Skip to content

How to Create a Large Format PDF from Smaller Components

Includes a "work-around" for exporting/printing satellite image map types at sizes larger than 11"x17".

Some of the map image types in TNP can not be exported at sizes greater than 11"x17", due to licensing restrictions by the map provider. Usually, substituting a different map type (such as Aerial Orthophoto or USGS Topographic) is sufficient. However, at certain scales this is not possible - even though the desired map type is selected. (This occurs when the map scale exceeds the resolution provided by the map type.)

Multi-Page Export
TNP includes the ability to split the map image over multiple pages. This allows several pages of a smaller size to be stitched together to form a single, larger page. While a bit cumbersome, this can be used to create one large page from several smaller ones - and work within the limits imposed by the map provider.

In this example, we will be exporting a 18"x24" map. Use the same steps to export any size needed by substituting the desired dimensions (and pixel computations) throughout.

Step 1: Choose Your Template
In TNP's Print window, open the Templates tab. Select the template that you want to start with. For example, if you want the map to fill the entire printed page - without any page blocks, gridlines, or margins - choose Map Only and press Load.

Step 2: Set the Number of Map Pages
Open the Pages tab. Set the number of map pages to 2 wide and 2 tall.

Step 3: Set the Exported Image Layout
Open the Printer/File tab. Press Export Preview at the top - so that the Preview area on the right now reflects the Exported Image Layout.
Set the Save as type to JPEG file.
We are going to divide the desired 18"x24" finished map into four 9"x12" "chunks". (Half of 18 is 9, half of 24 is 12, both are less than 11x17.)
In the Dimensions (length) for the Exported Image Layout, set the Width to 9 inches, the Height to 12 inches, and the DPI to 300.

Make a note of the computed dimensions in pixels (2700 x 3600) - we'll need these numbers later.
Note: The paper size setting in the Printed Page Layout section does not apply - it refers to the page size used when printing to a physically-attached printer, as opposed to the exported map image we are creating.

Step 4: Make Your Map
The preview area will now reflect a full 18"x24" page. However, the map page block (and other page blocks) may be shifted. Click and drag the page blocks (and/or map edges) so that they fill the new page size as desired. Now is the time to add/modify any page blocks (scale bars, text, legend, etc.). If you are not familiar with this process, or are looking for some tips on making great looking maps, see:

Once the basic page is set up, open the Properties tab, then set your Map Type and Scale as desired:

Once the map type and scale are set, you may want to refine the page blocks further. Optionally, once satisfied, you may want to save everything as a new Template in the Templates tab. Be sure to give it a new name - maybe one that reflects its purpose as a 2x2 map export. This will save some of the above steps in the future.

Step 5: Export the Map
Once the Preview area reflects the map page you desire, press the Export button. Save the map in a location that you will find later. In this example, there is a new folder in Documents called My TNP Maps where the file MyMap.jpg will be saved. Press Save.

Be patient as TNP downloads and processes your map data to the highest possible quality.

Step 6: Open the First Quadrant in Paint
For this example, we'll be using the Microsoft Paint Accessory - since it is standard in Windows. However, any image editing software can be used for these steps.
Close or hide Terrain Navigator Pro. Open the folder where you saved the map image in Step 5. You will now note that you have four individual map .jpg images - one for each quadrant of the map. Right-click on the '-01' quadrant and choose Open with > Paint.

The upper left quadrant of the map will now be open in the Windows Paint accessory.

Step 7: Set the New Dimensions for the Finished Map Image
In order to see the whole map, slide the zoom slider in the lower right corner of the Paint accessory to the left. Then click File, Properties.

Next, set the finished Width and Height. Since we specified a 2700 x 3600 pixel image in Step 3, we will now be doubling this to Width 5400 and Height 7200 so to create the full sized page. Enter these values, then press OK.

The map page should now be the desired size, with blank spaces where the remaining portions are to be added.

Step 8: Paste From Each of the Remaining Map Portions
Back on the Home tab of the Paint accessory, press the down button under the Paste icon and choose Paste from.

Open the "-02" portion of the map:

The new portion will appear on top of the upper left hand quadrant. Click it and drag it to its proper position in the upper right hand corner:

Use the arrow keys (up/down/left/right) if needed to make fine adjustments. Note that a slight overlap between the images, while not desireable, will likely not be noticable in the final results. A gap (white line) however, should be avoided. If you are not satisfied, use CTRL-Z to undo the paste, and redo this step. The finished result should look like this:

Repeat this process for the remaining quadrants. "-03" should be placed into the lower left hand corner. "-04" should be placed into the lower right hand corner. Use CTRL-Z (undo) as needed to ensure that each quadrant is placed correctly.

Step 9: Page Setup
In the Paint accessory, press File, then Print, Page Setup.

Set the Paper Size to something that will accomodate this image (like ARCH C). Set all the margins to 0 and Fit to 1 x 1 pages (so that the map scale does not change). Press OK.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This step assumes that your active printer is a virtual PDF printer that will accomodate a large paper size (or a real printer with this capibilty is attached and is the default printer.) If a different printer is active, skip this step for now, then come back to it before doing the final print.

For example, if the desired Paper Size (such as ARCH C) is not currently available, skip this step for now, and select the desired printer/PDF driver that contains that Paper Size in the next step. Then press Apply, Cancel, and return back to the Page Setup window to set the Paper Size and Margins.

Step 10: Print the Map (or Save as a PDF)
Press File, Print, Print. Select the desired printer (or virtual PDF printer when saving to a PDF file) if it is not set already. (If it wasn't set to the correct pinter/PDF, set it now, press Apply, Cancel, then do the Page Setup in Step 9.) Next, press Preferences.

Here is your last opputinty to check that the Paper Size is correct. In this example, ARCH C is selected, 18" x 24". Portrait orientation, etc. Note that each printer's properties are different, and your printer/PDF creator may appear differently. Press OK. Then press Print. The finished map will now be saved as a PDF file (or printed to your printer.)

If desired, save this complete JPG map image.

Sometimes I get a white map image instead of a regular map when I export the map from TNP. What is wrong?
This can occur if the DPI of the finished map exceeds the possible resolution. At extreame scales (such as 1:1,129) there simply aren't enough 'dots' available to produce a high-resolution image. At a scale of 1:1,129, use a DPI of 96. At a scale of 1:2,257, use a DPI of 192. DPI's of 300 can be used starting at a scale of around 1:4,500.

To specify the DPI, open the Printer/File tab, and set the DPI under the Dimensions (length) for the Exported Image Layout.

Feedback and Knowledge Base