Opening the Object Inspector
The Object Inspector provides for close inspection and editing of all your drawing objects and map features. The Object Inspector is context-sensitive, so its function will vary based on the type of object(s) you have selected.
To open the Object Inspector, click the Object Inspector icon on the toolbar, or choose Window > Object Inspector from the main menu.
Using the Object Inspector’s Geometry Pane
Geometry displays the object’s geometric and location properties. You can edit object sizes and rotation angle from the Object Inspector. Note that units are displayed in the same unit of measure specified in the Drawing Setup. You can individually lock graphics, as well as make them visible or hidden, or “ghosted” (a handy feature to temporarily eliminate clutter and improve performance in complex maps during the drawing process).
Using the Attribute Editor
More than an ordinary vector drawing program, Ortelius’ drawing objects are “smart.” With the Object Inspector, you can create and view information (data) attributes associated with every map feature you draw. When importing existing map data (that is, Shapefiles*) the object’s attribute information is accessed through the Object Inspector. Attributes can be used for Smart Select, automatic labeling, symbolization, and object manipulation.
To add attributes, click the “+” button in the lower left corner of the Attribute Editor. Choose the attribute type. A new attribute identifier is added and is available for editing.
Related topic: see Intelligent Labeling With Attributes to add automatic feature labels and quickly modify labels with easy Label Codes.
HINT: To add or edit attributes for multiple objects at one time, select those objects and open the Attribute Editor. Changes will apply to all objects selected.
Attribute information from a Shapefile is shown in the Object Inspector. The Object Inspector search bar is used to filter attribute information.
*Note: Shapefile support is limited in the Ortelius Standard edition. Some features, including georeferencing, are available only in the Professional edition of Ortelius (under development). Attribute information is retained in both Standard and Professional editions.
Preferences: Quick Open Attribute Editor
To quickly view and edit object attributes, choose Ortelius > Preferences in the main menu and activate the preference “Double-clicking objects opens the attribute editor.”
Using the Object Inspector’s Features Pane
The Object Inspector is context-sensitive, which means it knows what type of object or objects you have selected and responds appropriately. The following describes the various capabilities of the Features pane within the Object Inspector:
When text objects are selected, the Object Inspector’s Features pane provides options for formatting the text object. Options include changing font, style, color, and alignment. When placing labels over complex backgrounds, text casing with a colored outline can help keep labels clear.
The Features available when selecting a linear track include setting how the line ends are terminated (they can be open-ended (default), capped off with a bar, or end with a turning circle. You can also set the type of track so that only tracks having matching types will connect with each other, for example so that roads will not connect to waterways. You can change settings for Width Adaptors (used for transitioning between different line styles on a track). Finally, you can disconnect all junctions connecting to the track (may be used to reset a badly formed track).
Regular polygon controls are available through the Object Inspector’s Features pane. Note that all of the handles on the object are direct controls to manipulate the shape or rotate directly.
Use the Object Inspector to scale point symbols. Data Transformers can be applied to symbols for dynamic symbols based on attributes (for example, sized or colored based on the information those symbols represent).
Sometimes the easiest way to start making your map will be to begin by tracing over an existing map or aerial photograph. But usually the saturation and color in the photo makes it hard to see your drawing objects. Place the image on a layer and use the Object Inspector to adjust the image opacity – creating a “tracing paper” effect. Move that layer to the bottom of the layer stacking order. Now in your drawing layers, start building your map.