Drawing Coastlines

To create a coastal area map, the land area needs to be a filled-in shape (or polygon). Set up a “Source Map” layer and a “Land Area” layer to hold your drawing. You need a starting point, so copy and paste a source map onto the map area in preparation for tracing.

Trace the Coastline

Choose the Freehand Path tool and a basic line style from the Symbols Palette. Start by tracing the coastline. Don’t worry too much about getting your tracing perfect – you can come back later and adjust the points and curves as necessary.

Sticky Tools

HINT: For repeated use, tools can be made “sticky.” Click a tool once to “turn it on” and use it once. Afterward, you’ll default back to the direct Select tool. To use a tool repeatedly, for instance to place multiple symbols, ?double click the tool to make it “sticky.” All tools will be in the “sticky state” until you double-click again on any tool to release them.

Join Sections

If you’ve drawn the coastline in sections, select the paths to join them. Choose Edit > Paths & Tracks > Join from the main menu.

Complete the Land Polygon

After the coastline is traced, finish off the land area by completing the polygon.

Make the land area extend just a bit outside your map area so you can clip it later for a nice clean edge. First, go to the main menu and disable Layers > Clip objects to map area. Now objects that extend outside the map area are visible on the active layer.

Choose the Irregular Polygon tool and your basic line style from the Symbols palette. Draw the outside edge of the land area, extended just outside the map area.

Make sure end points are close together. Now join the line to complete the polygon.

Change Fill Styles

You now have a completed land area and can change fill styles. Select the land area polygon and choose a fill style from the Symbols Palette.

Return to the main menu and enable Layers > Clip objects to map area. The land area will now be visually “clipped” to the map area.

Add Background Water

Next, add a background-border element that represents the water. To do this, fill the entire map area with a water fill style. Click to make the Index Grid layer active and open the Symbols Library.

Choose the “Water” category and select a water fill style. Add the water fill be dragging the style from the style-well onto the map area. Make sure the Index Grid layer is “under” your Land Area layer in your layer stacking order.

Alternatively, add a new layer called “Water” and draw a rectangle that fills the map area using a water fill. Make sure the Water layer is under your Land Area in your layer stacking order.

Your land area is complete and ready for adding other map features such as roads and landmarks.