Command of the Week - Sort Symbols in Map (Week 29)


  1. List (Basic)
  2. Symbols Along (Intermediate)
  3. Fractalise (Intermediate)
  4. Edit Text (Basic)
  5. Link with Map/File (Intermediate)
  6. Offset (Intermediate)
  7. Measuring Tools (Basic)
  8. Change like draw tool (Basic)
  9. Modifiers (Intermediate)
  10. File Paths (Intermediate)
  11. Complex Shapes [Combine Path] (Intermediate)
  12. Complex Shapes [Multipoly] (Intermediate)
  13. Break (Intermediate)
  14. Map Notes (Basic)
  15. Coordinates (Intermediate)
  16. Macros (Advanced)
  17. Search Files for Text (Basic)
  18. Text Justification (Basic)
  19. Mirrored Polygons (Intermediate)
  20. Managing Drawing Tools (Intermediate)
  21. Named Views (Basic)
  22. Symbol Lookup Sheets (Intermediate)
  23. Symbol Catalog Settings (Advanced)
  24. Symbol Catalog Filters (Advanced)
  25. Symbol Control Points (Advanced)
  26. Define Symbol (Intermediate)
  27. Curves (Basic)
  28. Selections (Intermediate)
  29. Sort Symbols in Map (Basic)
  30. Extract Properties (Basic)
  31. Convert File (Basic)
  32. Get Extents (Advanced)
  33. Quick Move (Basic)
  34. Menu Editing (Advanced)
  35. Trace (Basic)
  36. Array Copy (Intermediate)
  37. Explode (Basic)
  38. Clipboard Copy (Basic)
  39. Rename & Reorder (Intermediate)
  40. Drawtools Edit (Basic)
  41. Trims (Basic)
  42. Symbol Attributes (Intermediate)
  43. Fill Style Selection Mask (Basic)
  44. Browse Files (Basic)
  45. Node Editing (Intermediate)
  46. Automatic Sheet Selection (Basic)
  47. Scale (Basic)
  48. Text along a Curve (Basic)
  49. Shaded Polygons (Intermediate)
  50. Fill with Symbols (Intermediate)
  51. Global Sun (Basic)
  52. Symbols in Area (Intermediate)
CC3+ contains a huge amount of various commands and features. This series highlights a number of these. There won't be any special progression to this series, and the command will be selected from the entire range, from the simple basic commands, to more advanced features intended for the more advanced users. Feel free to use this topic to discuss the command presented.
This series is called the command of the week, but it could also explain a feature. The explanations will tend to explain the technical parts of the command, and is intended to highlight the basics (and complexities) of the command, and information about how to use it, but won't be a detailed tutorial. It is up to you to use it creatively in your maps.

Week 29 - Sort symbols in Map

When doing overland mapping, symbol overlap is a big deal. Be it trees or mountains, you usually place down a lot of them in a partially overlapping group. And to make it look right, they must be in the correct order. A tree overlapping one below it on the screen looks weird. To do overlapping correctly, the general rule is to start in the top left for any given group of symbols and then lay them out in rows from left to right and top to bottom.
However, sometimes you mess this up, or need to do some changes to group of symbols. You could of course manually use the send behind/send in front of commands to organize the symbols, but it is far easier to use Sort Symbols in Map for this.

Where to find it?

Menu: Symbols -> Sort Symbols in Map
Command Line: SYMSORT

How to use it?

Using this command is quite simple. Once you have a group of symbols that needs to be arranged for proper overlap, simply use this command on them and they will be sorted appropriately.
Do remember that symbols can only be arranged in relation to each other if they are on the same sheet. If the symbols are spread over multiple sheets, sheet order will trump symbol arrangement (also applies when using send behind/bring in front to).


Make sure to only select the appropriate symbols when using this command, and not any background polygons, rivers running through the forest and so on. See last week's issue about selections for ways to manage selections. Also be careful when using this with Perspectives 3 maps, as arrangement of perspective entities are a bit tricky. It should work on simple symbols though, as shown in the example.
Also note that it uses the edges of the symbols to determine which symbols should be "on top", so it might not always work perfectly if you throw oversized symbols into the mix


[Image_9105] ==> [Image_9106]
[Image_9107] ==> [Image_9108]
[Image_9103] ==> [Image_9104]

m1.png 426.8K
m2.png 431.5K
f1.png 258.9K
b1.png 237.5K
b2.png 244.2K


  • Josh.P.Josh.P. Traveler
    . . . I need to pay more attention to these articles.
  • This is my favorite command <3 absolutely love it.
  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer
    It does make mapping so ridiculously easy. Its hard not to love it :)
  • One of the most useful commands -- at least for me. :)
  • Is there a special way on Perspectives maps ? I couldn't get it to work on that mapping method. Otherwise, fine for me.
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    It works fine on small lumps of symbols like in my screenshots, but you cannot arrange complete perspective maps with it. Perspectives are tricky because how entities needs to be drawn and arranged to create the illusion of a 3D space.
  • Okay. It was the right hand wall, where I had to kind of patch it on map 2 of the Lost Mines because I accidently deleted part of the wall when I was working on adding rooms. They all most into a horizontal lump, something like that.

    What I found does work, but it takes patience and being very careful, is move to front.
  • jslaytonjslayton Moderator, ProFantasy Mapmaker
    I wonder if being able to sort by other than the insert point might be useful (e.g. bottom edge of bounding box). I'm just not sure what would be a useful UI for that sort of thing, though.
  • MonsenMonsen Administrator 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer
    It would be useful, but it would be very difficult to control efficiently. Wouldn't be any help if the command ends up more complicated than simply arranging them manually ;)
    The default command as it is handles most cases though.
  • ScottAScottA Surveyor
    One of my favorite commands. As hard as you try to set symbol in order, you know there's always a few that end up on top of something else, especially mountain ranges. This one is a godsend!
  • My problem is trees... I suddenly realize there is an area I didn't make as dense as i wanted to... then the lower parts of the trees are on top of nearby trees. Sort symbols helps with this.
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