Blend Modes for PDF Export – Print your Maps with More Transparency

The current OCAD 12 Service Update contains a very interesting new feature for map printing.

The blend mode was developed to get better transparent colors on the digital CMYK printed training and competition maps for Junior World Orienteering Championships 2016 and Swiss O Week 2016.

The blend mode controls how the underlying color of an object interacts with the blend color of the overlaying object.

The new blend mode settings affect only the map export to a pdf file.  OCAD supports the blend modes Darken und Multiply.

In Color dialog click the Blend mode button.

Set the Darken mode for the color Purple, Green over brown and Brown.

No blend mode effect in OCAD

The effect in not visible in OCAD!

But it is visible when opening the exported pdf file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.


Exported pdf in Adobe Acrobat Reader

  • Purple control circle is transparent, underlying objects with color blue, green and brown are visible
  • Green tree is transparent, underlying contour line is visible
  • Brown contour lines are transparent, underying green area is visible

More about the Blend Mode in our Wiki.

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