Ever imported an OCAD map or symbol set so you could replace many or all symbols and colours in the base map? I did when converting an orienteering map to a public recreation map.
Converted my first few roads to the new symbols and wondered why they disappeared from the map. I realised that the colours for the new symbols were all lower in the colour table than colours for existing symbols. Thus my new symbols were blocked where there was an old symbol in the same location. e.g. a green or yellow area symbol. What a pain moving each colour up.
When importing all symbols and colours, OCAD 11 offers the opportunity to place colours at the top of the colour table. So as you convert symbols, they should still show up on the map. On some maps it may be wise to convert area symbols last else your unconverted line and spot symbols may be invisible under the higher placed new area colours.
This function could be useful also when Map | Load colours from (and symbols) is used. OCAD AG now has that on their wish list.
I tried it with Shape files (Professional version of OCAD 11) and it worked well. If, like me, you often use Shape files to create base maps then you will find this a time saver.
Selection of files is by Windows conventions of SHIFT to select a range of adjacent files and CTRL to select disparate files. However! The files you import must share the same field names for selection of unique key and layer information.
The screen snip shows the result of selecting an area hydro file and a line hydro file. The layers column contains the relevant entity names and OCAD symbols can be applied to the right of each entity for automatic translation.
I could not evaluate the co-ordinate system transformation function as issues arose that I have reported to OCAD.
Import PDF and save layer reference file
Dead simple, efficient and worked well.
However! The VicMap PDF I tested, generated a CRT (layer-symbol cross reference) file comprising a long list of layers named by number rather than descriptiion thus was unworkable – not the fault of OCAD. If your supplied PDF does have more relevant layer names, then the facility to select an appropriate symbol for each layer appears to work just fine.
It gets even better if you regularly import PDFs that have the same layer structure. The first PDF you process creates a CRT file that can be saved and reused to process later PDFs. So name those CRT files meaningfully.
Import OCAD file with colours to top of Colour Table
What a great option. Recently I have been importing a new symbol set with associated colours, into older files. Often the colours for those symbols are not in the correct place in the symbol table to enable the symbol to show. So now, when I test out those symbols by opting to place colours at top of the colour table, I can be sure they will show up on the screen as they are no longer subservient to existing colours.
In case you are not aware, the order of colours in the colour table defines the order in which they are printed. The top colour in the table is printed last (in offset printing and simulated so in digital printing) thus rests on top of any colour below it. Unless you have ‘overprint‘ ticked for a colour, OCAD does not generate lower sequenced colours using the same space.
If you intend using the new symbols but marry them to existing colours, then once you have checked out the symbol shapes and sizes on your map, the redundant colours are easily found for deletion at the top of the table.
Import Freehand files
I won’t be testing Freehand as I am not familiar with it. However you can read the process in one of OCAD’s FAQs .
At first sight it looks like new functionality has been added. But closer inspection shows the OCAD 11 layout design has again been improved and is certainly clearer.
Entire Map now has the option to move an oversize map in relation to the print boundary in order to select what part you wish to print. And the Options are now displayed in the dialogue thus obviating a click.
Rescaling can be dangerous
Referring to the Help file for this function I noticed a welcome addition. Scaling now explicitly states that the map and all symbols will be scaled if you choose a print scale different to the map scale. I have seen one glaring example of this wrongly applied and the producer was unaware how it occurred.
A rule is that a 1:10,000 scale map is a strict enlargement of a 1:15,000 scale. So using File | Print rescaling to get there seems OK. But on the Orienteering Australia list of recent map deviations was North lines not at the correct spacing on a 1:10,000 scale map – often results when a 1:15,000 scale map is printed at 1:10,000; lines should lie between 20 mm and 40 mm on the map.
Rule of thumb
Map printing often appears to be last minute and therefore rushed (as the organisers of a recent event admitted when advising of 3 corrections to marked courses). Therefore, I suggest that unless you are one of those rare persons who is absolutely punctilious and totally aware of what is required, then you consider this practice.
For the event print, do not rescale in the print or PDF export functions.
The safest way to rescale for printing is to rescale the OCAD map (or a copy of it) using Map | Change scale in both OCAD 10 and OCAD 11. That prompts you to rescale symbols, or not, in accordance with IOF rules. And having the map on screen in front of you might just prompt you to consider whether north line separation needs changed. Better still, use a check list — you will find one soon on our Resources page.
Check out the screen snip (click it for a larger view in a separate tab) and I rather think you will agree. OCAD 11 has this process much clearer with less clicks.
There is an enlarged choice of map types. The corresponding choice of symbol sets is shown in the same dialogue. The Map notes: panel name now corresponds to the naming of that tab in Map | Map Information. The default symbol set location saves looking that up on the odd occasion.
So seemingly nothing major. A related set of information presented in one dialogue. And its a double whammy because we are saved a click or three. But the portent is good because if this is typical of enhanced usability then using OCAD 11 is definitely going to be faster, easier and smoother. We will find out for sure in the next weeks.