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#1
rudy

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I am using Illustrator CS3. I've set up a master file that contains all the graphic and text styles and symbols for a particular kind of map. I create a working file from scratch, then import the styles and symbols from the master file. I then apply the styles and symbols I need to my working file. So far so good. But some perplexing things happen.
  • I have a working file in which I’ve imported the master style file. I’ve used the master style file to apply some styles to the working file. I close the working file. I return to the working file and continue work on it. When I open the working file the master styles aren’t visible but the styles currently being used in the working file are but since I want to be consistent (and because I might not have used all the styles available in the master file yet) I open the master style file again and begin applying styles from this style file as opposed to the working style file. If I try to apply a style from the master style file that has already been used in the working file I sometimes get a message that says “The color swatch ‘New Color Swatch xx’ has a conflict with the current document.” I have 2 options – merge swatches or add swatches.
  • I’ve also noted that when applying styles from the master file repeated (i.e. same style repeatedly applied), numerous versions of the style will appear in the working file with numbers tacked on to the end of their name to differentiate between them (e.g Minor Roads 1, Minor Roads 2, etc) even though these styles are the same.
  • (This may not be a style problem but it looks related.) I make a duplicate of a road on a road casing layer. I paste in front and move that duplicate to the road fill layer. When I do so, the appearance of the road immediately changes to what it should be (great, you’re thinking – one less step to do) – but it seems to not only have applied the road fill style but the road casing AND road fill style. This is very weird because the object appears layered – that is, the road fill will appear to be in front of other road fill and the casing will appear to be behind. Yet it is on the same layer. This only seems to happen with one layer and it happens across a number of working files. Each graphic style is simple – one for road casing, one for road fill.
  • Though my text styles have colors applied to them, when I apply the text styles, the color doesn't seem to carry over.
Some of these issues, I think, can be worked around by changing our work flow (i.e. setting up a template file and starting with that instead of importing a style file each time). But the inconsistencies are perplexing. The documentation of using styles is limited. Any knowledge or experience you can share would be appreciated.

#2
Andrew Patterson

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Hi rudy, I'm the guy who wrote the MAP Stylesheets component of MAPublisher so I have some first hand knowledge of how Illustrator styles operate, though I have to admit I've never actually tried importing styles -- I always just use what styles are at hand (or use one of our style libraries). I suspect using templates or creating style libraries will alleviate a lot of these problems, but I don't know for sure. At any rate, I'll do my best but take it with a grain of salt -- my experiences are mostly from the programming end of things, not the typical user end of things.

I have a working file in which I’ve imported the master style file. I’ve used the master style file to apply some styles to the working file. I close the working file. I return to the working file and continue work on it. When I open the working file the master styles aren’t visible but the styles currently being used in the working file are but since I want to be consistent (and because I might not have used all the styles available in the master file yet) I open the master style file again and begin applying styles from this style file as opposed to the working style file. If I try to apply a style from the master style file that has already been used in the working file I sometimes get a message that says “The color swatch ‘New Color Swatch xx’ has a conflict with the current document.” I have 2 options – merge swatches or add swatches.


This is just a guess, but its sounds like some of the styles are getting added as 'anonymous'. I know there's a flag for such when I create a style programatically. I'm not 100% sure what this means, but from the name I've always assumed it means "the style exists in the document but doesn't get listed". That sounds like what you're getting, though I have no idea why your approach would cause it.

I’ve also noted that when applying styles from the master file repeated (i.e. same style repeatedly applied), numerous versions of the style will appear in the working file with numbers tacked on to the end of their name to differentiate between them (e.g Minor Roads 1, Minor Roads 2, etc) even though these styles are the same.


If this is happening consistently, it's probably because it's beyond the scope of Illustrator to determine if an exact match of the style already exists every time one is applied. I'm not sure it's actually possible to say with 100% certainty that two styles are identical, because I know you can include things that cannot be matched using simple comparison (Effects I think?).

If it only happens sometimes, well, I don't know why it wouldn't be consistent one way or the other :)

Though my text styles have colors applied to them, when I apply the text styles, the color doesn't seem to carry over.


