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This way to the party: How to make a map to include on invitations

Lesa Snider | June 8, 2015
Summer is upon us, with plenty of events to plan and maps to make. Providing a quality map with an invitation helps your guests, and your Mac makes them easy to create. Using just three apps--Contacts, Maps and Preview--you can produce a custom map to print or pop into an email. Fire up the grill, because your map is just a few creative clicks away.

Get the Rectangle annotation tool by choosing Tools > Annotate > Rectangle (Control-Command-R) and drag over the tail of the arrow to make a box.

Get the Text annotation tool by choosing Tools > Annotate > Text (Control-Command-T). Drag the resulting text box on top of your rectangle and pull the blue dots to adjust its width. Type "Park Here" and click the Text Style menu (below left). Choose a big font such as 24 pt Tahoma Bold and click the color box to set its color. Use the same techniques to add another arrow and rectangle to label the Apple Store, but this time choose a rounded-corner rectangle from the Shapes menu (circled, below right).

Crop it

Zoom out and you'll see the Maps app toolbar is still attached to the top of the map. To remove it, get the rectangular selection tool by choosing Tools > Rectangular Selection and drag it across the area you want to keep. Then choose Tools > Crop (Command-K) to crop out the rest.

The hidden eyedropper tool

To cover the time-to-destination information in the location flag, choose Tools > Annotate > Rectangle and drag over the blue area. To match the rectangle's color to the blue in the flag, click the Show Colors button in the Fill Color menu (circled below).

To sample a color from your document, click the eyedropper tool (circled) and a circular enlargement appears (third image). Mouse over the color you want and click to apply it. To remove the drop shadow from the rectangle, click the item at the bottom of the Shape Style menu to remove its checkmark (circled, right image)

Saving your map

Choose File > Save to save your map in PNG format, which is perfect for printing, email or text messages. If you're super eager to share it, click the Share button.

With a map like this, your guests are sure to find your event. Until next time, may the creative force be with you all!


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