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map draw rivers with tapered strokes

Designing Tapered Rivers with Flowing Styles

Ortelius has always had great tools to create smooth meandering rivers & streams. Now they can look even better with naturally tapering ends. We’ve added an expert Tapered Stroke component to the Style Inspector – you can use it to design your own creative map styles. Here’s how…

Tutorial Details

Program: Ortelius 1.7+ for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced
Topics Covered: Style Inspector
Estimated Completion Time: 15 minutes

Draw a Line To Preview Your New Style As It Is Built

Draw a line on the Ortelius drawing canvas so you can preview your changes as you build a new style. Open the Style Inspector. Keep your line selected for the next step.

Prefer doing things hands-on? Give it a try…

 

Create New Style and Add a Tapered Stroke

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Choose ‘Reset’ to create a new ad-hoc style ready for your use.

Add a Tapered Stroke Style Component from the drop-down list by clicking the “+” button. You won’t be using the Fill and Stroke Style Components so they can be removed from the list by clicking the “–” button. Next, we’ll adjust the settings on your new style.

Make Adjustments

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Adjust the line width of your river style. From upstream to downstream your river widths will become wider (or thicker). Plan on creating a set of 2 or 3+ stroke styles of varying widths that can be “nested” in your river hierarchy, the upper-most being your tapered stroke.

For example, this tapered style will represent the upper-most river segments that will flow into other down-stream river segments. We’ll create a 3-pt width tapered stroke to flow into a 3-pt width (non-tapered) segment, and then a 4-pt width (non-tapered) segment.

Click the color well to open the Colors panel and choose a new color. You can also adjust the percent and type of taper – we’ll keep the default settings as they work really nicely for rivers. Then uncheck the “Right” setting so your stroke is only tapered on one end.

HINT: When you draw your rivers in the direction from upstream to downstream the taper will be the upstream end. You can always choose Edit > Paths & Tracks > Reverse if you need to flip the direction of the taper.

Add Style To Library

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As desired, click at the top of the Style Components list to return to the main Style Inspector window. Type in a name for your new style and click the “Add Style To Library” button. You’ll be prompted to assign the style to an appropriate category and the style will be saved to the Library.

Your new styles are ready for use. Choose a tool, such as the Freehand Track, pick your style from the Styles & Symbols palette, and draw.

Joining Tracks for Smooth Transitions

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HINT: To make a smooth transition between two tracks of varying line widths or styles, select the tracks and choose Edit > Paths & Tracks > Join or use the CMND-J keyboard shortcut. A smooth transition will be automatically created between line styles. Smooth transitions apply to connectable tracks, not regular paths.

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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

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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

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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.

General Cultural Map Styles & Symbols Included with Ortelius for Mac

General Cultural Map Symbols Included with Ortelius

The Styles & Symbols palette contains over 150 general, cultural and leisure styles and symbols, such as city point symbols, schools, and cultural attractions. To edit built-in styles, Clone a style and customize it to suit your project.  These symbols are among the wide assortment of over 1700 fully editable vector symbols and custom styles included in the built-in Ortelius Library.

Built-in symbols can provide a quick starting point for creating custom symbol collections. Note, some symbols are made from multiple objects and should be detached from their symbol master, then ungrouped before editing.

To Get This Collection

This collection is included with the Ortelius software for Mac OS X. Don’t have Ortelius? Try it free!

Terms of Use

Creative Commons License Media provided by Mapdiva LLC are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License unless otherwise noted. Attribution to Mapdiva.com is requested, however not required.

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Creating New Symbols

Graphics, images, and text can be used to create new symbols. Symbols cannot contain other symbols, nor can they contain tracks. A graphic containing multiple objects must be grouped before turning into a symbol.

To Save Your Own Custom Symbols to the Library Manager:

Any graphic you draw can be saved as your own symbols in Ortelius. If your graphic is made up of two or more objects, those objects must be grouped if it is to be saved as a single symbol. Saved items are managed in the Library Manager under “My Library” and can be renamed, categorized, locked for editing, and more.

  1. Create your graphic(s) and group the objects as necessary.
  2. Select one or more separate graphics (each separate object or group will be added as an individual symbol).
  3. Do one of the following:
  • Choose Graphic > Add Symbols to Library from the main menu.
  • If available, click the Add Symbol icon from the toolbar (note, the Add Symbol icon can be added to the toolbar by customizing the toolbar).
  • Use the CMND-Y keyboard shortcut.

4. In the symbol’s Save As dialog, you have the option to name your symbol, add an optional description, make symbols auto-detach from their symbol master when placed (treat as standard graphics rather than symbols), sequnceable, locked, and scale. If adding multiple symbols, you can cycle through these settings for each symbol at this time.
5. Click ‘Done’. The symbol(s) are available immediately under “My Library” from the Styles & Symbols Palette.

