Shuffler - beyond .pdf indeed.
I love miniatures maps. I have hundreds of .pdfs, but for each new game, I always seem to need a bespoke map. Creation using Inkscape has proved time-consuming (you have to create each object yourself) and the printout-scaling is always tricky. I have some commercial maps that are are layered .pdfs, allowing you to switch elements on and off, but what if you want that generator in the far corner of the room?
Now imagine a mapping program that consists of palettes of common floors, walls and objects that can be dragged onto a map-grid and snap into place (no alignment worries here!). Each element can be rotated, re-sized, distorted or deliberately mis-aligned if you like. Some can be re-coloured or have special behaviours (beds can be occupied or empty, floor tiles can be skewed to reveal a different floor-type underneath). Text can be added to any surface. You can easily create lighting effects, fog, or the distorting effect of looking through a liquid. Each plant and blood splatter is unique. Imagine being able to choose the appropriate miniature scale for your game with a simple slider and then printing onto either A4 or Letter 8.5" by 10", across several pages if necessary, or output to a png for use online or sharing by email.
Shuffler is that program. It is in constant development, with free updates forever and new sets of objects being added to DriveThruRPG all the time (you can even invest in a plug-in that allows you to create your own for a few quid extra - highly recommended). There is a comprehensive, language independent manual, but should you run into trouble, the designer is active on the forums, eager and responsive to feedback and generous in his support. Finally there is a growing community of enthusiasts sharing their work.
The basic elements included are real eye-candy and you can produce a bespoke, professional-looking map in minutes. If you've ever bought a map-tile set for your miniatures, you'd love this program. Furthermore, some of the "Maps" being produced are actually card-model nets, so if you're going 3D with your paper, Shuffler is on the cutting edge of that too.
Overall and awesome product for such a modest investment.
[5 of 5 Stars!]