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Ugly dotted paths in ArcGIS

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#1
oskarlin

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I'm working on a big topographic map ( 1x1 m ) in ArcGIS with a lot of masks etc. so if I export it as a vector PDF both Illustrator and other software crashes and I can't get it out.... (that's another issue..) So, instead I've decided to export it as TIFF but when I do this, one of the layers gets exported really ugly. Have a look:

Attached File  stigproblem.png   177.85KB   90 downloads

I've tried both making the dot using an ESRI font and using the circle tool. Does anyone have an idea of why it's like this and how I can solve it?

Here are my settings:

Attached File  stigproblem_inst.png   67.22KB   48 downloads

Thanks

#2
rudy

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Not sure if this would be any better or would simply result in the same thing:

Symbol Selector > Edit Symbol . . . . > Symbol . . . . > selected Circle 1
the selected the Cartographic Line tab in the Symbol Property Editor and adjusted the width
then selected the Template tab on the Symbol Property Editor and adjusted the spacing.
Here are my settings: Attached File  Capture.JPG   55.96KB   31 downloadsAttached File  Capture2.JPG   44.72KB   23 downloads

#3
oskarlin

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Unfortunately that results in the same thing. So what i've been forced to do is to export only that layer as vector and then the rest as raster. Finally I put it all together in InDesign. But it would sure be much better if ArcGIS didn't bug that much!!

Any other suggestions?

#4
David Medeiros

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Unfortunately that results in the same thing. So what i've been forced to do is to export only that layer as vector and then the rest as raster. Finally I put it all together in InDesign. But it would sure be much better if ArcGIS didn't bug that much!!

Any other suggestions?


First off, don't export as a PDF to open in Illustrator, export as an AI file. If you that still crashes Illustrator you could try exporting the data by layer, rather than all at once (or layer groups). Open these layers in Illustrator separately, use the release clipping masks command to get rid of the Arc masks (you will need to actually select the empty masks and delete them as well). Also use the path>simplify tool to reduce the number of vertices in your lines. If you need the the masks on individual features either re-establish the mask in Illy or treat those layers separate from the rest. Re-combine the layers and save as a PDF from Illy, or save as EPS and use Adobe Distiller to create a optimized (smaller) PDF.

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#5
oskarlin

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First off, don't export as a PDF to open in Illustrator, export as an AI file. If you that still crashes Illustrator you could try exporting the data by layer, rather than all at once (or layer groups). Open these layers in Illustrator separately, use the release clipping masks command to get rid of the Arc masks (you will need to actually select the empty masks and delete them as well). Also use the path>simplify tool to reduce the number of vertices in your lines. If you need the the masks on individual features either re-establish the mask in Illy or treat those layers separate from the rest. Re-combine the layers and save as a PDF from Illy, or save as EPS and use Adobe Distiller to create a optimized (smaller) PDF.


Thanks for the tips! Well, of course I export as AI when I do vectors.

Why release the clipping masks? I need the masking, but I'm not sure which masking method in Illustrator that is the best? There are perhaps 10 layers that uses masks and one is contour lines so the mask is very complex.

In the end when I tried exporting the PDF it runs out of memory. Seems like the old version of my PDF:s 1.3 can't handle that size of files? (I need that version for the printers...)

#6
David Medeiros

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First off, don't export as a PDF to open in Illustrator, export as an AI file. If you that still crashes Illustrator you could try exporting the data by layer, rather than all at once (or layer groups). Open these layers in Illustrator separately, use the release clipping masks command to get rid of the Arc masks (you will need to actually select the empty masks and delete them as well). Also use the path>simplify tool to reduce the number of vertices in your lines. If you need the the masks on individual features either re-establish the mask in Illy or treat those layers separate from the rest. Re-combine the layers and save as a PDF from Illy, or save as EPS and use Adobe Distiller to create a optimized (smaller) PDF.


Thanks for the tips! Well, of course I export as AI when I do vectors.

Why release the clipping masks? I need the masking, but I'm not sure which masking method in Illustrator that is the best? There are perhaps 10 layers that uses masks and one is contour lines so the mask is very complex.

In the end when I tried exporting the PDF it runs out of memory. Seems like the old version of my PDF:s 1.3 can't handle that size of files? (I need that version for the printers...)


