Create a Layout

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On this page we want to give you an overview of the different possibilities to create a map layout in OCAD.

Things to consider before you start

Before you start to create a layout there are a few things to consider:

  • Create the layout directly in the map file or in an external file?

You can create a layout directly in the map file.
The map and the layout will then be in the same file, which makes it easier to pass a map to another person.

Also, it's possible to create a layout in a separate OCAD file.
This makes it easier to re-use the layout in other map files.
If you use the Canvas function for orienteering course setting projects, the layout must be in a separate file.

  • How is the map printed?

Think about how you want the map to be printed.
Which paper formats (e.g A4, A3, ..) can be printed?
Can the printer print all the way to the edge of a sheet of paper?

  • Which parts of the map should be printed?

Think about which parts of the map should be printed.
Which paper format, scale and page orientation (Portrait or Landscape) should the printed map have?

Hint.jpg We recommend not to print directly files out of OCAD, but always to export a PDF first.

Define export extents

Define the export extents based on the above considerations (e.g. A4 Portrait with 5mm margin or A3 Landscape with no margin).

Use the Define Paper Size function to define a paper size. The extent will be shown in the drawing area and the area outside will be grayed out.
This makes it easy to see where you need to place the layout objects. If you now save an extent with this function, it is then available both in the export and in the print dialog.

Define a margin to ensure that you don't use an area outside the capabilities of the printer to be used.

Side note: When exporting a PDF in A4 Portrait format, the size is always 210 x 297 mm. However, your home printer will not be able to print the full size, as he needs some empty borders to guide the paper through the printer. How much this is exactly differs from printer to printer. Typically this is 2 – 5 mm. In professional printing, maps are printed on oversize paper, which is slightly bigger than A4/A3 format and so-called bleed and trim marks are added. After the printing, the maps are cut to the exact size.

Layout PaperSize.png

Alternatively, use the Ruler Guides to define an extent.

Layout Rulers.png

Create the layout file(s)

Create map layout for each export extent.

How the layout is created depends on personal preferences. Various ways and combinations are possible.

To create a layout, you can use layout objects, symbolized objects (OCAD objects), raster images, graphic or image objects. Be aware of the display order of the different layers.
Order Layout.png

When you create a layout for a course setting project, make sure you leave enough space for course setting objects such as control descriptions, course titles, ...

If the layout is done in a separate file, you can add the map file as background map to adapt the layout to the map. Remember to remove the background map again when the layout is done.

Add Frame and Text

Layout objects

Choose the Edit Layout Objects command in the Layout menu.
Here you can add raster images and vector objects like lines, areas or text objects.
When your layout is done, you can choose the Save command from the Layout menu to save the layout objects to a separate OCAD file.

Layout EditLayoutObjects.png

OCAD objects

Instead of using layout objects, you can also use symbolized objects (normal OCAD objects) to create a layout.
Create a new symbol by choosing New in the Symbol menu.

Layout OCADObejcts.png

Graphic and Image Objects

A Graphic Object is an object which is not assigned to a symbol. It is either a line or area object with a color from the color table.

An Image object is an imported vector graphic element. E.g. you get image objects when importing a PDF file. These are solely line and area image objects. Image objects are not connected to a color from the color table.
Image objects are also created when you Create a Color Gradient

In the Object menu, you can convert an object to a Graphic / Image / Layout object or change it to a Symbolized Object.

Add logos

In OCAD you can add raster logos in the Layout menu, or you can import a logo as a vector file.

Achtung.PNGDo not open the raster logos as a background map, as this would rasterize the entire map when exporting a PDF file!

  • Add raster logos

The easiest way to add a logo to the map is to embed logos as a raster PNG file directly into the OCAD file.

  • Add vector logos

It is also possible to import logos in vector PDF format. In this case OCAD creates Image objects, which have the correct CMYK color values and can be scaled arbitrarily.
The Image objects can later be converted to OCAD symbols.
You cannot import .eps into OCAD.

More information about How to add logos in OCAD.

Add further layout elements

Re-Use a Layout

Import a layout

If you have created a layout with layout objects, you can save it and import it into another file.
Choose the Import Layout command in the Layout menu and select the corresponding file.
All layout objects are imported (raster images and lines, areas or text objects).

If you have created a layout with symbolized objects, Choose the Import command in the File menu and select the desired file.
Choose Import all symbols and colors and Import colors at the top of the color table'.
Not only are all OCAD symbols and OCAD objects imported, but also (if available) layout objects and raster images.

Hint.jpg Remove all unused symbols and colors from the layout file before importing the file. This will help you to keep a better overview

Adapt a layout to a different scale

For example, you have created a layout for an A4 portrait format at a scale of 1:10'000.
Now you would also like to use this layout at a scale of 1:7'500 and 1:15'000. You can scale the layout accordingly with the following steps:

  • Layout 10'000 to 7'500

Open the layout file 1:10'000
ChangeScale 10000 7500 01.png

Choose the Change Scale command in the Map menu and enter 13'333 as a new scale (10'000 / 7500).
ChangeScale 10000 7500.png
ChangeScale 10000 7500 02.png

Choose the Set Scale and Coordinate System command in the Map menu and enter 10'000 as map scale and click OK.
ChangeScale 10000 7500 03 04.png

Define a new extent for A4 portrait format at a scale of 1:7'500.
ChangeScale 10000 7500 05.png

Save the file under a new name, e.g. Layout 1:7'500.

  • Layout 10'000 to 15'000

Open the layout file 1:10'000
Choose the Change Scale command in the Map menu and enter 6'666 as a new scale (10'000 / 15'000).
Choose the Set Scale and Coordinate System command in the Map menu and enter 10'000 as map scale and click OK. Define a new extent for A4 portrait format at a scale of 1:15'000.
Save the file under a new name, e.g. Layout 1:15'000.

Printing Process

See the Course Setting Printing page for more information.