The Styles & Symbols Palette

Ortelius ships with an outstanding Library of over 1700 uniques styles and editable vector map symbols. Plus, any styles and graphics you create can be added to your user’s Library. These are accessible to you from the Styles & Symbols palette while you draw.

While styles and symbols are both present in the Styles & Symbols palette, the palette is smart about the type of tool you have active. Choose your tool, then choose a style to apply to that tool while it is active. Items that can be used with the active tool are enabled and highlighted, disabled items are subtly grayed-out. For example, when you draw a shape the stroke and fill styles are enabled. Symbols are enabled when the Stamp tool is being used. All styles and symbols are enabled while the Select tool is active.

To Open the Styles & Symbols Palette:


Do one of the following:

  • Click the Styles & Symbols palette icon on the toolbar,.
  • Choose Window > Styles & Symbols palette from the main menu.

Recognizing How Items Look in the Palette:


Ortelius delivers with hundreds of styles and symbol items combined together in the Ortelius Collection. Items are organized into categories accessible from the Library drop-down menu. You can tell an item’s type by its appearance in the palette:

  • Path styles are shown with a curved stroke
  • Fill styles are shown in a square
  • Symbols look just like their graphic

Hover your cursor over any item and its name and type (style or symbol) will appear in the tooltip.

HINT: When you place a symbol on your map, you are placing an instance of its master. To edit a symbol after you place it in your drawing, a symbol needs to be detached from its master (turning it into a regular drawing object) and may need ungrouped.

To Draw with Existing Styles:

  1. Open the Styles & Symbols palette.
  2. Choose a drawing tool from the Tools palette.
  3. Choose a stroke or fill style from the Styles & Symbols palette (note, symbols will be visible but not selectable).
  4. Start drawing.
  5. Continue drawing (subsequent objects have the same style properties until they are changed).

To change styles, click once onto a different style in the Styles & Symbols palette and continue drawing.

To Browse Collections and Categories:

  1. From the Styles & Symbols palette toolbar, choose the Library icon for a drop-down list of collections and categories.
  2. Use the forward and back buttons to navigate through previously visited categories.
  3. Search for styles and symbols from the search bar.

HINT: Search results are returned for the currently selected category. If you want to search the entire Collection, make sure “Ortelius Collection” is chosen from the drop-down menu.

To Apply a Different Library Style to an Existing Object:


Do one of the following:

  • With the object selected, double-click a stroke or fill style from the Styles & Symbols palette.
  • Press the cursor onto a style from Styles & Symbols palette and drag it onto and existing object, release.

HINT: An alert pops up to confirm you intended the change. This alert can be turned off and reset in the Ortelius > Preferences… menu.

To Add Symbols to Your Map:


Do one of the following:

  • Choose the Select [s] tool from the Tools palette then drag-and-drop symbols from the Styles & Symbols palette directly onto your drawing canvas (note, you can also drag symbols directly from the Library Manager).
  • Choose the Stamp [y] tool, choose a symbols from the palette then click one or more times onto the drawing canvas to place the clip (note, while the Stamp [y] tool is active, all symbols are enabled in the palette).

HINT: When you place a symbol on your map, you are placing an instance of its master.

To Resize a Symbol:

  1. Choose the the Select [s] tool.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Drag the lower right symbol sizing handle in the symbol bounding box.
  • Open the Object Inspector > Features pane and drag the scale slider.

To Replace One or More Symbols with a New Symbol:

Symbols are special objects associated with a master graphic. Unlike ordinary clip art, one or more symbols may be selected and easily replaced with a different symbol.

  1. Use the Select [s] tool to select the symbol(s) to be replaced.
  2. Double-click a new symbol in the Styles & Symbols palette.

To Edit Symbols:


All symbols in the Mapdiva built-in collection, with the exception of country flags, are fully editable vector objects. Many symbols are made up of groups of objects which need ungrouped one or more times to edit them.

  1. Add a symbol(s) to your drawing.
  2. Choose the Select [s] tool and select the symbol(s)
  3. Do one of the following:
  • Right-click (single symbol) and choose ‘Detach From Symbol Master’ from the contextual menu.
  • Choose Edit > Symbol > Detach From Master from the main menu.

4. As needed (if the detached symbol is a group) ungroup the objects by doing one of the following:

  • Choose Graphic > Ungroup from the main menu (repeat as needed).
  • Right-click and choose Ungroup from the context menu.
  • Use the Shift-Command-G keyboard shortcut.

HINT: Some symbols may have groups within groups. Text may be edited within a group without ungrouping. Styles may by picked up with the Style Dropper tool without ungrouping.