Sorry, I misunderstood your original post and thought you were opening the PDF in Illy.

From my experience, Arc creates many unnecessary clipping masks on individual features that could be handled as a single mask around your frame. All of the clipping masks from Arc will be rectangles, so none will be more complex that the others, they may just clip more data, or use multiple masks on a single feature layer. Releasing the Arc masks and re-establishing them in Illy allows you more control over what gets masked, where and with how many masks.

Also be aware (you may already know this), that if any layer being exported to PDF has a transparency or raster in it, all layers will be converted to raster, greatly increasing the file size. Turn off transparencies and export rasters separately. Re combine in Illy. If you want to go straight to PDF, try the EPS to Distiller route for smaller PDF file sizes.

Also, I recall an ESRI forum message about who to reduce your PDF export file size by making a change to the Arc preferences but not sure what the details were. You my want to look into the default PDF export settings in Arc.

Not sure if any of that will help, but good luck!

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#7
oskarlin

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Sorry, I misunderstood your original post and thought you were opening the PDF in Illy.

From my experience, Arc creates many unnecessary clipping masks on individual features that could be handled as a single mask around your frame. All of the clipping masks from Arc will be rectangles, so none will be more complex that the others, they may just clip more data, or use multiple masks on a single feature layer. Releasing the Arc masks and re-establishing them in Illy allows you more control over what gets masked, where and with how many masks.

Also be aware (you may already know this), that if any layer being exported to PDF has a transparency or raster in it, all layers will be converted to raster, greatly increasing the file size. Turn off transparencies and export rasters separately. Re combine in Illy. If you want to go straight to PDF, try the EPS to Distiller route for smaller PDF file sizes.

Also, I recall an ESRI forum message about who to reduce your PDF export file size by making a change to the Arc preferences but not sure what the details were. You my want to look into the default PDF export settings in Arc.

Not sure if any of that will help, but good luck!


Well, the clipping mask for cropping the map is one thing, but I'm talking about all the masks for masking black colored roads etc for the text. Those masks are so complex!! I think that's what makes everything so slow and big. But maybe simplify lines might help some!

#8
frax

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Don't do any masks in ArcGIS - do it all in Illustrator! And simplify and generalize as much as possible (if possible!) (including e.g. dissolve). You might also want to export by tile/view or something as well.

When I work with ArcMap -> Illy I leave all styling in ArcGIS as simple and rudimentary as possible. No strokes on polygons, no dashed lines, no masks and as little type/labels as possible.
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#9
oskarlin

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Don't do any masks in ArcGIS - do it all in Illustrator! And simplify and generalize as much as possible (if possible!) (including e.g. dissolve). You might also want to export by tile/view or something as well.

When I work with ArcMap -> Illy I leave all styling in ArcGIS as simple and rudimentary as possible. No strokes on polygons, no dashed lines, no masks and as little type/labels as possible.


The main problem is that the document is too big. Even without masking it almost kills my computer. The base is Terrängkartan as you might be familiar with and it seems impossible to create a 100% vector map of that data for 1x1 meter...

It might work tiling, but in the end these tiles has to come together and PDF X1 that I need to use doesn't seem to like that large files...

Seems like I have to make a raster map. Then I'm back to the first problem I had, with the paths.

#10
oskarlin

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But if I want to do it all vectors, which masking method is best to use? Or is it better to use erase?

Most of the time it's just black road lines that needs to be masked so that text can be readable. Which is the bullet proof solution?

#11
David Medeiros

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Don't do any masks in ArcGIS - do it all in Illustrator! And simplify and generalize as much as possible (if possible!) (including e.g. dissolve). You might also want to export by tile/view or something as well.

When I work with ArcMap -> Illy I leave all styling in ArcGIS as simple and rudimentary as possible. No strokes on polygons, no dashed lines, no masks and as little type/labels as possible.


The main problem is that the document is too big. Even without masking it almost kills my computer. The base is Terrängkartan as you might be familiar with and it seems impossible to create a 100% vector map of that data for 1x1 meter...

It might work tiling, but in the end these tiles has to come together and PDF X1 that I need to use doesn't seem to like that large files...

Seems like I have to make a raster map. Then I'm back to the first problem I had, with the paths.