HINT: To access the symbol Save As dialog later, right-click a symbol in the Library Manager and choose ‘Edit…’ from the contextual menu.

About the Symbol ‘Save As’ Dialog:

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  1. Name your new symbol. As desired, add a brief description for the symbol.
  2. The following settings are available::
  • AUTO-DETACH WHEN PLACED – Enables saving ordinary graphics in the Library to be used as clip art. When auto-detach is enabled, when the symbol is detached from its master when it is placed in your drawing. This is useful for graphic elements, such as legends that you will want to edit after placement, but is not typical behavior for map symbols. The default setting is unchecked for Auto-detach symbol. For most symbols, keep the default setting.
  • SEQUENCABLE – Indicates the symbol can obtain automatic numbering as it is placed on a layer (choose a numbering method from the drop-down list). This is required for special symbols such as Sequence Markers and unnecessary for most other symbols. It is unchecked by default.
  • LOCKED – Symbols cannot be edited without being unlocked first. It is unchecked by default.
  • INITIAL SCALE – Assigns a scaling value which is applied to each symbol instance initially. When a symbol is stamped, this value multiplied by the document pre-scale value is used to set the initial scale value of the symbol. Scaling changes are not applied retroactively to previously placed symbols. The default value is 100%.

3. Click “Done” to complete the process.

HINT: To make your symbols easier to use, include a brief description. The description will appear in the Object Inspector and in the Library Manager information window when a symbol is selected.

To Create Multiple New Symbols in One Session:

  1. Choose the Select [s] tool and select all the objects to become new symbols.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Choose Graphic > Add Symbols to Library from the main menu.
  • If available, click the Add Symbol icon from the toolbar (note, the Add Symbol icon can be added to the toolbar by customizing the toolbar).
  • Use the CMND-Y keyboard shortcut.

3. In the Create Symbol dialog, name and edit the settings for the first symbol.
4. Use the advance button to advance to the next symbol and repeat until all symbols have been added. You can review all the settings for the selected objects by navigating through them using the arrowed buttons.
5. Click “Done” to complete the process.

HINT: Click “Apply to all” to apply your selected settings to all the symbols.

To Define a Symbol Label Template:

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All symbols that are placed on your map can accept labels, and the style of a symbol’s label can be pre-defined with a label template. Unless otherwise defined, default symbol labels are rendered with Helvetica font and sized proportionately to the size of the symbol.

Define a custom label template before an object is turned into a symbol – labels use the underlying style from a Label Adornment as a template.

  1. Select the object that will become the symbol. If your graphic is comprised of a group of objects, ungroup and select a shape to apply a Label Adornment to the object’s style (preferably the top-most shape).
  2. With the object still selected, open the Style Inspector and click ‘Reset’ or ‘Clone’ to create a new style.
  3. Press the ‘+’ button, and choose ‘Label’ from the drop-down menu ‘Adornment’ section.
  4. Do one of the following:
  • If you have a shape object to receive the label, choose ‘Flow text into object’s rectangle’ from the ‘Layout’ drop-down menu.
  • If you have a path object to receive the label, choose ‘Along object’s path’ from the ‘Layout’ drop-down menu.
  • Choose another option (such as ‘Along reverse path’) from the ‘Layout’ drop-down menu as desired.

5. Adjust the remaining style component properties as desired.
6. The default text label reads “Text Adornment”, is displayed as entered, and can be left blank. Alternatively, a look-up ‘tag’ can be applied that will look up the label value according to any object attributes that may exist (as defined in the Object Inspector – Attributes pane). To define the content of a label, do one of the following:

  • Select the text in the text-well for editing and begin typing – when a text label is added to an object the label is displayed as entered.
  • Select the text in the text-well for editing and delete it – when a text label is added to an object the label is displayed as “Label” and can be edited directly on the object with a double-click.
  • Select the text in the text-well for editing and choose a tag from the ‘Tags’ drop-down list (Route Number, Sequence Number, Sequence Cardinal, or Name) – when a text label is added to an object the label is displayed as the attribute value, if it exists (if no attribute exists, it will be displayed as “Label”).
  • Select the text in the text-well for editing and type “%%” followed immediately by a custom attribute to be used in the label (for example, ‘%%CITYNAME’). The ‘%%’ preface indicates to Ortelius that the value is to be looked up.

7. IMPORTANT: Once the label is formatted, uncheck the ‘Enabled’ check box in the style components list. This hides the label adornment until a label is interactively added to an object.
8. Preview how the label looks as desired. Assuming the object with the Label Adornment is a shape that accepts labels (if not, use Graphic > Convert To Shape), select it, then right-click and choose “Add Label.” A label will be added and you will be able to see the label style you’ve just defined (since it is a label on a shape, it will be placed in the center but you can grab and move it as desired).

