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  • 1.  MapInfo Monday: Creating Layered PDF Documents

    Posted 12-06-2021 06:07
    Edited by Peter Møller 12-08-2021 03:45

    Happy #MapInfoMonday,

    Once you have done your analysis and visualization inside MapInfo Pro, you often want to and have to share the final map with people in your organization or customers that don't necessarily have access to MapInfo Pro.​

    A map created in MapInfo Pro can hold a lot of information in several layers. Often it will be useful for the recipients of your map to be able to turn on and off the individual layers on their own to focus on specific results in your analysis.

    To give them this option, you can create a layered PDF document from within MapInfo Pro and share this with the people who need to look at the resulting analysis. If they open the layered PDF in Adobe Acrobat, they can turn the individual layers on and off.

    Let's see how that's done.

    Creating the Layered PDF Document

    In my example, I have a basic map that I want to share as a layered PDF document. I have my map inserted in a layout and I'm ready to save it into a PDF document.

    My example is quite basic but you can add additional text frames and a scalebar as you require.

    Notice that only the layers that currently are marked as visible through the Layer List, will get published into the layered PDF document. Layers in Layer Groups that have been set to not be visible, will not get published either.

    From the Output dropdown on the Layout tab, I click on Create PDF Document.

    In the Print dialog, I make sure to select the MapInfo PDF Printer driver, here specifically for version 2021. If you have selected another printer driver, the PDF button will not be available.

    Now click on the PDF button to access the PDF Preference dialog.

    In this dialog, you can control the settings for creating PDF documents through MapInfo Pro.

    We will enable the Layered PDF option to create a PDF document where the individual layers appear as separate layers too.

    You can also enable the Add Attribute Data to PDF option to publish the attribute data related to the objects visible. This will allow the users of the final PDF document to access and view these attributes too. Be careful with this option. Note that all layers that are marked as Selectable in the Layer List will get their attribute data published. This might result in a large PDF document.

    You can also enable the option to create a Georegistered PDF which will allow the use of the document in certain applications in combination with for example a GPS device.

    Finally, you can check the option to Automatically Open the PDF after creating. This makes it easy to check if the PDF document looks fine. 

    Click OK to accept the settings, and then click OK in the Print dialog to create the PDF document.

    Working with the Layered PDF in Adobe Acrobat

    MapInfo Pro will now create the document, and if you checked the option to automatically open the PDF document, it will also be opened in your preferred viewer. On my system, this is Adobe Acrobat.

    Here you can see the resulting PDF document.

    Notice that you on the left side have a Layers list similar to what you find in MapInfo Pro. This lists all the layers that have been published into the PDF document.

    I created the document from a layout window. This means that each frame from the layout will appear as separate layers. In my case, I only had one frame. the embedded map window which here appears as "Denmark Technical Map". I can turn off the visibility of this entire frame, or I can turn off the individual layers or layer groups.

    In the image below, you can see that I have turned off the visibility of a number of layers.

    If the user prints the PDF document after turning off the visibility of some layers, these layers will not get printed either.

    Are you already using this option when sharing maps with your organization or with your customers?

    If you are looking for a way to share your maps in a more interactive manner, you should check out our Spectrum Spatial solution which allows you to publish maps through a browser-based web GIS.

    Peter Horsbøll Møller
    Principal Presales Consultant | Distinguished Engineer
    Precisely | Trust in Data

  • 2.  RE: MapInfo Monday: Creating Layered PDF Documents

    Posted 12-06-2021 06:53
    Thanks Peter
    I find it does take quite a bit longer to generate a Layered PDF - understandably.
    We also have to take care with copyright issues of the base mapping (e.g. Ordnance Survey in GB), as this gives the user the ability to turn off all of the business layers and be left with a clean base map. So, stick with a "flat" PDF if you are distributing to the public.

    John Ievers
    CDR Group
    Hope Valley, United Kingdom