Ortelius drawing files are saved natively as Ortelius_map files. Your drawing files can be exported to PDF, TIFF, JPEG and PNG file formats.
File format-specific options are available, as well as the option to include the graph paper grid in your export.
Suggested Formats and Resolution
For best results, consider your purpose and what format you will need for your map during drawing setup. On any given project, determining from the beginning what file format is required is a best practice – particularly if you have publication standards that must be met! In the most general terms, static web graphics require a 72 dpi resolution and will typically use JPEG or PNG formats. Printing for publication typically requires 300 dpi (dots per inch) resolution.
The file formats TIFF, JPEG, and PNG output raster-based graphics files. In general, JPEG and PNG files are useful for making a web images or graphics not intended for printing. For maps, plans, and other drawings that are primarily represented with vector graphics such as Ortelius produces, PNG will typically give crisper results. ‘PNG’ stands for Portable Network Graphics format, a format for storing bitmapped (raster) images. Interlaced PNG files, though slightly larger file size than non-interlaced, can improve display times on slow (modem) Internet connections – perhaps less of an issue than in the old days. ‘JPEG’ stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group; it’s great for photographs but not really intended for representing vector graphics, thus is recommended when an image (such as an aerial photograph or scanned map) is the background for your drawing. ‘TIFF’ stands for Tagged Image File Format and is widely supported by image-manipulation applications, by publishing, and page layout applications. TIFF alpha transparency is a supported export option.
Apple’s Preview(TM) application is an excellent tool for viewing and adjusting exported Ortelius graphics (and is a free application included with the OS). Several functions are available, such as clipping images, adjusting size, and matching image color profiles. A note about viewing exported graphics in Preview: The default preferences for images is to scale them to fit the document window. To view images at their actual size, set the Preview > Preferences > Images to actual size and to respect the image and screen DPI for scale.
Working With PDF
‘PDF’ stands for Portable Document Format and is the only export format that produces vector-based images. Ortelius drawings exported to PDF format retain their vector properties and are therefore scalable without loss in resolution. If your map will be enlarged or reduced for publication, PDF is our recommended export format. PDF is also a good choice for creating a zoomable map, and for example to view with Adobe Reader(TM) or Apple Preview(TM).
Exported PDF graphics naturally preserve their background transparency. Like other graphic formats, PDFs can be placed as graphics into other software programs, such as Microsoft Word(TM) and Apple Pages(TM), and will respect image wrapping settings. PDF graphics may also be placed into Ortelius drawings. For example, use the Image Browser to place a PDF graphic of an inset map created in one Ortelius drawing file, into another drawing file. Because it is vector-based, the graphic will scale without loss of resolution in your new document.
Note, PDF is a file format created by Adobe Systems and is the native file format for Adobe Illustrator(TM) – except with a different file extension (AI). Maps exported as PDF are saved as vector files and can be opened by Adobe Illustrator (TM), though due to different tool sets and for best results we do not recommend extensive editing of Ortelius PDF files in Illustrator(TM).