  • If the label isn’t quite how you’d like it, delete the label and return to the Style Inspector to make changes.
  • Repeat as necessary.

9. After you’re satisfied, delete the shape label before creating the symbol. If the label is not deleted, it will be retained as a visible label with the symbol.
10. Group your objects as necessary and create the symbol. The settings from the Label Adornment will be applied to the labels you add.

To Create Symbols with Visible Labels:

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Simple symbols (made from a single object) can contain a visible label by default. This can be handy, for example, for creating labeled symbol adornments for tracks.

  1. Assuming your object is a shape that accepts labels (if not, use Graphic > Convert To Shape) select it, then right-click and choose “Add Label.” A label will be added. The label will assume the style properties of its Label Adornment if one has been defined.
  2. Edit the label’s style and rotation settings as desired. These settings are retained after converting to a symbol.
  3. Create the symbol.

HINT: A symbol comprised of a group of objects with labels will reveal its labels when the symbol is detached from its master. This can be handy, for example, when creating a locator map with its areas labeled, then saved as an auto-detached symbol.

To Create Symbols from True Type Fonts:

The character images, or “glyphs,” from True Type Fonts (TTF) can be converted to map symbols. Glyphs must first be converted into individual shape objects.

  1. Choose the Text Box [t] tool.
  2. Select the font you want to use, or choose Edit > Special Characters from the main menu to open the Special Characters window.
  3. Complete typing as desired.
  4. Using the Select [s] tool, right-click the text box and choose Graphic > Convert To > Shape Group from the main menu (or right click and choose Convert to Shape Group) then Ungroup to obtain each glyph as a separate object.
  5. To further explode and modify multi-layered objects, choose Graphic > Combine > Break Apart from the main menu and modify the style or re-color individual components.
  6. Regroup shapes as needed.
  7. Create the symbol(s).

To Create Custom Sequence Markers:

To_Create_Custom_Sequence_Markers.png

Sequence markers can be made from any shape, for example a circle or square, that has been styled to include the “%%ortl_sequence_number” Label Adornment tag and enabling the sequnceable setting when the graphic is turned into a symbol.

  1. After drawing a shape, open the Style Inspector and define the style.
  2. Click the ‘+’ button and add ‘Label Adornment’ from the style components list.
  3. Edit the Label Adornment style properties as desired.
  4. IMPORTANT: Select the text in the text-well to edit it. Choose “Sequence Number” from the ‘Tag’ drop-down list. The tag “%%ortl_sequence_number” is added to the text-well.
  5. With your new marker selected, choose Graphic > Add Symbol To Library… from the main menu to turn it into a symbol.
  6. In the Create Symbol dialog, check the “Sequencable” option to create the sequence marker. As desired, choose the default initial sequence kind (for example, numeric or alphabetic) for your new marker.
  7. Click “Done” to complete the process. Your new sequence marker is now available from the Styles & Symbols palette and will be automatically numbered when placed.

HINT: To view the number while you adjust its Label Adornment style, type a number into the content well to temporarily see the number while applying text properties, such as color, font size, and positioning. When you are satisfied with how it looks, replace the number with the “%%ortl_sequence_number” tag.

To Create Shield Symbols:

To_Create_Shield_Symbols.png

Much like Sequence Markers, Shields can be made from any shape, for example a circle or square, that has been styled to include the “%%route_num” Label Adornment tag and turned into a symbol.

 

  1. After drawing a shape, open the Style Inspector and define the style.
  2. Click the ‘+’ button and add ‘Label Adornment’ from the style components list.
  3. Edit the Label Adornment style properties as desired.
  4. IMPORTANT: Select the text in the text-well to edit it. Choose “Route Number” from the ‘Tag’ drop-down list. The tag “%%route_num” is added to the text-well.
  5. With your new shield selected, choose Graphic > Add Symbol To Library… from the main menu to turn it into a symbol.
  6. Click “Done” to complete the process. Your new shield symbol is now available from the Styles & Symbols palette and will be automatically numbered when placed.

Your new shield is now available from the Styles & Symbols palette and will automatically adopt route numbers when placed on tracks with the Route_Num attribute.

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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

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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

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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.

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Map Points of Interest with Smart Sequence Markers

When you need to map points of interest with numbered placemarkers, look no further than Ortelius’ smart Sequence Markers. These symbols save time and sanity. Place Sequence Markers just like any other symbol and they’ll automatically number themselves 1,2,3… (we should call them magic).

Our customers have been finding Sequence Markers really useful, and with their suggestions we’ve made Sequence Markers even better. This tutorial demonstrates some of the advanced (and super easy) Sequence Marker features.

