6d. Prepping your map for export

1. Introduction

2. Setting up your project

3. Creating data (first steps)

4. Creating and editing data

5. Creating polygons


6a.  Layer arrangement

6b.  Layout setup

6c.  Adding map elements

6d.  Prepping your map for export

6d.  Making your map look pretty

This final step in completing your map layout is 100% up to you.  By now, you have the tools needed to change graphic elements in the layout, move them around, etc.  To further play around with the layout, you can open the Draw tool from Customize –> Toolbars –> Draw and add text, shapes, lines, etc… Once you are satisfied with how your map looks and sure it has all the appropriate elements, you can proceed to the next step.

The following figure is an example- the completed map that I’ve been building throughout this tutorial.


Exporting your map

Congratulations!  You’ve reached the final step in this process that involves using the Arc suite of software.  There are a number of different options available for exporting your map, all dependent on what you’re going to do with it post-ArcMap.  If you want to further tweak the map and add annotations, etc., it’s useful to export the map as an Adobe Illustrator .ai file.  If you’re done working with it, a .jpg or .pdf should suffice.

Here’s how that is done:

1.  Go to File –> Export Map.

2.  Choose a location, and give your pretty map a name.

3.  Choose the appropriate file type.

NOTE:  If you are exporting as a .pdf or .ai file, there are some additional steps you need to take.  Symbols on lines or point symbols in ArcMap are stored as a font.  If you export your map and open it again on a computer that does not have the ESRI font dataset on it, all of your symbols will look different.  Let’s try to avoid having our strike and dip symbols magically change to giant question marks.

When exporting as a .ai or .pdf, go to the “Format” tab under “Options”.  Please, please, PLEASE check the box that’s next to “Convert Marker Symbols to Polygons”.  This changes the ESRI font to regular raster graphics that any computer can read.  Check out the following figure:


4.  Click “Save”.

5.  And you’re done!

Previous:  Adding map elements


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