How to Print

Manifold provides two paths to printing:

 

·      The contents of any component window may be printed in a default way with File - Print . The visible contents of the window will be printed using a simple dialog.

·      More sophisticated layouts may be composed using a Print Layout which may then be opened and printed using File - Print. The layout will be based on whatever settings (paper size, orientation, etc.) are specified in the File - Page Setup dialog.

 

To Print using a Print Layout

 

1. Click in the project pane and create a new layout with File - Create - Layout. The Create Layout dialog will pop open. If the layout is to be based on a particular component (often the case when we create a layout for a single component), choose the component to be used in the Create Layout dialog.

2. Open the new layout.

3. Verify paper size and other overall options are correctly specified in File - Page Setup.

4. From the project pane, drag and drop into the layout any other components that are to appear as elements of the layout. Create any new layout elements, such as text entries, using layout tools.

5. Edit the elements in the layout to change size, position, views to be printed, etc. Clicking on an element selects it so that it may be formatted using the formatting toolbar. Right clicking on an element allows choosing the Properties dialog to change the views and other display characteristics. CTRL-ALT clicking on an element will select it for editing so that it may be moved or resized.

6. When satisfied with the appearance of the layout, use File - Print to print the layout.

 

Note that printing items with a layout is a three-step process: create the layout, adjust the elements of the layout to taste, and then print the layout.

 

Example

 

In this example we create a new layout from a drawing.

 

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We begin with a drawing of Mexico. We would like to print this drawing using a layout.

 

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In the project pane toolbar we click on the Create button down arrow for a pull-down menu of project pane components that may be created.

 

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We choose a Layout. This will pop open the Create Layout dialog.

 

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The Create Layout dialog displays a list of all components in the project. This project only has one component, the Mexico drawing. We click on Mexico Drawing to highlight it and then press OK. If we wanted our new layout to be named something other than "Layout" we could have specified a new name as well.

 

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In the project pane a new layout is created underneath the parent Mexico Drawing component. To open the layout, we double-click on it.

 

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The default layout will show the entire component on whatever is the default page size and orientation defined for our printer. Since most people use Letter or A4 sized paper in a portrait orientation it is quite likely the layout will look like that above. The light gray lines bordering the drawing show the extent of page margins that have been set for this printer.

 

Given the East - West extent of Mexico, our drawing would look better if printed on the paper in landscape orientation.

 

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To change the paper orientation we choose File - Page Setup and click on Landscape, then we press OK.

 

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The layout will be redisplayed using landscape orientation for the paper. If we like, we can print the layout now with File - Print. However, to continue this example we will add a text element to the layout.

 

images\btn_insert_label.gif We can insert text into the layout using the Insert Text button.

 

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Click on the Insert Text button and then draw a box in the layout where the text is to appear.

 

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In the Insert Text dialog enter the text desired and press OK. In this case, we will simply enter the word "Mexico". If we later change our mind about the text we can always edit it by double-clicking the text element. This will reopen the Insert Text dialog for editing. See the Layouts topic for information on other parts of the Insert Text dialog.

 

images\eg_howtoprint_10.gif

 

The new text appears in the layout using the default Tahoma 9pt font, which is too small to be legible in the illustration of the layout shown above. In any case, we would like to make the font larger. To do so we will select the new text element and change the font size using the formatting toolbar.

 

Before changing the font size we will first change the selection style used. Manifold can show selections in different styles, with the Dense Dots style being the default. It may be more convenient to show selections in layouts using the Border style.

 

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To change the selection style we click on the down arrow of the Selection Style button in the selection toolbar.

 

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We then choose Border.

 

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To select the text element that was entered we click on it.

 

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It immediately appears within a red selection box that shows the extent of the text element box we drew with the mouse.

 

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To change the font size, we click on the font size button in the formatting toolbar and choose a new size.

 

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We can change the font to a 40 point size, the font to Verdana and push in the Bold button to boldface the font.

 

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The result is a text element exactly the way we want it. To turn off selection we can simply press the Select None button or just click in the layout window outside of any layout element.

