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What is the difference between a *.lyr and a layer directly added from *.gdb/sde to mxd?

Doing it difference in mxd?

Which is better?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

A layer file can store information about how you want one or more layers to look. This includes symbology, labeling, display scales, definition queries, etc. If you add a layer directly from a geodatabse or SDE layer, you get the default symbology (generally speaking). In this respect, layer files are better/more useful.

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