvases command from the Course Setting menu to export courses and classes of the same course setting project as PDFs in different scales and layouts.

Canvases Blog.png

Print directly in OCAD

Choose the Courses command in the Print submenu of the Course Setting menu to print courses directly out of OCAD or to print only courses on already printed map.
Alternatively, you can also use the Print command in the File menu.
Please note that we do not recommend printing maps and courses directly, but creating a PDF first.

Print quality

For larger events where a very high print quality is required, printing by specialists is recommended.
For training and smaller events, satisfactory results can also be achieved with home or office printing.
Information from Swiss Mapping Conference on this topic(German language).

Adapt colors

Test prints from OCAD shows, that the colors defined in the OCAD symbol sets also works satisfactorily for laser printers. However, it's recommended to make test prints and compare the colors to a reference print sheet, as every single laser printer gives its 'own colors'.

Please also note that the colors you see in the OCAD Window will not correspond exactly to the colors you see in a PDF or in the printout. OCAD works with CMYK colors, but what you see on your screen are RGB-Colors from the Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI). The color conversion (mostly) leads to slightly different colors.

You can adjust colors in the Color dialog box.

Print Control Descriptions

Please see the Print Control Descriptions page for more information.