Customize Ortelius

As you use Ortelius, you’ll discover which controls you use most. For different drawings, you may have a preferred layout for sidebars. You may want to always use a specific drawing unit for new drawings. Ortelius lets you customize these settings and more to suit your work style.

Some customized settings apply to individual drawings as they are opened and closed, while other settings may apply to all of your drawings.

Save Default Map Size & Units

Save drawing dimensions, drawing units, and more as your personal default for new drawings. See Setting up a New Drawing for more information on changing map drawing size and units.

Compact Layer View with Smaller Icons

To view the Layer Tab with smaller layer icons and hidden extra information, right-click within the Layers Tab and choose ‘Compact View’ from the contextual menu. The view will be saved as a preference.

To return to the default view, right-click and choose ‘Expand View’.

Rearrange and Reposition Tabs in Sidebars

Make changes to the order and/or position of Tabs within sidebars.

  • To rearrange the order of Tabs within a sidebar press and hold a Tab top until it highlights, then drag to rearrange its order among the other tabs.
  • To move the position of Tabs among sidebars press and hold a Tab top until it highlights, then drag to move it from one sidebar to the other.

HINT: Changes to the layout of sidebars are document specific so you can arrange them as desired for different drawings.

View Ortelius Full Screen

You can expand the Ortelius window to fill the entire computer screen. Full screen viewing is document specific.

Do one of the following:

  • Click the green button in the top-left corner of the Ortelius window, or
  • Choose ‘View > Enter Full Screen’ from the main menu, or
  • To see the Ortelius menu bar and other controls, move the pointer to the top of the screen.

To return to regular view, do one of the following:

  • Move the pointer to the top of the screen, then click the green button, or
  • Choose ‘View > Exit Full Screen’, or
  • Press the Escape key on your keyboard.


Many preferences, such as size of object handles, help customize your Ortelius workspace. View Preferences in the User Guide.