Author Archives: OCAD Team

How to Print Maps

On the subject of map printing, we repeatedly receive support requests such as:

  • Why do the colors of the printed map look different than on the screen?
  • Why is the export area slightly different from the print area?
  • How should we print maps?

High time for a blog entry!

Why do the colors of the printed map look different than on the screen?

OCAD works with CMYK colors. But what you see on your computer screen are RGB-colors from the Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI). When you print maps directly out of OCAD, OCAD converts the CMYK values first in RGB values and sends the data to the printer and your printer driver converts the data back to CMYK values. Also, each printer driver may handle the conversion in a different way.

This way it may come to changes in the color values. Therefore, we recommend you to always create a PDF first out of OCAD and print this PDF afterwards.

Color display in OCAD

Why is the export area slightly different from the print area?

When exporting a PDF in A4 Portrait format, the size is always 210 x 297 mm.
However, your home printer will not be able to print the full size, as he needs some ’empty borders’ to guide the paper through the printer. How much this is exactly differs from printer to printer. Typically this is 0.2 – 0.5 mm.

Because of that, export area and printing area of the same format can differ, as you can see in the picture below.

Blue: A4 Landscape Export Extent | Grey: A4 Landscape Print Extent

Side note: In professional printing, maps are printed on ‘oversize’ paper, which is slightly bigger than A4/A3 format and so-called bleed and trim marks are added. After the printing, the maps are cut to the exact size.

How should we print maps?

  1. When printing maps at home, make sure that your layout is a bit smaller that the A4 default sizes.
    For professional printing, this is not necessary,see side note above.
  2. In OCAD, go to menu File > Export to export your map or your orienteering course as a PDF.
    You need to be in Normal mode (Menu View > Normal mode) to export PDF files.
  3. Open the PDF with Adobe Acrobat Reader, as the Acrobat Reader supports the printing process very well.
  4. When printing the PDF, choose ‘Actual size’ and not ‘Fit’.
    The option ‘Fit (to paper)’ would scale the map and result in wrong map scale.
  5. Print the PDF.
Adobe Acrobat Reader Printing Settings


OCAD for Single User vs. OCAD for Teams

OCAD licenses can be purchased as Single User or Team licenses.

What is the difference? How can the licenses be used?

  • Single User license

Single User licenses are suitable for individual users who want to work on multiple devices.

The user of a Single User license can install the software on 1 device by default. In order to allow the use on several own devices at the same time (e.g. desktop pc, laptop, tablet for field work), further activations for own devices will be granted by OCAD on request. Please contact info@ocad.com in this case.

  • Team license

Team licenses are suitable for clubs and organizations where many users work with OCAD.

Unlike Single User licenses, a Team license can only be activated on one device at a time, but the users can transfer their license immediately and at any time to another person.

The licenses can also be installed in a Dropbox or OneDrive folder, which is shared with the users. When a user starts OCAD now, he can activate one of the available licenses. Thanks to the Deactivate this license automatically when closing OCAD option, Team licenses are automatically released again after a user closes OCAD.

More information about the OCAD subscription open can be found here.

OCAD Sketch App Update

A new version 1.1 of the OCAD Sketch App is available.

How to update the app:
– Go to Google Play Store (Android) or Apple App Store (iOS).
– Search for OCAD Sketch.
– Update the OCAD Sketch App.

The most important changes:

  • Added option to straighten lines with a long press
    If you stop drawing for 1 second and still press on the display, the previous line segment(s) will be straightened. This option is active by default for scales 0 – 1:5000 (sprint maps).
    How it works (video).
  • Added option to download projects, if link or QR code is not working
    Open a project by clicking on the ‘+’ sign and entering the project ID.
  • Optimized performance of position tail
    In the settings you can choose whether the tail consists only of points from today or of all points. Also, the calculation of the tail has been optimized.
  • Optimized drawing with an active pencil
    If an active pen (S Pen, Apple Pencil) is detected, all other inputs (e.g. unintentional hand touch) are ignored.
  • Optimized map navigation
    Among other things, when moving the map, the zoom level will only change if the difference for pinch zooming is large enough.

Check Control Sites with OCAD Sketch App and GeoViewer

At most orienteering trainings and competitions it is customary to survey the control locations in the field before the event and occasionally update the map near the controls.

We’ll show you in this video how to make the best use of OCAD.

Avoid extra work: Use geoservices in advance

There is lot of geodata available, that helps you to get a nice first impression of the terrain, even if it is unknown to you as a course setter.

E.g. for spint courses in urban areas, the GeoViewer function in OCAD opens Google Street View (or another GeoViewer Service) at the indicated location. This makes it possible to estimate whether a control can be set or not.

Thanks to WMS/WMTS or Online Map Services, it is possible to load survey data or aerial photographs and check whether new buildings (urban) or clear-cuts (forest) are visible.

The use of all these geo-services is of course dependent on their up-to-dateness and a terrain inspection is nevertheless required. However, a quick check with this tool can save a lot of extra work.

Check control sites with OCAD Sketch App

Now when you go to check the control locations in the terrain, the OCAD Sketch App is highly recommended.

You can download the OCAD Sketch App for free on your mobile device (Android smartphone/tablet or iPhone/iPad) and load your courses on it.

This has two big advantages:

  • The GPS position gives you additional security in the terrain whether you are at the right control site or not.
  • You can capture map corrections and notes on your mobile device for yourself or send them directly to the controler, map maker or event adviser.

Watch the video Check Control Sites with OCAD and let you explain the steps above.