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Working in ArcGIS Desktop 9.3

I'm selecting polygons by attributes and trying to have the selection show up as a light yellow. I set the selection color to the light yellow and it's the 'lowest/last' layer but it covers all of the other layers. Is there a way to change it?

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How would I make it transparent, I don't see an option for that? Tried the transparency option but didn't make any other layer display. – Reeza Dec 6 '12 at 16:46
use effects toolbar in ArcMap to transprancy a layer . go to view => toolbar => Effects – wetland Dec 6 '12 at 16:56
Folks, he's asking about the selection color on selected features, not symbology in general. I'm not aware of a way to tell ArcMap to show the selected features color under other layers. A workaround is to export your selected features as another layer and symbolize as desired. – Baltok Dec 6 '12 at 16:59
I've been adding multiple symbols with the selection manually set to a different color, but was hoping there was a better way. Thanks Baltok! – Reeza Dec 6 '12 at 17:11
up vote 7 down vote accepted

As @Baltok alluded to, you are trying to have the Selection on a particular layer be treated in the same way as other layers are, with respect to drawing order. I think that by default, and design, ArcGIS makes the Selection override the symbology of anything that is underneath it, as a means of making it easy to find the selection.

Since you are selecting by Attributes, and it is likely you don't want to create another layer from these particular features, you want to Create a Layer from Selected Features.

Example: Create layer from selected features

That gives you a result of:
enter image description here

This may then be symbolized the same as any other layer in the Table of Contents, including the ability to set the Transparency to allow other features to show through underneath.

Please be aware that there are times when this selection layer may be invalidated. I think these circumstances can arise when changes are made to the original layer, for instance adding or deleting features. The Selection Layer is based on an index of the FID's in the layer, so if something causes them to change, it may corrupt the child layer.

A way to avoid this problem, which is perfect for you since you are performing an Attribute Selection anyway, is to instead create a copy of your original layer, and use your Attribute Selection as a Definition Query on this copy to limit the layer to only your desired features.

Definition Query Example

Hope these give you some options to work with. The second one is more complicated, but is definitely more robust than the first since it is based directly off the attributes, as opposed to an internal index managed by ArcGIS.

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This is similar to my current different symbol methods but easier to change.Thanks! – Reeza Dec 6 '12 at 19:10

If you right-click on the layer in the table of contents, select 'Properties', and then select the 'Display' tab you can set the transparency of your layer.

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  1. in table of contents click selection tab ( below the table of content) .
  2. unselect other layers enter image description here
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That doesn't do anything. – Reeza Dec 6 '12 at 16:45
could you please upload an image of your arcmap? – wetland Dec 6 '12 at 16:49

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