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This might be one of those slap your forehead so simple questions.

In ArcMap, how can I use wildcards to aid with map symbology? For the example below, I have tried adding values such as "Field *" and "Field %" but have not had any luck. This would be convenient with tables of 4000+ records with different ending comments.

Field Verify

Field Verify - Unclogged

Field Verify - Too Much Traffic

Field Verify - Under Fence

Field Verify - Buried

Field Verify - Under Asphalt

Edit: I am scratching around with this code, except I would like it to first group the results and then insert, instead of replacing, the group into the existing symbology. I use the field name, and then repeat the field name in the query, so that tField = FID and tQuery = FID > 500

import arcpy

tLayer = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(0)
tField = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(1)
tQuery = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(2)

mxd = arcpy.mapping.MapDocument("current")
lyr = arcpy.mapping.ListLayers(mxd, tLayer)[0]
arcpy.SelectLayerByAttribute_management(lyr, "NEW_SELECTION", tQuery)
fList = []
rows = arcpy.da.SearchCursor(lyr, [tField])
for row in rows:
  fList.append(row[0])

if lyr.symbologyType == "UNIQUE_VALUES":
  lyr.symbology.classValues = fList
  lyr.symbology.showOtherValues = False

arcpy.RefreshActiveView()
arcpy.RefreshTOC()
del mxdde here
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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

As far as I know, this can't be accomplished directly in the symbology of a layer easily. You'll have to create a new field, such as "Type" or "Symbology Type", and then calculate the type/symbology of each record based on an expression.

The simplest way would be to use a definition query to create groups of layers, then field calculate your new Symbol_Type field such that all the records in the query would have = "Fence" or whatever.

Once you've done that, you can symbolize based on your new type field.

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Woke up this morning, drinking coffee and your solution made perfect sense. Create multiple layers from the same source then query & symbolize each layer accordingly. –  Barrett Jun 5 '13 at 13:44

LIKE 'Field%' will be need to get the field, and the field ???.
the space.
Here are examples.

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