Pictures are stored as files on disk and only a reference to the file and the path is stored in the .XP file. These "Picture" files must be present for the background to be drawn. There is neither a limit to the number of background pictures that may be loaded into the network nor to the size of an individual picture. Pictures can be selected, deleted, moved, hidden, etc

Background picture types that are supported include: AutoCAD .DWG, and .DXF files, ESRI ArcView Shape files, MapInfo MID/MIF files, digital photos such as .BMP, .JPG, .TIFF, and HPGL (HPGL/1) files which must be translated to a .PIC (a native XP Software format) using the supplied converter CVTHPGL.EXE.

To import a background image:

  1. Select View  on the menu bar, and navigate to Background Images -> New. Alternatively, users can click the New Background Image  icon on the toolbar to open the Add Background Image window (see image below).
  2. Click the ellipses (…) to open a Windows Explorer dialog and navigate to the background image file.
  3. Click OK to select the file, or Cancel to close the window.
  4. If a non-CAD or Shape file is selected, the position of the background image can be set by filling in the Destination Rectangle field (Real World Extents). This defines the aspect ratio, scale, and coordinates of the background image on the network. 
  5. Click OK to select the file, or Cancel to close the window.
  • If an ESRI Shape file is selected then this button will open the  Redraw#esri_shapefile_attributes dialog to allow attribute encoding.
  • In general, background pictures can be manipulated in the same way as any other network object, with the exception that the <Ctrl> key must be used in conjunction with any other action. Thus, pictures can be selected, deleted, moved, hidden, etc. A picture may be re-scaled isotropically by holding down the <Shift> and <Ctrl> keys.

The two file formats that can be imported are:

  1. XP Metafile - Internal XP picture file format. This is the file format used by XP to store its background pictures.
  2. HPGL - Hewlett-Packard File format. This file is usually created by configuring your CAD program (or other drawing programs) to send the HPGL output to a file instead of the COM port. The CVTHPGL utility will create a new XP Metafile. The filename of this new file will need to be specified.

Destination Rectangle

The outer corners (Top, Left, Bottom and Right) where the PICT file will be imported. If importing an HPGL format file then the rectangle corresponds to the edges of your drawing in the drawing package. These coordinates determine the aspect ratio and scale of the imported background.
XP uses double precision coordinates with up to 20 significant figures. This enables map coordinates to be retained. Once a picture has been imported it is treated in the same manner as any other element of the network.