Is there a way so line thickness only expands horizontally from the centreline? I am making a road condition map and found it may not be truly representable.

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The red on the left overlaps the yellow (I do have a draw order of 'worse' first so it stands out more).

But would it be possible to have it so it is more of a rectangle of line width rather than a rounded rectangle? Or is the vertical extent of the line where it actually ends?

1 Answer 1


You need to change the symbol for your roads to a Cartographic Line symbol rather than a Simple Line symbol. That will give you more control over how it's drawn. When you add a line layer to ArcMap, it defaults to a Simple Line symbol, which has the rounded ends you're seeing. With a Cartographic Line symbol, you can change the line end caps. You will probably want to use the "Butt" style:

enter image description here

You can find the symbol settings by double-clicking the line symbol in the Table of Contents and clicking Edit Symbol, then change the line type to cartographic line:

enter image description here

  • Thank you! One quick question, is there a way to set this as default in Arc?
    – Alan Carr
    Sep 26, 2014 at 9:08
  • @AlanCarr I don't think so. You can change a few things about default symbology using the ArcMap Advanced Settings Utility, but line caps aren't one of them.
    – Dan C
    Sep 26, 2014 at 13:05

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