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Workflow - ArcGIS to printed publication

April 21 2008 | 5 comments
Categories: Publishing

I am working on a map that I hope to have professionally printed. I am curious about the workflow from ArcGIS to Adobe to be sent to print. I do understand I need to change my color to CMYK.

Specifically, how do you get from ArcGIS to Illustrator (or other graphics package)? Do you export each layer (streams, roads, etc) to tiff or bmp and load those 'layers' into Illustrator? And what about text on the map. I am working with annotation feature classes of course so far. Can text be done in Illustrator and go back to ArcGIS? or does all the text need to be complete and finished before going out to Illustrator.

Thanks ... this site is incredible.

Mapping Center Answer:

The whole topic of interoperability between ArcMap and Illustrator is, as you might imagine, an extensive one. I'll limit my answers to those you have posed here, but you should consider consulting other web-based cartographic resources for additional discussion. CartoTalk is one good source for finding practical information with regard to using Illustrator for cartography.

Off the top, there is an option in ArcMap from which you can export your map to four-color separates for printing. This requires that you have the ArcPress extension activated (this is included with all licence levels after version 9.0), and a connection (or the installed software driver) to a PostScript-enabled printer. Otherwise, changing your color space is not mandatory if your intent is to export to the AI format, as Illustrator manages color in RGB, CYMK, and other color models.

The most simple way to get your map out of ArcMap is to use "Export Map" from the File menu. ArcMap provides you with options to export to ten different formats, including Adobe Illustrator (*.ai).  ArcMap feature layers and Group Layers are respected on output, which includes separation of labels and annotation into their own Illustrator Layers.  As far as text management goes, pick one application or the other - I'd recommend that you stick with ArcMap, in that you have rule-based placement control over multiple labels, especially if you use Maplex.

The import of AI and PDF formats is not well supported with ArcMap, so a return trip is likely to have some issues.  A useful work-around is to export your data from Illustrator in a CAD format (DWG, DXF) and bring it back into ArcMap that way.  However, this is a poor, fractured, and very much NOT recommended practice.  Part of what we're trying to do with Mapping Center, and at ESRI in general, is remove the need for users such as yourself to have to leave the ArcGIS environment at any point in your map production workflow.

ArcGIS to printed publication posted by Dr.Surendranath Mopur on Apr 21 2008 8:04PM
It is very very easy with ArcGIS ArcMap. You simply convert your colors into CMYK model in ArcMap and export the map as an EPS file. You simply hand over the EPS file for generation of CMYK color separates (through an Imagesetter) for printing. You need not go to any other application for the publication of a paper map from ArcGIS ArcMap.
how to export annotation into illustrator as a posted by sun changuan on Jun 26 2011 1:31PM
I have a multi layers map in arcmap,but when exported with ai/eps format ,annotation layers will be swithed to a whole non-editable TIFF as a image layer.i cannot do anything ,for example setting the text color/font etc. Will you have any suggestion aout this? thank you.
Layer Transparency posted by Charlie Frye on Jun 26 2011 4:21PM
You likely have layer transparency turned on for a layer that is above your annotation in the Table of Contents. A side effect of layer transparency is that it causes all layers below it in the drawing order (TOC) to be rasterized on print or export. Here is URL for a support topic with more information:

http://support.esri.com/en/knowledgebase/techarticles/detail/20051
CMYK COLOR DEFINITIONS posted by Matt Love on Mar 7 2012 11:59AM
Could you elaborate on the process of setting and preserving CMYK colors in ArcMap for export to publishing formats for printing. I have had problems with this through workflows involving export and import to different file formats.
Info in the answer posted by Aileen Buckley on Mar 7 2012 1:44PM
The answer posted summed it up pretty well, so we are not sure what else needs elaborating. Maybe you could tell us what "problems" you had so we can help a bit more. In the meantime, here is some additional information:

PROCESS TO DEFINE AND USE CMYK COLORS:
1. Choose CMYK colors in your authoring.
2. Export to a CMYK capable format (read: PDF) choosing CMYK as the Destination Colorspace option.

RESULT: Colors defined in CMYK come out as CMYK in the PDF.
RESULT: Colors in raster content get converted to CMYK.
PROTIP: Don't use transparency since it will muck up your CMYK definitions by converting vector content to raster.
POTENTIAL PROBLEM: We don't have actual color management, so any "conversion" that occurs, such as that with the raster mentioned above, will probably not result in the CMYK colors you expect.

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