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point-of-origin

Object Point of Origin

Artboard has many subtle methods for fine-tuning your work. One of these niceties is the point of origin, or center point, around which objects and symbols rotate and snap. Adjusting an object’s point of origin is simple and direct. Here’s how…

Point of Origin

Point_of_Origin.png

The point of origin of shapes, symbols, grouped objects, and images is represented with a blue “target” originally rendered at the center of the object. To change the point of origin, simply hold ⌘Command and grab onto the blue target and move it to any location within the object’s bounding box.

Drag the point of origin near the center of the object to snap it back into its original position.

Object Rotation Pivot Point

Object_Rotation_Pivot_Point.png

The direct rotate knob is represented with a purple handle offset to the right of the object’s center. Simply grab the rotate knob and move to rotate the object. The rotation pivots around the object’s point of origin. To change the point of origin, simply hold the Command-key then grab it and move it to any location within the object’s bounding box. Object rotation will now pivot around the new point of origin.

Resetting the Bounding Box

After rotating an object, you can reset the bounding box to perpendicular and return the point of origin to the center of the object. Select the object and choose Graphic > Reset Bounding Box from the main menu. As expected, the object’s appearance does not change, just its bounding box.

point-of-origin

Object and Symbol Point of Origin

Ortelius has many subtle methods for fine-tuning your cartographic work. One of these niceties is the point of origin, or center point, around which objects and symbols rotate and snap. Adjusting an object’s point of origin is simple and direct. Here’s how…

Point of Origin

Point_of_Origin.png

The point of origin of shapes, symbols, grouped objects, and images is represented with a blue “target” originally rendered at the center of the object. To change the point of origin, simply hold the Command-key then grab onto the blue target and move it to any location within the object’s bounding box.

Object Rotation Pivot Point

Object_Rotation_Pivot_Point.png

The direct rotate knob is represented with a purple handle offset to the right of the object’s center. Simply grab the rotate knob and move to rotate the object. The rotation pivots around the object’s point of origin. To change the point of origin, simply hold the Command-key then grab it and move it to any location within the object’s bounding box. Object rotation will now pivot around the new point of origin.

Resetting the Bounding Box

After rotating and/or adjusting the point of origin of an object, you can reset the bounding box to perpendicular and return the point of origin to the center of the object. Select the object and choose Graphic > Reset Bounding Box from the main menu. As expected, the object’s appearance does not change, just its bounding box.

Point of Origin on Symbol Adornments

Point_of_Origin_on_Symbol_Adornments.png

When symbols are created, they retain the point of origin of the original object on which they are based.

Symbols are placed on tracks as a “adornments,” and are snapped to the track at their point of origin. Typically a symbol is centered on the path with its central point of origin. In some circumstances, it may be useful to have a point of origin that is off-center. For example, for floor plans, doors are placed to show the door opening outward from a wall. When placing a door symbol (available in the Ortelius default symbol set) on a wall drawn with a track tool, a door must be offset to one side of the wall. If you look closely at a door symbol while it is not snapped onto a track, you will see this is accomplished with an off-center point of origin.

Before the symbol is created, adjust the point of origin. The symbol retains this point of origin. When snapped to a track, the symbol adornment is offset based on its point of origin. The side of the line the offset symbol appears on is based on the drawing direction of the track. The adornment can later be rotated by right-clicking it and choosing the desired rotation setting from the context menu.

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Tips for Static Text in Map Symbols

Sometimes static text (as opposed to dynamic text like route numbers) is an integral part of a symbol. These symbols may be re-scaled and shared for different purposes, such as placement in a legend and reuse at a different size within a brochure or book. For maximum scalability and consistency with complex symbols, convert text objects to shapes when creating a symbol. Your symbols will always look right, even when shared with people who don’t have the same fonts loaded on their system. Here’s how…

Complex Symbol Objects

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Map symbols in Ortelius can be composed of any combination of shapes, paths, graphics, and text. However, problems can occur when text objects within a group or symbol are re-scaled, or when a symbol is shared with a user who doesn’t have the same font loaded on their system. The solution is to convert the text to a shape after you are satisfied with the color, font, size, and style. In this way, the text will not change unexpectedly when scaled or if the symbol is used on another system or other vector editing program (such as Illustrator) without the proper font.

We’ll examine a fairly detailed symbol of a First Armored Division patch created by one of our customers. Color and grey-scale versions, and the original patch this symbol is modeled after, are shown.

Convert To Shape

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Select the text and choose Graphic > Convert To Shape in the main menu or from the right-click context menu. When the shape is grouped with the other objects and turned into a symbol it will scale properly. Shapes cannot be converted back to text objects. In this example, the text “Old Ironsides” and “1” would be converted to shape before creating the symbol.

Note that some symbols, such as road shields and sequence markers, are designed with dynamic labels that read the feature’s attribute information. This dynamic text should not be converted to shape.

Create Symbol

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To complete the symbol process, group the objects and choose Edit > Create Symbol from the main menu. Name your symbol and assign it to an appropriate category, then click the Create button. It will be added to your Library as a symbol master.

Credits

A special thanks to Mr. Richard Brummett for allowing us to use his his work in this tutorial. These and several other crests, patches, and maps were created exclusively with Ortelius by Richard to accompany the upcoming book “Search and Destroy” by Keith W. Nolan and published by Zenith Press of Minneapolis (anticipated July 2010). Keith died last February at age 44 and this will be his twelfth and final book on the Viet Nam War.