I am trying to view all road names when zoomed out at this projection in QGIS - ideally at a font size of about 2. I'd then like to export this as a PDF. Can this be done?
Sure, it is possible. I am not sure that this is exactly what you want, but maybe it will help you move in the right direction. You can (1) set up some labeling rules in the Layer Properties, then you will (2) use the Print Composer to set up your export at the proper scale.
1) Labeling rules
I added a vector lines layer of roads to QGIS. The layer must have a name attribute. I used the Layer Properties > Labels panel to set the labeling properties:
- Show labels for this layer
- Label with = 'name'
- Text > Size = 2
- Text > Type case = All uppercase
- Placement > Parallel
- note that according to a bug (https://issues.qgis.org/issues/2113), QGIS will not display ALL labels if you have chosen the "Curved" label placement and you zoom out. It will still export something if you choose Curved, although it doesn't render at all in the Print Composer... I suggest that you set everything up with "parallel" placement, then you can come back and play with the "curved" setting afterwards.
- Placement > Allowed positions = On line
- Placement > Repeat = 10 millimeter (if you want a label to repeat along a long line)
- Rendering > Show all labels for this layer (including colliding labels)
- Rendering > Show upside-down labels > always
Your labels will definitely collide if you are labeling all roads at 2 point font and viewing it at that scale (around 1:48,000).
2) Print Composer to export
Next, zoom in to a scale where the labels are not too crowded. I found that scale to be about 1:12000. Then set up a Print Composer:
- open a new print composer and set up a page that is 39 x 27 inches (a large poster size)
- add a map area that fills the page
- set the map's scale to the "not too crowded" scale -- I used 12000.
- use the "move item content" tool to position the map within the frame
Now the page should be ready to export using Composer > Export as PDF (or SVG). You can view the PDF result and zoom in until you can read the labels.
Remember that the repeat setting means that my labels are repeated along the lines. Now you can go back through the steps above and try changing labeling rules to refine your output.
PDF zoomed in:
Hope this helps you.