The MAPublisher Vector Crop trims vector data to a rectangular or ellipse area by using page or world coordinates, and by location type (using either a bounding box or by a single coordinate position). Use it to create a precise crop of a larger dataset based on coordinate locations (by bounding box or position). It is very useful for creating map insets (smaller maps centered on specific areas).



Before using Vector Crop, ensure that layers being cropped are visible and unlocked in the Adobe Illustrator Layers panel. Invisible and locked layers are not cropped. The extent of the map that will remain after cropping must be visible on the screen, so make sure to zoom out sufficiently prior to starting the vector crop tool.

Text typed on a path may not return to their prior state after an undo.

The purpose of Vector Crop is to cut vector data (points, lines and polygons). However, some Adobe Illustrator specific objects may not be cropped properly using this tool:

Blend and Live Paint objects

Any art using effects that have been rasterized

Custom art such as scale bars, grids/graticules, north arrows (expand custom art to crop)

Compound shapes

Legacy and overflowing text

Locked objects (command box: either treat locked layers as unlocked or skip locked layers)

Hidden layers (will be skipped)


Using Vector Crop

On the MAPublisher Toolbar, click the Crop > Vector Crop button or from the menu Object > MAPublisher > Vector Crop.


Input Coordinates

The Input sets the coordinate system in which the starting point coordinates are entered. Input coordinates can either be Page Coordinates or World Coordinates.


When the Page coordinates (Global Rulers) option is chosen, page coordinate values (in pixels) can be entered for the Corner and Opposite Corner coordinates.


When the World coordinates option is chosen, the MAP View drop-down list becomes enabled. Choose the appropriate MAP View to use. Its coordinate system is displayed directly below the MAP View drop-down list. The options in the dialog box will change to reflect a geodetic or projected coordinate system and corner values can be entered either as (a variation of) decimal degrees or in projected units. To use an alternative coordinate system, click the Use check box, and click the coordinate system link. Choose an appropriate coordinate system in the Select Coordinate System dialog box.

Shape and Location Type Options

There are two shape options to choose from when plotting areas: rectangle and ellipse. More importantly, two location types determine how the shapes are plotted: Bounding box and Position.


When Bounding box is chosen, enter (map page or map world) coordinates into the Corner and Opposite Corner coordinates to define the area. A preview of the area can be seen on the artboard (you may have to move the Area Plotter dialog box to see it). Note: Any corner and its opposing corner can be used for the bounding box.


When Position is chosen, choose a coordinate point position relative to the shape. These point position options include Center, Upper left, Upper right, Lower left, and Lower right. In the Size section, enter a width and height and the appropriate units to plot. A preview of the area can be seen on the artboard (you may have to move the Area Plotter dialog box to see it).



Advanced Options

For point text, Vectorize and crop will create an outline of the text and then crop it. This option does not preserve text editing ability. It should be used in situations where having text is still important and requires a clean cut (e.g. inset or key map).


To preserve text while cropping, use the Crop text based on option. The Origin of first character sub-option determines whether the first character of text is within the crop area or not. If it isn't, the text is cropped. The Text bounds sub-option determines whether the text bounding box is within the crop area or not. If it isn't, the text is cropped.


For path text, the similar options will yield the same results as explained above. One difference is the Crop path only option, which is used to crop the path text to the crop shape. To preserve text while cropping, use the Crop text based on option. Similarly, enable the Crop path check box to ensure the path is cropped.


For points, Vectorize and crop will create an outline of the points and then crop it. This results in small areas that are now partially cropped.


For paths, to crop to a shape of unspecified size, click and drag in the artboard until the desired crop area is achieved. Use keyboard modifiers to help draw shapes more efficiently.





The overall result is a map coverage reduced to the cropping boundary. On all visible and unlocked layers:

Text objects that have their anchor outside of the cropping boundary are deleted. Text objects with its anchor inside the cropping rectangle are retained completely.

Points falling outside of the cropping boundary are deleted (the position of the center of the symbol is relevant). Symbols that have their center inside the cropping rectangle are maintained as a whole.

Lines are clipped at the boundary of the cropping rectangle.

Areas (polygons) that are completely out of the cropping boundary are deleted. Areas intersecting with the cropping boundary are clipped and closed following the edge of the boundary.

information "Skipping art because topology is invalid" messages display in the MAPublisher Log when a line intersects itself along the border of your crop boundary. "Hidden layer" messages display in MAPublisher Log.

information Due to an Adobe Illustrator limitation, text on a path may flip after a crop. This can be corrected by checking the Flip option in the Type on the Path Options dialog box (choose Type > Type on a Path > Type on a Path Options).

information When cropping on import, text will be cropped based on whether its bounding box touches the crop extents.

Cropping to Create an Inset

Create a map inset using Vector Crop:

1.Open any map, and make a copy of it (choose File > Save a Copy).

2.Leave the original map open, make the copy the active document.

3.Use MAP Vector Crop to crop the area of special interest.

4.Make the original map active. In the MAP Views panel, select the option menu Import MAP View from document. Select the MAP View from the copy.


The map now contains two MAP Views (at least). Their relative position can be managed from the MAP View editor, as well as the scale of the inset map.


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Last updated: 4/9/2019