Mapping Software Comparison: Printing

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Printing is a really important feature for me, as I like to print my maps to take on the hill. Some people use the app, but I think it’s much easier to check a printed map than an app, when you’re out and about.

All the providers include printing options as standard, except RouteBuddy which won’t let you print without paying £39.99 for a license upgrade. The manual recommends taking a screenshot of the map and pasting it into a word-processor to print it, if you don’t want to pay for the license, but I’m not counting that as a proper option.

Mapyx Quo includes basic print functionality for free, but an advanced printing plugin can be purchased for £10 which gives you some additional options.

I’ll cover ViewRanger first because it’s so limited compared to the other providers. It only lets you print a single route, and it squashes it down onto a single page, regardless of the length of the route. You can’t choose the area to print and it won’t print to scale. The rest of my comments on this article do not apply to ViewRanger.

To me, it’s essential to be able to specify the boundaries of the area you want to print, and most mapping software accomplishes this by drawing a rectangular overlay on the map, which you can drag around to cover the area you want to print. Anquet and RouteBuddy are the only providers without a print preview feature, but “print to PDF” software can be used to accomplish the same thing, so this doesn’t matter much to me.

OS Maps showing area to be printed
(click for full-size image)

When you want to print a long route over multiple sheets, OS Maps makes you pan the map manually and print one sheet at a time, but all the other providers have some kind of auto-pagination feature. Furthermore, Anquet, Mapyx Quo and RouteBuddy allow you to set an automatic page overlap, but Memory-Map lets you click and drag the pages around before printing to do this manually, which isn’t too laborious unless you print lots of routes.

The best providers keep the page margins small, or allow you to print to the edge of the paper. Unfortunately I have to call out OS Maps for having ridiculously large page margins with no way to adjust them. This is a huge waste of paper as you really only get an A5 sized print on an A4 sheet.

So much wasted space with this massive border on OS Maps
(click for full-size image)

All the providers allow you to print to A4 size. All except ViewRanger support A3 as well, although Mapyx is limited to A4 unless you buy the advanced print plugin.

Printing Anquet OMN Mapyx Quo Memory-Map OS Maps RouteBuddy ViewRanger
Show print area on map Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (paid) No
Print preview No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Auto pagination Yes* Yes Yes No Yes (paid) No
Auto page overlap Yes Yes (paid) No No Yes (paid) No
Print on A4 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (paid) Yes
Print on A3 Yes Yes (paid) Yes Yes Yes (paid) No

Extra features

Basic printing functionality is fairly standard across the different providers, but some go even further to offer different printing options.

Memory-Map and OS Maps allow you to print a route card, and even better is that they both have options to only show named waypoints on the route card, rather than every single waypoint on the route. RouteBuddy says that it supports printing route cards, but really it just exports every waypoint to a CSV format so you can design your own route card as a spreadsheet. By this logic, Mapyx supports printing route cards as well, but I’ve shown both as a “No” on the comparison table below.

Note that Mapyx used to offer a route card plugin, but that appears to have been removed from their online shop.

All providers except ViewRanger support printing the map at different scales. For example, printing a Landranger map (usually 1:50K scale) at 1:25K scale. You might want to do this as different map series show features differently. The contour lines on a Landranger map are vivid pink and really stand out, whereas on Explorer maps they are orange and can be quite difficult to see, especially on Access Land or woodland which have shaded backgrounds. Mapyx supports printing at different scales, but with slightly less flexiblity as covered in more detail on my Mapyx Quo review. You can’t select exactly which series map is printed, but scales below 1:40,000 seem to print using the OS Explorer maps, and scales at 1:40,000 and above seem to print using OS Landranger.

Printing Anquet OMN Mapyx Quo Memory-Map OS Maps RouteBuddy ViewRanger
Print route card No No Yes Yes No No
Print at alternative scales Yes Limited Yes Yes Yes (paid) No


Anquet, Mapyx and Memory-Map are all broadly equivalent and offer excellent printing options. However, prints on Anquet suffer from the “jagged lines” problem covered in my detailed review, and Mapyx has some small extra features I’ve not covered here.

Areas for improvement

  • OS Maps which has enormous page margins for literally no reason. What a waste of paper!
  • Anquet for the jagged lines as already mentioned.


  • April 2021: Article previously said that it was not possible to print maps at “alternative” scales using Mapyx. This has now been updated to show limited compatibility. It’s “limited” rather than “yes” because it’s still not possible to print an OS Explorer map at 1:50k scale, for example.

Do you agree with my ranking? What features are most important to you? Leave your thoughts in a comment below.

Categories Mapping Software Comparison


  1. In OS maps printing a magnified map is tricky. I like 25k maps at x2 scale for personal walks, as it saves putting glasses off and on so often. It can, I think, only be done (This may only apply to the eDofE version as I normally use that) by printing to A3 and guessing where to place the preview so the bit you want comes out on the A4 sheet. It also loses the margin, which can be useful, but sometimes the grid number are wanted, e.g. training walks. The other thing is that the contour lines in particular print “smudged”.

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