I agree with Frax, if possible do all of your styling in Illy. The text masks (knock outs) can also be handled in Illy. As far as file size, not all PDFs are equivalent and one created through the the Illustrator PDF engine is likely to be much smaller and less buggy than the Arc PDF exporter. I wouldn't resort to tiling with out having first tried the separate layer import method... export layers separately from Arc and import to Illys one at a time, simplifying and re saving them before recombining into one document. Look at your raster setting in Arc to make sure you are not exporting the rasters at too high a resolution.

What exactly are the map dimensions you're working with? How big an AI file doe sit create?

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#12
oskarlin

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I agree with Frax, if possible do all of your styling in Illy. The text masks (knock outs) can also be handled in Illy. As far as file size, not all PDFs are equivalent and one created through the the Illustrator PDF engine is likely to be much smaller and less buggy than the Arc PDF exporter. I wouldn't resort to tiling with out having first tried the separate layer import method... export layers separately from Arc and import to Illys one at a time, simplifying and re saving them before recombining into one document. Look at your raster setting in Arc to make sure you are not exporting the rasters at too high a resolution.

What exactly are the map dimensions you're working with? How big an AI file doe sit create?


What's the best method of doing knockouts? I've tried a couple but they all slows everything down a lot.

I have now created the map layer by layer in to Illustrator. Doing most of the knockouts by using the erase command in ArcGIS instead creating new shape-files with holes. So now I don't need any masks. The illustrator file is now 64 mb. All vectors. Then I have another illy file with all the text, which is only 1 mb.

Then I place it in Indesign together with Legend and logos. When I try to export it to PDF X1a (is what my printer likes) it just doesn't work. It says out of memory. The map is 1x1 meter and when I export as X3 it works fine.

#13
David Medeiros

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What's the best method of doing knockouts? I've tried a couple but they all slows everything down a lot.


The first step is to try as hard as possible to avoid them by adjusting type size, letter spacing, position and line breaks. Depending on the line class you are knocking out you may want to consider using a lighter stroke color and allow the type to over run the lines (ie for very dense urban street maps with single stoke road lines).

For actually knocking out you can snip the line segment around each piece of type. This means no extra features to add bulk but if you have to make type adjustments you will have to repair the line break.

You can draw lines below the type features set to the background color and increase the stroke thickness until it creates a box the exactly fits the type and covers the intersecting lines beneath it.

Or you can add a halo to the type by adding a second stroke behind each label, again set to the background color or to white. This is the easiest to manage since the halo goes with the type is you move or re size it, but also looks the most like GIS type to me.

It might help if you post a few images of your map (maybe some details of the type and lines needed knock-outs).

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#14
oskarlin

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The first step is to try as hard as possible to avoid them by adjusting type size, letter spacing, position and line breaks. Depending on the line class you are knocking out you may want to consider using a lighter stroke color and allow the type to over run the lines (ie for very dense urban street maps with single stoke road lines).

For actually knocking out you can snip the line segment around each piece of type. This means no extra features to add bulk but if you have to make type adjustments you will have to repair the line break.

You can draw lines below the type features set to the background color and increase the stroke thickness until it creates a box the exactly fits the type and covers the intersecting lines beneath it.

Or you can add a halo to the type by adding a second stroke behind each label, again set to the background color or to white. This is the easiest to manage since the halo goes with the type is you move or re size it, but also looks the most like GIS type to me.

It might help if you post a few images of your map (maybe some details of the type and lines needed knock-outs).


The map already has a fixed style so I can't change line colors etc unfortunately.

How do you mean by snipping line segments around the type?

If I create halos/stroke on labels then it'll knock out everything below. I just want to let the black features disappear when knocking.

Attached File  3LPRQA27QJV0V0OL.jpg   294.57KB   33 downloads

Attached image is not made by me but is exactly what it'll look like (but over another area).

#15
AndyM

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For actually knocking out you can snip the line segment around each piece of type. This means no extra features to add bulk but if you have to make type adjustments you will have to repair the line break.


FWIW, my first employer always added a layer called CUTS (invisible) to his Freehand/Illustrator files. Rather than deleting objects he would move them to this layer. This can be just as efficient as pressing the delete key and has saved me a lot of grief when I wanted to backtrack.




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