 

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To print the layout we choose File - Print.

 

Exporting to a File

 

To save the layout to a file, we choose File - Export - Image.

 

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In the Export dialog we choose the file name to which to save and the file type. In this example we will save to a .pdf file.

 

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In the Export PDF File dialog that follows choose the resolution to use for the output file. Pixel resolution specifies the resolution with which images and surfaces that are in the layout will be saved. Vector resolution specifies resolution used to save drawings and labels as well as layout elements such as text or horizontal and vertical lines. If saving to PDF for subsequent work in some other program before printing choose a Vector resolution setting that is the same as the resolution of the printer that will be used. If printing to a 600 DPI printer, for example, use 600 DPI. Pixel and Vector resolution must be at least 1 DPI and cannot exceed 7200 DPI.

 

The Ignore styles checkbox is an advanced option that forces Manifold to export the image using default point, line, area and label styles. This can be useful when exporting for later use in vector-style graphics editors such as Illustrator because the default styles produce a relatively small number of simple vector objects per Manifold entity. In contrast, more complex styles available in Manifold can produce five to ten relatively complex vector objects per point. If the Illustrator operator prefers to work with simple objects check this box.

 

See the Export Layout - PDF topic for details on other options in the Export PDF File dialog.

 

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The .pdf file can then used in other programs. For example, it can be viewed in Adobe Acrobat Reader as shown above or imported into Adobe PhotoShop.

 

Note: Although .pdf and .ps formats are often thought of as "universal" formats that can capture exact renderings of data for use in other programs, they do have numerous limitations. For example, neither .pdf nor .ps can render opacity. If a layout includes a map that shows a drawing below an image that has 50% opacity in the map, the .pdf created by exporting the layout to a .pdf file will show the image with 100% opacity. .emf exports do support opacity for images and surfaces but not for drawings.

 

Moving Elements

 

Elements can be moved by selecting them for editing with a CTRL-ALT-click and then dragging them into the desired position.

 

images\eg_howtoprint_22.gif

 

To move the text element, hold down the CTRL and ALT keys while clicking on it. Edit handles will appear on the element. The mouse will automatically change to a move or resize cursor when positioned over the text element or over an edit handle.

 

images\eg_howtoprint_23.gif

 

To move the element click on it and drag to a new position.

 

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Note that text elements have transparent background color by default, as seen in the background color box in the formatting toolbar.

 

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The transparent background color allows text to be positioned over other layout elements with the text "floating" above the other elements. If desired, the background color for the text element can be changed to some other color, to fill in the rectangular area of the text element with background color.

 

Visual Perception

 

Printed layouts may look slightly different (especially if varying opacities are used in maps) in terms of brightness, opacity or contrast than they appear on screen. This effect arises from the wildly different nature of the media used, a computer monitor versus a printed page. After all, images created by emitted light, like those shown on a computer monitor, are very different from those created by absorbed or reflected light, like those shown on a printed page.

 

For that matter, even using different types of paper will change the appearance of a printed page at times. Using photo quality paper in inkjet printers can result in dramatically brighter and more vivid images that have better contrast than images obtained with non-photo quality paper.

 

Notes

 

Why bother changing the selection style to Border?

 

images\eg_howtoprint_25.gif images\eg_howtoprint_26.gif

 

Some users feel that the Border selection style is less visually intrusive when formatting text and other elements in layouts. At left above is the Border selection style while at right above is the default Dense Dots selection style. Either way is fine according to the taste of the user.

 

Tech Tip

 

In the Tools - Options dialog check the Adjust display scale for monitor resolution box. That will match the scale used in Manifold to what is literally shown on the monitor given monitor size, DPI and other factors.

 

When working with layouts we can then choose View - Zoom to and choose a zoom of 1:1 so that the layout is shown exactly real size. If we have a large enough monitor we can then see the layout exactly as it will be printed with, for example, an A4 sized paper layout being displayed as a full-sized A4 sheet of paper on the monitor.

 

See Also

 

Layouts

Exporting Layouts

Export Layout - PDF