Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am preparing a pmf which includes a custom grid overlay. To clarify: a custom grid overlay is marginalia, not a feature class with geometry (so a scale dependecy inside a layer won't work). The final user, in ArcReader, will interact with this map at any scale, zooming in and out as they please. So far, the grid intervals stay the same, regardless of scale, which results in too many grid values at small scales and too few grid values at large scales. Any suggestions? Thank you!

share|improve this question
As far as I know, this isn't possible using the default ArcMap grids and graticules, which are designed for printing at a fixed scale. You may need to define multiple featureclasses to represent the grids, and set scale dependency – Stephen Lead Jun 24 '11 at 1:39
It's not the same as this issue but I am similarly seeking more control over grid/graticule intervals but using ArcPy and ArcMap (not Publisher/ArcReader) as an ArcGIS Idea at – PolyGeo Jun 24 '11 at 9:47
As @Stephen has already pointed out this cannot be done using the out-of-the box tools. ArcPy is mainly geared towards geoprocessing and I highly doubt that ESRI will ever add ArcPy control over the Layout. You might be able to change the interval programatically with ArcObjects and VB.Net or C# but you would have to have a dll or an add-on running in ArcReader. I never developed anything for ArcReader so I can't even begin to speculate if it can be done. I am 95% sure it would work in ArcMap though. – Jakub Jun 25 '11 at 2:26
ArcPy.Mapping can already modify classes such as DataFrame, Layer, GraphicElement, LegendElement, etc so the additional control I seek, i.e. over grids and graticules on the DataFrame, does not seem a large stretch from where ArcGIS is at 10.0. However, I know that this is an aside from the original question. – PolyGeo Jun 28 '11 at 12:17

In the old days, before automatic graticules were possible, we dealt with this by creating graticule feature classes (well, coverages, shapefiles and mapinfo tables then) using the fishnet command. There is no means to control labels at the neatline but it handles the grid part nicely.

Make sure to create the grids in geographic lat-long coordinate system and then densify them so that when used in a projected space like Albers or UTM they curve nicely (else only the corners are accurate).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.