Placing Sequence Markers

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Use Sequence Markers over your own custom maps, aerial photographs, even scanned maps and drawings.

Like all symbols, quickly find Sequence Markers in the Symbols palette by typing “sequence” into the palette’s search bar. Note, you won’t see any numbers when viewing the markers in the palette. Choose a marker and place it using the Symbol Stamp tool. Markers automatically number themselves 1, 2, 3… in the order in which they are placed.

Instantly Re-Order the Sequence

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Wow. Sometimes you change your mind pretty fast. Shouldn’t you be able to change the order of Sequence Markers just as quickly? Ortelius provides several ways to re-order sequence numbers to fit the way you work best.

Delete re-orders the sequence
After placing a series of Sequence Markers, if a marker in the series is deleted the remaining markers will automatically renumber so there are no gaps in the sequence.

Grouping re-orders sequence
Grouping two or more markers in the sequence will automatically renumber the grouped markers, placing the grouped markers at the end of the sequence.

Use Object Inspector to re-order sequence
Change a the sequence of a marker from the Object Inspector – Features pane. Select a marker and use the up and down arrows under “Sequence” to edit the selected marker’s sequence number.

Edit > Symbols > Sequence to re-order sequence
Changes to the sequence can be made by selecting a marker and choosing options from Edit > Symbols > Sequence in the main menu. Options include “Move to start,” “Move to end,” “Move backward,” and “Move forward.”

Note, as with any symbol you can also change the scale of sequence markers from the Object Inspector – Features pane.

On-the-Fly Sequence Type

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Need numeric, roman numerals, alphabetic? No problem.

Sequence markers can be switched to different types, such as numeric (1,2,3…), alphabetical (A,B,C…), roman numeral (I, II, III…), just choose the type in the Object Inspector – Features pane when a sequence marker is selected. Alternatively, choose Edit > Symbol > Sequence > and choose the type. Changing the marker type applies to all markers in the active sequence.

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Simple Symbol Scaling with Ortelius

Ortelius is packed with hundreds of styles and symbols. Now it’s easier than ever to make fine adjustments to symbol sizes on your map. Here’s how…

Manually Scale Symbol

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Individual symbols can be resized, or scaled, directly by grabbing the lower-right sizing handle on the symbol and dragging inward or outward.

Note, symbols in the Library are “master symbols.” When you place a symbol on your map with the Symbol Stamp tool, you place a copy, or instance, of the master on your map. When you make changes to that instance, such as changing the scale of a symbol, the master symbol is unaffected by the change.

Set Scale Factor Using the Object Inspector

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Select one or more symbol and adjust the scale factor from the Object Inspector – Features pane. Scale can be adjusted via the slider bar or by entering a percent scale factor. As of Ortelius release 1.0.6, multiple symbols can be scale at one time. It’s that easy!

Pre-scale Map Symbols

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On occasion, mappers may work with a symbol set that is based on exacting symbol specifications. For example, symbols for the International Specification for Orienteering Maps are sized according to exact specifications for viewing at a particular scale (1:15,000). Their specification allows symbols to be rendered at 150% for viewing on 1:10,000 maps. Ortelius makes it easy to pre-scale all map symbols to before they are even placed on your map. Choose File > Drawing Setup in the main menu to set the pre-scale factor. Note, under most circumstances this setting should remain at the default 100%.

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Make a Dot Screen Pattern Map Style

Ortelius is loaded with styles and symbols. You can also create your own. Here we show how to create a dot screen pattern.

Start With a Basic Shape

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Draw a basic shape, such as a rectangle, using a basic fill style. Open the Style Inspector – Expert pane and use the action menu (looks like a gear) to Clone Style.

Add a “Hatch” Fill Style Component

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Note that in this example the units of measurement are shown in millimeters. The units of measurement are set in the Drawing Setup, and displayed based on your settings in View > Display Units (points, drawing units, or map units) in the main menu.

Change Hatch Settings for Repeating Dot Pattern

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Adjusting the “Density” setting will automatically generate a dot pattern. Changing “Line width” with a dot pattern will adjust the dot diameter. Changing the “Angle” will adjust the orientation of the pattern.

The density of the pattern is controlled by the “Density” setting. Alternatively, this can be fine-tuned by changing the “Spacing” setting to adjust the pattern spacing in one direction along a line. Then adjust the other direction by changing the “Dash” settings. Choose “Other” from the Dash setting and adjust the spacing of the dash pattern.

Name and Save Your Pattern to the Symbol Library

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If you would like to save your new style for future use, name your new style and add it to the Library. When you click “Add Style To Library” you will be presented with the option to assign it to an appropriate category(s), such as “My Styles & Symbols.”