Text styles are fundamentally different from other styles because of their hierarchical nature. When I get this kind of behaviour it's usually because it considers the colours the text objects already have to be 'local overrides'. Usually I just click on the text style to apply twice and it overrides it the second time (first time to apply everything not conflicting with a 'local override', the second to erase overrides). This is indicated by the '+' symbol next to the text style in question when the text you've just applied it to is selected. If there isn't one, it means the style on the text is 'pure' (i.e. no overrides are present). If there is a '+' it means you've got something on the text that overrides a setting from the text style. Clicking on a text style entry with a '+' means "clear the overrides" -- that should make it 'pure', which sounds like what you want. So long as you have 'local overrides' (i.e. any colour at all has been applied to the text in this case) I think you'll always have to do it twice like that. There might be a modifier key you can press which skips that step, but I've never tried so I don't know that there is one.

I think you'll probably find that switching to templates or breaking up the styles into style libraries you can drag & drop in will solve a number of your problems. You can't do that last bit with text styles, but you can import them at least from a 'text style library' AI file. Anyways, that's all I have -- hope that helps!
Andrew Patterson
Lead Software Architect
Avenza Systems Inc.

email: andrew@avenza.com
phone: 416.487.5116

#3
rudy

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Hey Andrew -

Thanks for the information. I've been bringing the styles in as libraries but still run into the same problems. I think I had better set up some templates with styles included and see how that works. Thanks for the response. I'll keep you posted.

Paul

#4
Andrew Patterson

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Thanks for the information. I've been bringing the styles in as libraries but still run into the same problems. I think I had better set up some templates with styles included and see how that works. Thanks for the response. I'll keep you posted.


No problem. Are you applying the styles from the import style library palettes? I've never done anything but drag & drop the styles I wanted into the style palettes, though I suppose either way should work.

Looking forward to hearing how it goes though :)
Andrew Patterson
Lead Software Architect
Avenza Systems Inc.

email: andrew@avenza.com
phone: 416.487.5116

#5
sachinrewa

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Hi,

I am also doing these type of work. Please don't mind for English. I am sharing my process it may be helpful.

1. I have created template with the Graphic style, Character style and symbols on the pasteboard.
2. Coping all the items form the working file and paste in front on template file.
3. After that applying styles.

If you need more clear don't hesitate to write me at my regular id sachinrewa@gmail.com

Regards
Sachin


I am using Illustrator CS3. I've set up a master file that contains all the graphic and text styles and symbols for a particular kind of map. I create a working file from scratch, then import the styles and symbols from the master file. I then apply the styles and symbols I need to my working file. So far so good. But some perplexing things happen.

  • I have a working file in which I’ve imported the master style file. I’ve used the master style file to apply some styles to the working file. I close the working file. I return to the working file and continue work on it. When I open the working file the master styles aren’t visible but the styles currently being used in the working file are but since I want to be consistent (and because I might not have used all the styles available in the master file yet) I open the master style file again and begin applying styles from this style file as opposed to the working style file. If I try to apply a style from the master style file that has already been used in the working file I sometimes get a message that says “The color swatch ‘New Color Swatch xx’ has a conflict with the current document.” I have 2 options – merge swatches or add swatches.
  • I’ve also noted that when applying styles from the master file repeated (i.e. same style repeatedly applied), numerous versions of the style will appear in the working file with numbers tacked on to the end of their name to differentiate between them (e.g Minor Roads 1, Minor Roads 2, etc) even though these styles are the same.
  • (This may not be a style problem but it looks related.) I make a duplicate of a road on a road casing layer. I paste in front and move that duplicate to the road fill layer. When I do so, the appearance of the road immediately changes to what it should be (great, you’re thinking – one less step to do) – but it seems to not only have applied the road fill style but the road casing AND road fill style. This is very weird because the object appears layered – that is, the road fill will appear to be in front of other road fill and the casing will appear to be behind. Yet it is on the same layer. This only seems to happen with one layer and it happens across a number of working files. Each graphic style is simple – one for road casing, one for road fill.
  • Though my text styles have colors applied to them, when I apply the text styles, the color doesn't seem to carry over.
Some of these issues, I think, can be worked around by changing our work flow (i.e. setting up a template file and starting with that instead of importing a style file each time). But the inconsistencies are perplexing. The documentation of using styles is limited. Any knowledge or experience you can share would be appreciated.



#6
Clypp

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Are there some good styles for topographic maps that are free?




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