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Printing Maps

Printing Layout

Mapwindow Versions 4.7 + now include an advanced print layout tool to enable users to create a variety of printing layouts as templates, and use these for any project.

To setup a print layout, select the [File] menu then select [Print], or click on the Image:image016.jpg[Print] icon. The user will be presented with the Print Layout window.


The Print Layout window contains four key sections

- menu bar Image:print_layout_menu.jpg

- print preview window (left)which displays the map as it will print. The rectangle inside the page displays the print area inside the margins.

- print components list (right upper)which shows the map components such as maps, arrow, text etc.

- components detail settings (right lower) which shows the settings for each component when selected in the list above

- use the layout zoom icons Image:print_zoom_icons.jpg to zoom into the layout display if required.

Each layout can be saved for future use, which will retain all the page settings, components and layout settings, using the Save Icon Image:image014.gif and save the layout - default will be the same location as the Mapwindow Project file.

Note: A saved print layout is generally only relevant for the Mapwindow Map Project it was originally created for. Users will need to create a new print layout for each Map project, as map display and legend are linked to the project.

Default print layouts can be setup with generic page elements which can be used for any Mapwindow project. For example, a default layout with page size, margins, arrow, title box, image (logo etc) can be saved and used as a basis for other project map layouts, and will only require the map display and legend to be setup.

If layouts have been saved previously, click on the Open Layout Icon Image:print_open_layout.jpg and browse for the layout.

If major changes have been implemented to a saved layout, use the Save As icon (or File.. Save as..) to create a new layout file.

Page Setup

First action is to setup the page settings you will be using for the map.

Click on [File.. Page Setup] in Menu to open dialog box to set page options such as page size, margins or portrait or landscape

Image:print_page_setup.jpg Note that measurements for margins are in Inches.

Print Layout Components

Each component added to the print layout will show in the components list in the top right of the layout, similar to map layers.

Components can be reordered or deleted using the list management icons Image:print_comp_order.jpg

Component settings can be modified for each component using the settings box bottom right of the layout.

A layout may include multiples of a component.

Map Display

The minimum item to include in a layout is the map display.

- Click on the Image:print_add_map.jpg icon to insert map.

- Click on the top left of the print area you want map display, and drag to bottom right corner before releasing mouse button. To move the map display, click on the map and drag to preferred place, or mouse over a boundary or corner to adjust map size.

- MapX will show in the Components list on the right, and settings will show bottom right. These will allow you to modify settings if required

- Use the map display edit icons Image:print_map_size.jpg to zoom, pan, change extent of print display without having to change the main map display

Note: Multiple map displays can be added to a layout (see example), such as a main display and a smaller map with full extents.

North Arrow

- To add a North Arrow click on the Arrow Icon Image:print_add_arrow.jpg then click and drag the arrow location on the display to set size and location. These can be adjusted.

- To change the arrow type, click on name to right of the NorthArrow, and select the option required.


- To add a Legend click on the Legend Icon Image:add_legend.jpg then click and drag the legend location on the page display.

- Size and location on display can be edited at any time.

- By default, all layers showing in the map will be displayed in the legend. To change this, click on (collection) beside Layers in the settings box, and deselect any layers not to be displayed.

- Font, size and other settings can be altered in the settings box.

Scale Bar

- To add a Scalebar, click on the Add Scalebar Icon Image:print_add_scalebar.jpg and click and drag on display to place and size the scalebar.

- Scalebar will be set with the units of the layout map display.

- Adjust settings if required.

Note: If multiple Map display components have been added to a layout, the scalebar will automatically be set to the top display. To change the map, click on the Map display name in the settings and select the one required.

Note: If your scale bar is blank try the following:

1) Resize the place holder box of the scale bar to make it larger, if the scale bar can't be drawn clearly within the size of the box then it just wont be drawn at all. Not ideal behavior but the way it is for now! You can also try reducing the number of breaks.

2) Make sure that the scale bar is linked to the right map. Highlight the scale bar alone and look at its properties window and make sure the field Map is populated with the correct map element. It defaults to the first map in the layout but if you add the map after you've added the scale bar then it will be blank.

3) This one is very important, make sure your MapWindow project has a map unit associated with it. If your data doesn't have a map unit then the scale property of the map element will be 0. To set a map unit, go to the main MapWindow form (not the layout form) click File->Settings. In the settings window the first property should be Map Data Units change it from (None) to an appropriate unit for your data. A little warning if you set it to a value that isn't appropriate for you data like setting a unit of lat/long for a data set thats in meters, then the scale will be wrong and likely have a value of 0. If you want to have your scale bar in a different unit than the one your data is in you can do that by changing the value of the unit property of the scale bar's property page.


- To add text boxes to the layout, click on the Add Text Icon Image:print_add_text.jpg and click and drag on display to place and size text box.

- To edit the text, click on the field beside Text in the settings, and type text into field box.

- Edit the text size, font, colour and other settings as required.

- Text boxes are transparent. To include a background colour, insert a rectangle first (see below) then place the text box over this.


The Rectangle component can be used to add a boundary line around the map or other components, including a background colour behind other components, such as text boxes or bitmaps.

- To add a rectangle, click on Add Rectangle Icon Image:print_add_rectangle.jpg and click and drag on display to set location and size. These can be moved or edited.

- Adjust settings such as line style, size, colour and background colour in the settings.

- If required, place the rectangle below other components by using the Component Order buttons Image:print_comp_order.jpg.

Bitmap (Image)

The bitmap component can add an image file onto the layout, such as a different North Arrow, organisation logo or reference text image.

- To add a bitmap, click on Add Bitmap Icon Image:print_add_bitmap.jpg

- browse for the bitmap image file and open

- click and drag on layout display to set place and size of bitmap

- adjust settings if required, or click on browse button to change the image file.

Below is an example of a print layout with a number of components added, including two map displays, using the sample layers.


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This page has been accessed 3,546 times. This page was last modified on 9 February 2010, at 20:18.