English

How To: Setup a map template that can be printed on multiple printers

Summary

The following is a discussion of recommended procedure for creating a standard map template for use on all printers in a given organization.

Procedure

When using the 'Use printer paper settings' option on Page Setup, ArcMap Layout view is very similar to Print Preview. What is displayed in ArcMap will be very similar to what is actually printed.
If "Use printer paper settings" is not used, then upon output ArcMap will place the lower left corner (0,0 of the page's x,y coordinate space) of the entire map page inside the maximum printable area of the printer paper size selected when the document is printed.

For example, create an 17" x 11" landscape map with a 1" white space border around the map graphics. If this map is printed to an HP 11x17 inkjet that has a minimum required margin of 1" on all 4 sides, then the 17" x 11" map will print shifted up and over 1" and clip off 1" from the right and top sides.

Without rasterizing and processing the entire map before it is printed, ArcMap cannot tell where on the 17" x 11" page the map elements are; it assumes that the map graphics are placed on the entire 17" x 11" surface. 'Use Printer Paper Settings' was designed so that the cartographer could see where the minimum required margins are for the target printer because the map layout is created directly onto the printer page.

To create a universal map/map template for use by all cartographers in the organization, use the following procedure:

  1. Research all the possible printers the maps/map templates would be printed on in the organization to determine what the largest minimum required margins are for all those printers. This will most likely be something like left=1", right=1", top=1", bottom=1.5" at the most.
  2. Create the maps/map templates using those minimum margins as white space. Using layout guides can be helpful here. On Page and Print Setup, make sure that 'Use Printer Paper Settings and 'Scale map elements proportionally to changes in page size' are turned off.
  3. Send the following instructions along with your maps/map templates:
    A) Open the map/map template.
    B) Navigate to Page and Print Setup.
    C) Select the printer they intend to print to.
    D) Select the appropriate matching printer paper size and orientation.
    E) Check on User Printer Paper Settings and click OK.