Tag Archives: Professional Map Making

Show Background Map Favorites

Thanks to the Background Favorites option, you can quickly and easily switch between different background maps when drawing.

In the Manage Background Maps dialog, you can make a background map visible in the background favorites by turning on the eye icon in the corresponding cell.

In this example, four different background maps are loaded: An areal image, a slope gradient map, a hill shading map and a vegetation height map. The last two are marked as background favorites.

As you know, the topmost visible background map is displayed in OCAD. In this example, the aerial image is therefore displayed, when we switch to Draft Mode.

If you now switch to the Draft Mode (Only Background Map Favorites), the two background maps marked as background favorites are displayed (in our example the hill shading map and the vegetation height map). The hill shading has been set as transparent so that both files are visible together.

You can switch the View Mode in the Status Bar (see image above) or in the View menu. You can also set a Shortcut to quickly navigate through the different View modes, e.g. Alt + V.

Which View modes appear in the loop can be set in the OCAD Preferences. For example, if you are not working with Spot colors, you can omit this mode.

OCAD Basics

The OCAD Basics exercise teaches both basic and advanced drawing and editing functions in an interactive way. Many tips and tricks for working efficiently with OCAD are also presented.

The exercise file is therefore not only suitable for beginners, but also for experienced users who want to refresh their OCAD knowledge.

It can be found in the OCAD program under Menu File > Open Sample Maps in English, Swedish or German (OCAD Basics_EN.ocd, OCAD Basics_SE.ocd or OCAD Basics_DE.ocd).

If the files are not visible, please download the latest OCAD Update.

More OCAD Tutorials can be found here.

Draw stairs

In this article we present different ways of drawing stairs in OCAD and what to look out for.

If stairs are drawn too small or too narrow, this greatly impairs legibility and the staircase can easily be mistaken for an impassable object (especially if the print quality of the circles is poor).

How is the stairway symbol defined?

Steps of a stairway shall be represented in a generalized manner. Contour lines shall be cut out for better legibility, if they touch stairways.

This means that when you are drawing stairs you should make sure that…

  • (1) treads are not drawn with too little spacing (min. 0.4mm)
  • (2) contour lines are cut out
  • (3) stairs are not drawn too narrow (min. 0.4mm)
  • (4) more than 2 steps are drawn (min. 3)

By the way: In addition to the symbol definition, the IOF O Map Wiki also contains images with correct and incorrect examples.

Draw steps individually or use stairway symbol

There are basically two ways to draw steps:

  • Use the symbol Step or edge of paved area (symbol 501.100) to draw steps individually
  • Use the symbol Stairway (symbol 532.00) to use a predefined stair width.

Use stairway symbol

The stairway symbol is suitable for straight staircases. The minimum width and tread width comply with the IOF specifications. The stair filling (colour. 44 Brown 30% – stairs) covers the contour lines, so no cutting of contour lines is needed.
Problems arise with curved staircases (2) or staircases with varying widths. Often the predefined width does not fit and leads, for example, to thick edges (3). In such a case, the predefined stair symbols can be duplicated and the width changed afterwards. The whole width of the staircase should be visible and if not, building, walls, etc., should be reduced in size (4).
When drawing, it is also important to note that the beginning and end of the stairs (1) must be examined and edited if necessary.

Draw steps individually

You get the most flexibility when you draw steps individually. For that, you can use the symbol Step or edge of paved area (symbol 501.100).

  • With the Stairway mode you can easily specify length, width and now also the tread depth (step distance). This is displayed at the bottom left of the status bar.
  • Individual steps can be copied (Ctrl + C), pasted (Ctrl + V) and moved to the correct position with the mouse or arrow key.
  • With Move Parallel and simultaneously pressed Ctrl + Shift key, stairs or line objects can be moved in parallel and duplicated at the same time.
  • To cut contour lines, use the Cut icon. A virtual gap can be inserted by holding down the Ctrl key.