Ortelius’ Cascading “Shared” Styles

Shared styles that cascade across objects is a very powerful concept in map design. For example, you want all your major roads to share a style, all minor roads to share a style, and all rivers to share a style. Later, you need to change the color of your major roads. No problem. Adjust the style and the change will automatically cascade across all related features.

Ortelius is smart about shared styles. When you draw several objects using the same style, they share the properties of that style. If you edit a shared style, the changes are applied across all instances of the style – in other words you will see the changes on all objects where the style has been used. In this way, changes to styles across multiple objects can be made very quickly and efficiently.

To Use Cascading “Shared” Styles:

  1. By default, all styles in Ortelius are ‘sharable’.

HINT: Styles in the built-in Mapdiva collection cannot be over-written – to edit styles in the built-in collection, use “Clone” to make a copy of the original. Editing a shared library style can have unforeseen consequences, including if the style is in use in other documents.

To Break the Style Link Between Successive Objects Using “Reset” and “Clone”:


Do one of the following:

With the object selected, click “Reset” in the Format Bar or Style Inspector to reset the style to the defualt (black stroke and grey fill) and create a new style.
With the object selected, click “Clone” in the Format Bar or Style Inspector to create a new style based on a copy of the one currently in use. Use clone, for example, when you want to change the stroke width but keep all other settings the same.

HINT: Remember, shared styles cascade across drawing objects – if you edit a style without clicking “Reset” or “Clone” the changes will apply across all objects where the style has been used.