Creating a Scale Bar and North Arrow

Create a scale bar

1.Open from the Tutorial Data folder.

2.On the MAPublisher toolbar, click the Scale Bar button. When prompted, create a Legend layer.

3.In the Scale Bar dialog box, use the Style drop-down list to view scale bar styles (for this tutorial, use the default one called Single Bar).

4.On the Appearance tab, in the Height box, change it to 8.00 pt.

5.Click the Appearance hyperlink. In the Scale Bar Appearance dialog box, change the Alternate colour to 20% Black and the Stroke to 0.5 pt. Then click OK.



Even though you set a 'Single Bar' scale bar style, changing any of the settings will make it a [Custom] style. You can save custom scale bar as a new profile.

6.On the Intervals tab, choose Kilometer in the Units drop-down list. In the Interval box, type 250. In the Number of labeled intervals box, type 4. Set the Number of intervals to subdivide to 1 and the Number of sub-intervals to 5.


These settings create a scale bar that represents a total distance of 1000 km. It has four main intervals each representing 250 km with the first interval further divided into five smaller intervals.

7.Click the Labels tab. Click the Tick label appearance hyperlink to open the Edit Text Appearance dialog box. Click the Character style / custom style toggle icon so that [Normal Character Style] is displayed. Click OK.


8.Click the Display scale value check box, choose Show above from the drop-down list, and choose Align center.

9.Click the Display units to right of last interval label check box.

10. Click the Display page to map units ratio check box, choose Centimeters from the Page units for captions drop-down list, change the Precision to 0 decimal(s), and choose Show below from the Placement drop-down list.


11. Click OK to accept settings for the Scale Bar dialog box.

The Scale Bar is placed at the center of the page according to the defined Settings. If necessary, resize the scale bar using the bounding box. The scale automatically adjusts after it is resized.

12. To change the scale bar size, click the scale bar to select it and use the left or right anchor of the bounding box to resize the scale bar.


The scale bar automatically resizes and calculates a new values based on the current interval settings.

13. Leave the document open for the next tutorial.

informationThe scale bar can edited after it is created. Select the scale bar and click the Scale Bar button on the MAPublisher toolbar. When the MAP view is rescaled, the scale bar dynamically updates. The scale bar can be expanded to be edited as regular Adobe Illustrator artwork (however, doing so breaks the link to the MAP View scale value).

Create a north arrow

13. In the MAP Views panel, add a new MAP Layer called North Arrow and specify the Feature type as Legend.

14. Open the Adobe Illustrator Symbols panel. Click its panel options menu and go to Open Symbol Library > MAP Symbols > Other symbols > North arrows.

15. Click and drag a north arrow symbol to the artboard.


16. Select the north arrow symbol and click the North Arrow button on the MAPublisher toolbar.


The north arrow is changed from a regular symbol to a dynamic north arrow and is aligned in the north direction. The projection of the map allows for the rotation of the north arrow. If it is moved, it will change its rotation and continue to point towards north. North arrows can be created from any Adobe Illustrator symbol. Note that the north arrow created is now added to the Symbols panel.

information Sample north arrow designs are located in the Helpful Styles & Symbols folder.

17. In the MAP Views panel, double-click the usa MAP View.

18. In the MAP View editor, set an Angle of 45 degrees, click the Auto Scale button and the center page alignment.


19. Click OK to accept the angle edits.


The north arrow is oriented according to the MAP View it is placed in. Any changes made to the coordinate system or angle of the MAP View will cause the north arrow to automatically orient itself towards True North.

Return to the MAP View Editor to give the North Arrow a custom coordinate to point to.

20. In the MAP Views panel, double-click the usa MAP View.

21. Click the North Arrow drop-down arrow and click Configure.


22. In the North Arrow Orientation dialog box, select the Custom coordinate option. Enter a Long of 25 and Lat of 60. Then click OK.



The North Arrow now points towards a custom direction. This direction is independent of the rotation of the MAP View.

23. Close the document without saving.

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Last updated: 4/12/2019