Friday, February 24, 2006

Printing to Scale vs. Standard Printing in GTViewer

GTViewer and GTVx both provide sophisticated printing functionality. Most users have probably used the Standard Print command many times, but they may not be familiar with the Print to Scale command. This blog entry will discuss the differences between standard printing and printing to scale and show how they are different from one another.

The Standard Print command (File/Print or the printer icon on the toolbar) has two options for determining what information will be printed: the Default mode and the Full Page mode. The Default mode will print only what is contained in the Active View, while the Full Page mode will contain what is in the active view plus whatever else can be included to fill up the printable area on the paper. Since the Active View is generally not the same proportions as the printable area on the paper, there will usually be wasted space on the print; Full Page mode simply utilizes all of this wasted space while still including the information in the Active View.

Standard Print – Only what is in the Active View (default mode)

Standard – Active View plus additional area to fill page (Full Page mode)

While all Standard Prints have a scale, this value is just the computed scale required to fit the desired information on the printed page. The Print to Scale command provides the user with the ability to specify exactly what scale features will have when they come out on paper. For example, you might specify that the scale is 1 in = 50 ft (or 1 inch on the print will represent 50 feet in the real world). A scale might also be a ratio like 1:10000 (or 1 unit on the paper represents 10000 of those units in the real world).

By selecting the File/Print to Scale command in GTViewer, you get the following Print to Scale Dialog:

Using the Default Scales (based on the data’s minor and major units):

Using Custom Scales (defined as Ratios in the .GTM file):

From the Print to Scale dialog, you specify both the Scale you want and the Paper Orientation (Portrait or Landscape). A default Scale selection is provided (the first 7 scale options) and these scales can be configured in the .GTM file (two versions are shown above). The 8th scale option is a custom scale and allows the user to key in any scale value.

After selecting the scale and orientation, press okay and you are returned to the Active View with a “Cookie-Cutter” attached to the cursor. The Cookie-Cutter is a rectangle that can be moved around the view; all data inside the rectangle will be printed at the specified scale.


Print to Scale – 1 in = 100 ft / Portrait

The Cookie-Cutter provides an easy way to see select the exact area you want to print at the selected scale. Also, with the Cookie-Cutter active, the user can also use a variety of key commands to change the scale and/or orientation and to see a print preview.

Key Commands for Cookie-Cutter:

  • L – Set to Landscape Orientation
  • P – Set to Portrait Orientation
  • + (plus) or . (period) – Set to next larger scale
  • - (minus) or , (comma) – Set to next smaller scale
  • Esc – Cancel Print to Scale Mode
  • Shift-P – Print Preview

Once the Cookie-Cutter contains the area you want to print, click the mouse button and you will be taken to the regular Print Dialog.

More Examples are shown below:

Print to Scale – 1 in = 200 ft / Portrait

Print to Scale – 1 in = 500 ft / Landscape

Also, for more information, see Printing with Custom Overview Maps in GTViewer to see what else can be done with printing in GTViewer.

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