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Ortelius is a full-featured and inexpensive vector drawing application especially for (though by no means limited to) Cartography work. Designed for incredible ease-of-use, it allows you to draw directly with features such as roads, rivers, coastlines, buildings, symbols and contours. Every feature supports arbitrary GIS-type data that can be referenced by text labels, and everything can be directly drawn and positioned simply by dragging and dropping. Powerful and extensive text features give you a fine degree of control over labelling. Create your own styles and symbols or use any of the many hundreds built-in. Import GIS more...

What's New

Version 1.9.3:
  • Trial version was incorrectly showing "Ortelius Public Beta" watermarking text.
  • "Snap To Graph Paper" menu item was not toggling snapping correctly when "Snap to Graph Paper when Graph Paper is visible" preference was enabled.


  • OS X 10.6.4 or later

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Ortelius User Discussion

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Christian-Sodemann Member IconReview+6

Useless. Lots of bugs. No replies from the developers. Could have been nice, but is just a waste of money.


Reply2 replies
Version 1.1.3

More than one year it has been updated and no news about a new future update…
Still quite a lot of bugs, the list is as long as the arm, the do not communicate anymore and the only active applciation they seem to be working is Artboard…
As a GGIS I now mostly use QGIS. I will give a try to Cartographica.


To Jack75. They send out the same excuses to everyone it seems: not received, mail in spam filter, do not reply to crash reports, etc. Simply no good.

Cartographica on the other hand is great software backed by enthusiastic and clever people. Great support and bugfixes almost before you ask. Buy that.

Christian-Sodemann Member IconReview+6

Many good features, but unstable. No response form developers :-(

Reply0 replies
Version 1.1.3
Jack75 Member IconComment+33

ANd I forgot, to complete my preview review, to not expect to import huge SHP files project, to import a 400 MB shp file took it almost 2 H and the result was a bit hazardous ....
It became even slower and more unstable.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.1.3
Jack75 Member IconReview+33

It puts itself a real mess in the connection nodes while drawing and you will have sometimes to adjust all of them back.

It is lacking of stability, can crash also for nothing.

Interface a bit clunky sometimes, especially the styles and symbols library.

It is missing OSM compatibility.

Zoom behavior not efficient when you select a zooming zone, it will zoon inside but a bit away to zone you selected ...

Some of the bugs reviewed by Martin not corrected and suffers of numerous bugs making its using not easy sometimes.

I doubt the developers are trying it much before releasing or they would correct all of that already because those bugs are so boring you just can't miss them. Or it is to make money faster before the quality.

Anyway, nice to play with for a while, but not a real software to work with before all the bugs especially the nodes bugs, the most boring of all, are not corrected.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.1.3
Martin J Member IconReview+17
Martin J

This software could be interesting.
But actually there are so much bugs that is not very usable.
Welcome to buy a software still in beta ...

Undo is not working correctly, sometimes you mistaken move an object, you undo and will undo something else but not your move, sometimes undo still even not work at all ....
The more you draw objects, the more it becomes buggy and unpredictable.
And the sometimes you undo something, the redo function will not even work, so you will loose all your work if you just forgot to save before !

The lines connected together can suddenly becomes connected to other points than the one you made the connection to.

The import of shapefiles is not good, they are not imported sometimes at the right scale. For example you export several layers from a project in shapefiles, once imported back to Ortlius they are not imported at the same scale all together ...

The image browser will not connect to an iPhoto database like any other softwares that use the media browser, but instead it will give access to all the contents of the database files.

The symbol styles library is buggy, if you create several styles, you want to add all of them in the "My styles and symbols" section, you can only add one, the others will be added in the general library. You then can't move them anymore, rename or erase them.
You can't create your own styles library, only for symbols. You can't manage your styles my erasing them or renaming them.

The focus information palette is too much near from the pointing mouse when you are drawing and it can be very troublesome to draw and force to zoom a lot. It is boring sometimes and cannot be completely deactivated.

You can't duplicate a layer or give it some transparency level for the whole objects on this layer.

It is missing constraints on objects other than over points.

All those bugs could acceptable if it was introduced as being in beta, but for being paid it is actually not usable in production.

Otherwise the software has a nice GUI, and it can be promising.
Waiting for an update that will correct all of this and being able to give it a tray again with a nice review.

Actually for this price I would rather use Intaglio which is not a SIG/mapping software but will work quite better than Ortelius to draw and will offer more features, despite I prefer Ortelius interface than the Intaglio messy and clunky one.

Reply6 replies
Version 1.0.5
Nick Collingridge

The only problem with Intaglio is its limited support for importing different formats. In particular it doesn't support DXF, which is what sadly keeps me locked into Illustrator. If only Intaglio would add DXF support I would change in an instant. Ortelius does look very interesting indeed for mapping projects, but unfortunately it also does not support DXF import.

Graham _mapdiva

You know, reviews like this are not only depressing to me as this product's developer, but actually don't help to get any problems addressed. I only came across this by chance, as we don't track every possible site that hosts links to our product. We are constantly striving to make this product better, fix bugs and so on, but the only way we can know what problems people are having is if they engage with us properly and tell us what the problems are! We have an active forum on our site and we readily respond to comments and suggestions made there. We are also aware of more general issues that we need to address as we continue development, but some of these will take time - we are a very small company that can only do so much. So please, do direct your criticism where it can do most good, and use the forums on our site. Thanks,

Graham Cox, Mapdiva tech lead.

Graham _mapdiva

Also, many of the issues you mention have been addressed (your comment appears to relate to version 1.0.5), and others are inaccurate.

Nick Collingridge


MacUpdate does offer a facility to track any posts to an entry - I suggest you employ that for the future so that you do find out about any posts like this. There will always be people who will post comments to sites like this and VersionTracker so personally I think it would be better to engage constructively and actively with them than just think that you can get everyone to post to your forum. As far as I am concerned I have purchased Ortelius because I think it is a decent product and does things that Illustrator does not, although I remain frustrated that it does not import DXF which is one of the main formats that mapping is available in here in the UK. I have posted to that effect on your forum and remain hopeful that the feature will be introduced some day to make a good product even more useful.

Nick Collingridge

Oh, and one further comment is that although I have posted on the Ortelius forum a comment regarding the desirability of DXF import I have never received a response there to my request.

Graham _mapdiva

Nick, thanks for the reply. We are working on DXF import, but ensuring that the import is robust and complete is not a trivial task, so I'm not sure when it's likely to go public. Also, you'll appreciate that we have to prioritise work to benefit the most users or potential users, and at present DXF is somewhere in the middle of the rather long list.

I note that your post to our forum was on an ongoing thread regarding DXF (or DWG) import and in reviewing it just now it seems to be seconding the idea of implementing DXF. As such I'm not sure what sort of reply would have added to the discussion, but hopefully this belated response will do.

M-Rick Member IconComment+152

Can become very very unstable with large files.
Usually use to crash when you are saving your changes ...

Reply0 replies
Version 1.0.5
Macsolu Member IconComment+163

Price is $99, not $79. Maybe they changed it. $49 academic.

Reply0 replies
Maher Member IconComment+32

This one is very welcome, since the death of Freehand. I hope it will take its promises. Going to download it and give it a test.

Reply0 replies
user icon+6
Version 1.1.1
> 2 6


Current Version (1.x)


Downloads 3,681
Version Downloads 132
License Demo
Date 30 Apr 2014
Platform Intel 64 / OS X
Price $99.00
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