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I am using ArcGIS 10.1. I inserted a legend however the items in the legend are too large because of the size i set them in the data view. How do i scale the items in the legend so they will be the same size in the layout tab as they are in the data view tab.

marked as duplicate by Mapperz Aug 14 '14 at 15:25

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Not a perfect solution, and I agreed it seems like there should be a legend scale setting somewhere in layer properties, but, what I normally do is just make a copy of the layer(s), put them in a layer group called LEGEND that is turned off. And then you can just use that layer to adjust symbol sizes. This is also helpful if you use offsets on your symbols for any reason (ex: offset a couple pixels up & to the right to keep it from overlapping with other symbols that are at the same geographic point). If you use offsets like that in the symbology, the symbols won't show up correctly in the legend, so you use the same trick of making a copy of the layer for the legend, separate from the layer that is actually turned on for visualization. I know it's not ideal, but it's the best I've been able to come up with.

I'd be interested in hearing other methods though.

  • This is the way I always do it, create a copy of each layer, turn them off, and use them to create the legend entries. – Dan C Aug 14 '14 at 14:32
  • See my answer below, updated with pictures! Depending on how many items on your legend, one way solution may be more effective than the other – GISKid Aug 14 '14 at 14:41

You can resize your legend elements by double clicking and using the legend wizard. See Working with Legends . Here you can alter the spaces between symbols, text size, add borders etc. If this isn't as detailed as you would like you can always convert your legend to graphics and scale your symbols and text accordingly.

I find this is necessary if you have arrows on a line and say have >20 arrows. enter image description here

It'll show up as a blob of arrows with the default legend. enter image description here

What I have found to work for line symbols - although not a perfect solution is to convert to graphics, ungroup and double click on the line symbol in the legend. From there I alter the symbol as would in data view and decrease the number of arrows (from 25 to 3), however this will only show up on the layout view.

enter image description here

After: enter image description here

  • 1
    Yea, I've seen people do it this way, but, I never really liked the convert to graphics solution my self. I frequently use the same MXD to make multiple maps, or take an existing MXD and am asked to use it as a starting point for a new map with additional data, etc... If you convert to graphics, you have a lot more work if you want to add a new layer, change the order of layers, etc... If you're doing end of project work and want really detailed adjustments, this works, but, normally it makes things harder long run. Just another opinion on the workflow. – John Aug 14 '14 at 14:55
  • Yeah definitely, this was just an example of a map I did with two legend items, so it's a relatively small change. I've "updated" a few maps in my time that were entirely graphics (even the symbols -__-), it was a nightmare. – GISKid Aug 14 '14 at 15:02

Perhaps this has been asked and answered, maybe not. Check this Stack Exchange QA out. Or, try setting your legend properties to 'Fixed Frame' and scaling it that way. Third, convert the legend to graphics and scale your patch sizes as a group.

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