Get Started Drawing

Drawing objects go hand-in-hand with the styles that fill and outline them. In fact, the formula for drawing in Ortelius is “Drawing Tool + Style = Draw”

To Draw with Styles You Create

Artboard 2 is the Easiest Vector Drawing Software
  1. Choose a drawing tool from the Tools palette.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • In the Styles Tab , click a color-well to change color; check / uncheck to show / hide stroke or fill, and continue drawing; or
    • Click the ‘Reset’  button in the Styles Tab to reset to the default style, or
    • Click the ‘Clone’  button to make a copy of the current style to edit the style properties, and continue drawing.
  3. Start drawing.

HINT: When an object is selected, ‘Reset’ or ‘Clone’ will apply to the selected object. If the selected object uses a global style, any changes to the style will affect all objects where that style has been applied.

Ortelius goes way beyond simple fill and stroke. See the The Styles Tab for more information about creating your own styles.

Global Styles

Global Styles is a key concept in Ortelius. Ortelius relies on “global styles” that are shared across multiple objects. For example, if you draw a bunch of roads and need to change the color of the road style, the change will cascade across all the road objects that share that style. This can be a real time saver for map design and is a key concept in Ortelius.

Important Primer on How to Change Styles:

  • To change and object’s style (for example, its color) without affecting previously drawn objects, you need to break the style-link from the master style. With the object selected, click ‘Reset’ to reset the style to the default fill and stroke, or click ‘Clone’ to make a copy of the current style and continue making changes as a new style.

Related: The Styles Tab,  Styles & Symbols Palette, and more details on using Global Styles.

About Ortelius Tool Preferences

Ortelius provides a preference setting for how drawing tools respond with styles, offering flexibility for your preferred workflow.

  • Tools Remember Styles Individually (Default) – Unlike common drawing applications, in mapping it is often preferable to have each tool “remember” its last used style. By default, each tool remembers the most recently used style as it is applied. Choose a tool, choose a style, and begin drawing.
  • Tools Respond to Active Style – Alternatively, all tools can be set to respond to the active style. To set this preference for your workflow, choose Ortelius > Preferences… Options pane and uncheck “Tools remember styles individually.” A style will remain active with each drawing tool until the style is changed.

To Open the Styles & Symbols Palette

Do one of the following:

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

To Draw Using Library Styles

  1. Choose a drawing tool from the Tools palette.
  2. Choose a stroke or fill style from the Styles & Symbols palette (note, symbols will be visible but not selectable).
  3. Start drawing.
  4. Continue drawing (subsequent objects will share the same global style until it is changed).

To change styles, click once onto a different style in the Styles & Symbols palette and continue drawing. See The Styles & Symbols Palette for more information about drawing with extensive built-in styles.

To Apply a Different Style to an Existing Object

With the object selected, do one of the following:

  • Double-click a stroke or fill style from the Styles & Symbols palette.
  • In the Styles Tab, do one of the following:
    • If the style is not locked, click a color-well to change color; check / uncheck to show / hide stroke or fill, and continue drawing (note, all objects sharing the style will change); or
    • Click the ‘Reset’  button in the Styles Tab to reset to the default style, or
    • Click the ‘Clone’  button to make a copy of the current style to edit the style properties, and continue drawing.

HINT: When an object is selected, ‘Reset’ or ‘Clone’ will apply to the selected object.

HINT: Styles in the built-in library are locked by default to prevent unanticipated changes. To edit a built-in Library style, use ‘Clone’ first.

A Word About Layers

Layers are a key concept in Ortelius. It is a best practice in cartography to organize the content of your map using layers.

A layer can hold one or more drawing objects. Similar features, such as roads or rivers, should be drawn on their own layer. The stack order of layers can be rearranged so, for example, rivers (layer) are under roads (layer). Scanned maps or images used as a reference for tracing can be added to their own layer at the bottom of the layer stack, and can be hidden after tracing features. Layers are also important to use when drawing with Connectable Track tools.

A new Ortelius map file has five default layers (Drawing Layer, Guides, Index Grid, Graph Paper and Slices). Additional layers can be added by the user. If you are unfamiliar with using Layers, a hands-on exercise is available in the Ortelius templates. Choose ’File > Templates > New From Template…’ from the main menu and select ‘Layers Exercise’ from the Hands On Exercises.

Related: The Layers Tab and more.

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