View Full Version : Word document map

08-12-2009, 10:13 AM

I've never done a tutorial so please bear with me as I work through this!

My map starts as a Word document that I switch to landscape view from the file menu, page set up drop down.

I then chose an art border from the format/borders and shading drop down menu.

From the drawing menu I select autoshapes/stars and banners and select a banner to put at the bottom of the map.

I select a font, in this case Old English Text MT for the name of my map.

I print this off and it becomes my canvas as a do a rough sketch in pencil of what I want on my map. I do the map right on the bordered page so I know for sure that when I cut and paste it onto my final draft, that it will fit.

Attached is the blank template.

08-12-2009, 10:23 AM
After I've done my rough sketch, I use an art pen to make the actual map. It's meant to be a pretty map not at all very accurate in terms of place names. ("Cleghorn" was looking for land features more than where nations had their current borders because the world traveller knows those borders don't last forever!)

After I'm satisfied with my map (keep white out handy!) I scan it. I then copy and paste the map portion sans border and banner back onto my blank template (as seen above). Attached is the map once it's been scanned onto the template.

Note I've left blank area's in some of the jungle areas. The reason for this is will be addressed in the next section.

08-12-2009, 10:55 AM
Now that I've imported my map I can add labels. By clicking on the Edit tab and then edit picture from the drop down menu, you can now edit your map and add labels. You can also resize your map here if it doesn't line up perfectly with the edges.

One way I label my map is using Text box from the Insert menu. The box is very rigid so I use it for labelling things that allow a stright label underneath or overtop of it. For an example, I will label the 'blockish' looking temple in the middle of the vast jungle on the left side of the map.

By clicking Insert and then text box and then clicking on the map, a square, bordered text box appears. I chose my font and size from the Format menu (I use size 8 and Papyrus font) and then begin to manipulate the text box. (Important footnote here! I'm a patient man so everytime I add a label I have to reformat my text box. I'm sure there must be a way to format certain things in advance so that you don't have to manipulate the box but I don't really mind so I just go ahead and reformat it every time.)

By right clicking on the edge of the text box it brings up a new menu. Click on, Format Text box. Under the Colors and Lines tab I adjust the transparency depending on what's behind the label. If there's something there that you want to see that doesn't interfere with the legebility of the text move the transparency to 1000%. If the back ground interferes too much with what's in your text box you can slide the transparecy down to 0% which will put a white (or whatever backgoound you chose) background behind your text.

Next I chose from the Color window, No Line (it's above all the colors). This removes the border from around the text.

Next I click on the Text box tab. I reduce the Internal margins to 0's all the way around, Left, right, top and bottom. This allows me to bring the edges of the border snug up against the text and reduce the amount of background map that is covered by my text box.

Having formatted my text, I now drag the corners of the text box so that it is right up against the text. I then drag my text box to where I want it. In this case under the blockish looking temple in the middle of the jungle on the left side of the map. See attached.

Repeat this everywhere you want a straight horizontal label on your map.

Before I go on to the next portion of mapping using Word art, I'll stop so that if anyone has any questions, they can post them!

Hope this is useful!

08-12-2009, 03:44 PM
One other thing worth mentioning when you're adding text to your labels is to center your text.

Onto the next part of labelling which is using Wordart. The reason I left blank spots in my jungles was because unlike the insert text box option of being able to play with your transparency, Wordart doesn't have the same feature. (at least not that I could find) What this means is you have to be choosy as to where you place your Wordart labels. It helps that you can pick templates from Wordart that bend in certain directions and you can manipulate the text fairly easily once you've placed it.

I've attached my map after I've done all my Text box labelling. Next I'll add my first Wordart label.

I click on Insert Wordart and select the second from the left, top row style of lettering. I type my text into the field and format the font (to Papyrus again) and size (to 8 again) although the size can be changed entirely once the label is placed.

Clicking okay, the label appears on your picture surrounded by nodes to adjust the image. If you click and drag a node, the letters stretch or compress to the shape you want. If you click while your curser is a cross over the label, you can drag the label and place it anywhere you want on the map. (Pretty basic click and drag mechanics, I'm probably going into too much detail.)

It's trial and error fitting your labels along rivers and mountains, but by adjusting the little green node at the top of the label you can rotate your label 180 degrees so with a little practice you can get the hang of it.

08-12-2009, 03:49 PM
Okay, quick adder, you can format Wordart (ie. setting transparencey just like the Text box by right clicking on one of the nodes and picking Format Wordart from the drop down menu that appears)

08-12-2009, 04:43 PM
This is truly inspired work.
I honestly admire all the work you put into your map and into the tutorial.
I mean... this is Word we are talking about here.
I also love the hand-drawn piece you imported.

But one question springs to mind:
If your enthusiasm is able to bend a mere word processor to your will, I wonder what you'll be able to do with a graphics program, once you get the hang of it? The mind boggles.

If you don't mind, I'd like to recommend two pieces of software to you, just to give them a try.
They are both completely free.

The first is Inkscape available at www.inkscape.org
The second is GIMP available at www.gimp.org

They both have their own strengths and weaknesses.
In a nutshell, the first one is better for clean drawings and the second one is better for fancy stuff.
But they both have a lot more options and possibilities than Word.

Just give them a try, and see which one is for you.
They might take some time to get used to, but it will be worth it.
Also, there are lots of tutorials for those programs available. Both on this very site and in other corners of the net.

Sorry for my long post, but I'd really love to see more of your work and it never hurts to have some good tools at your disposal.

08-12-2009, 09:39 PM

All that is a word processor!!

This is most Rep worthy :)

08-12-2009, 11:57 PM
*Claps Enthusiastically*

Bravo! Bravo!

08-13-2009, 03:49 PM
Thank you Tear, Korash and AslanC for you words of encouragement!
Tear, you're the second person to recomend GIMP so I guess I better get on that! I'm pretty old so I still remember making entire D&D maps by hand! As anyone who frequents this site know's though, it was and is a labor of love!

08-13-2009, 04:01 PM
Okay, carrying on from my last tutorial post, having plastered the map with text boxes and now with Wordart labels, we're almost finished. I discovered that formating your Wordart label is not as useful as I'd hoped and the changes you can make to the format are practically pointless.
I DID however learn that if you haven't left yourself room for a label without the text being obscured by backgound, you can insert a text box and leave it blank! Now youcan drop a pretty Wordart label over top of the blank text box and no one will know the difference. If you look at the attachment, you can see where the Kingdom of the Lizard folk label is was all swampy background. Drop a blank text box on it, put your Wordart in the blank spot and it works fine! You can even go back to the text box so that the border is nice and snug against the new label.

08-13-2009, 04:25 PM
One of the last things to talk about are the roads and what to do if you want to add one which happened to me on the first map.
I purposely left a road off so as to show how to add one. In the draw fuction one of the tabs is Auto shape. I chose cuved line and slowly and carefully plotted out my new road. After dropping the road I increased the line weight from the line style tab to match the drawn roads on the map and chose the dash pattern from the selection of dash styles to match the existing ones on the map. A quick Wordart label addition and the map is done!

08-13-2009, 04:57 PM
Tear, you're the second person to recomend GIMP so I guess I better get on that!

For importing scans and just adding labeling and other small details without making significant changes to the scanned map itself, Inkscape might be the easier way to go, but I'll let you decide for yourself.

08-13-2009, 06:38 PM
A fabulous tutorial.

08-26-2009, 10:14 AM
Here's the third installment in the word document map series. Hope you like it!