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More MAPublisher Features We Love

Last year we wrote a blog post about some of our team’s favourite MAPublisher features. Not surprisingly for software that has been around for over 20 years, everyone had a different favourite and we had to be selective for the blog post. This year, with new team members coming on board and new MAPublisher releases it’s a good time for a new list of favourites. Check out some of these features that you might not know about, and find out how they can make your workflow easier!

Create Elevation Plot

Jeff C. – Quality Assurance

Prior to MAPublisher 10.3, “Create Elevation Plot” was a feature of Path Utilities I seldom used because, to be honest, it had a few limitations. MAPublisher 10.3 introduced a completely new way of creating elevation profiles, and the difference is astounding. The available customization options are endless – not only can you select whether your axes will use metric or imperial units, but you can also set the Line Colour, Line Width, Fill Colour, Background Colour, Axis Intervals, Axis Labels, Graph Size and much more. Another aspect of this updated tool that I love is the ability to save and re-use ‘styles’. These styles remember specific elements of an elevation profile (e.g. appearance, units, size, etc.) and can be applied to other profiles made in the future, saving the user a lot of time.

Elevation Plot Created in MAPublisher

Text Utilities

Keith  S.- Quality Assurance

In my opinion, the Text Utilities tool is one that is underutilized in MAPublisher. The tool allows you to perform actions on text within a document, including Curve Text to Latitude, Draw Shape Around Text, Merge Text, Create Line From Text on a Path, and many more. The actions can be performed on selected text only, text on specific layers, or all text in the document. The tool even allows the user to preview most actions before committing the changes.

If you have ever seen text along a path with a red plus symbol at the end of it after performing a transformation or manual adjustment it is an indication that the text path is not long enough to contain all of the text. No problem for my favourite action in the Text Utilities tool—Extend Overflowing Text. This utility solves the issue by extending the text path to a length which will accommodate the full length of the text.

Join Lines

Oliver N. – Customer Support

One of my favourite tools to use in MAPublisher is the Join Lines tool. If you are working with a road or rail network and sections of the same track or street connect to each other but are broken into different line features, you can easily join them into single features with a common attribute like Street Name or Track Number. You can target a line layer and then in the Destination options, choose either to perform the join on the original target layer or specify a name for a new line layer that will contain the joined lines. You can also use a proximity value to determine how close the lines must be in order to be joined. I find that this tool allows subsequent styling to be done easily and saves a lot of time in arranging the data to your needs. It also reduces the size of your file by compiling data into fewer features.

Copy MAP Objects From

Keith S. – Quality Assurance

This feature allows users to copy MAP objects (including MAP Views, MAP Layers, MAP Themes, MAP Selections, and MAP Locations) from one open document to another. MAP Views can be copied by themselves or with their associated MAP Layers. The best part is, that any artwork which is copied to the destination document will retain its styling provided that the custom colour swatches used in copied artwork are set as “Global” in the Adobe Swatch Options dialog. It works like this: With the destination document open, launch the Copy MAP Object From tool. Select the object(s) you want to copy to the destination document by checking the checkbox beside each object, then click “OK” to perform the copy. Copy MAP Objects From is one of my favourite features because it saves so much time when styling maps!

Copy MAP Objects From in MAPublisher

MAP Themes Scaling Charts

Bob P. – Business Development Associate

My favourite way of making infographic maps is using our MAP Chart themes. Within Chart Themes, you can add a bar or pie chart to any point layer, based on any set of attributes from the point layer. For an added level of information, each of the charts can be scaled based on the value from another attribute. This helps when you want to show the proportion of values, but also give an indication of the total population size for each point too. The best part is MAPublisher allows you to pick between Area and Radial scaling for pie charts. If the population of one point is twice the size of the smallest point, it can either have twice the area, or twice the radius length. This is my favourite tool in MAPublisher, because it shows that our team thinks of everything to make sure cartographers can make the exact map they want, right down to the smallest details.

Creating Chart Themes using MAP Themes in MAPublisher

About the Authors

Jeff, Keith, Bob and Oliver are all members of the Avenza Systems Team and their passion for maps shows through in the work that they do with our clients and in developing MAPublisher.

New Text Utilities in MAPublisher 8.4

Among other great new features, MAPublisher 8.4 includes new text utilities designed to ease cartographic workflow by adding flexibility to text handling. These tools are accessed through two icons grouped with the MAPublisher document operations tools on the MAPublisher tool bar.

Text Utilities Icons

Text Utilities

Add functions like convert text on a path to point text, separate multiline text, extend overflowing text, flip upside down text, crop text path to text length, set text alignment, rectify point text to angle, and draw shape around text. These text utilities can be applied to selections, to layers, or to all document text at once. The following table provides examples for the result of each tool.

Text Utilities Icons

Right-to-Left Text Tool

Many right-to-left languages, such as Arabic and Hebrew, require additional language-specific processing to get the correct glyph output given the incoming character stream. Let’s look at an example.

Looking at the MAP Attribute panel, we see that the Arabic script is displayed properly

Text Utilities Icons

Yet, when using the Label Features tool, we see that the Arabic text is placed as a series of symbols that indicate that the text placement could not be accomplished accurately. This is one of two scenarios we will see, the other being that the Arabic characters will be placed left-to-right.

This happens because Label Features uses the currently selected font, in this case Myriad Pro. Since the Arabic characters were not found in the current Myriad Pro, the displayed symbol is substituted.

Text Utilities Icons

Once we apply the Right-to-Left text tool to these symbols, the Arabic characters will be reordered and altered to display the character appropriate to placement within the word and appropriate to surrounding characters. To apply the Right-to-Left text tool select Arabic from the preset drop-down menu. This populates the remaining settings with the correct parametrs.

Text Utilities Icons

Clicking OK, the script now matches what is found in the MAP Attribute Table.

Text Utilities Icons

If you are using MAP LabelPro, you will also need to use the Right-to-Left text tool after labeling. However, there is a slight difference between Feature Labels and MAP LabelPro behaviour. Instead of displaying the box with “x” symbol, it will place the Arabic characters in reverse order from their proper placement in the MAP Attributes table.

Text Utilities Icons

The text on the left is placed by MAP LabelPro, with the text on the right having been corrected with the Right-to-Left text tool.

We’re excited that these text utilities are being incorporated into MAPublisher. Many users have been requesting more text options. We hope you’ll like them as much as we do. We’re putting the finishing touches on MAPublisher 8.4 and will be releasing it in a few weeks.