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I have a 48x36 wall map that will include 5 large inset maps, the largest of which is almost 11x17. Due to a bug with html annotations, I need to export each inset individually then include them as images on the final large wall map.

I'd like to include them as vector art (svg or pdf). svg has known clipping problems and does not look good in this case - and I want to see the grid coordinate labels so using a layer level masking scheme won't work. So, I export a pdf which looks perfect in an external pdf viewer. But, trying to include that pdf as an image in the composer just shows a large red X. The implication is that pdf is not a valid format for including images in the composer - is that true?

As a third option, I try to export the inset map as a raster image file (png or such) but it won't do it because the resolution and the image size are too big and it gives a memory allocation error. Reasonable but too bad.

Any other ideas? The next try will be just writing an image of the html annotations and nothing else, and displaying them on top of all other layers in the composer. Surely there's a better way...

Granted, if the html annotation bug (does not respect the 'Lock layers' setting in composer) were fixed, this would all be a moot point, but there's no response on that one currently, I think they have bigger fish to fry at the moment.

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

UPDATE: workaround is working so far but is lengthy: 1) export an svg of just the html annotations (all other map layers off) in just the inset area 2) edit that svg to set fill-opacity to 0 for the relevant objects (easier said than done - largely trial and error) so that the svg can be used as an overlay 3) add the edited svg as an image to the final wall-map composer

So far, the above is working for one inset. Next steps to attempt:

repeat this for each of the 5 insets, and also for the main map since it has its own annotations that you don't want to show in any of the insets; then make sure to turn off all annotation layers for the final composer rendering.

It would be nice if the svg would export with the appropriate transparency so it can be used as an overlay in this manner, but, I'm not even sure how to word that as a feature request. Can anyone help clarify?

UPDATE 2: (more notes on the workaround) when saving the svg from each inset-only composer:

  • check 'background' for the map object, and use some color that will make it easier to search-and-replace lines in the svg file after export (i.e. look for lines with that fill= color and fill-opacity="1", and change to fill-opacity="0"

  • when adding the image in the main composer, make sure to uncheck 'Background' so you can see the effective transparency of the svg itself - otherwise you will go on a wild goose chase trying to find the right fill-opacity setting to change!

  • when editing the svg, search and replace by color as above, and you will also need to change fill-opacity from "1" to "0" for at least one more object, usually the fifth entry in the svg; if that's not it, use trial-and-error; can just hit enter on the filename of the image in composer to instantly reload and redisplay it

  • frame: do not display frame or grid (or coordinate labels) in the overlay svg; display those in the map object in the wall map composer

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