Is it possible to add items to the table of contents (ArcMap) without automatically displaying the items in the main window?
closed as not a real question by Devdatta Tengshe, blah238, whuber♦ Jan 21 '13 at 16:54
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I'm not sure if would like to to that programmatically, if not:
ArcMAP => Customize=> ArcMap Options => General Section => untick "Make newly added Layers visible by default"
I am not entirely certain of what it is you're trying to do...
It sounds like you may want to add a lyr without it displaying, useful in saving time. If working with the layoutview, you can use draft mode to add lyr's without displaying them.
layer properties > frame > draftmode (arcmap 10.0)