I want to symbolise based on the values, so for example I have many value fields (see pic) The map is drawn so that all these values enter image description herehave the same symbology and are not distinct. I tried to add all values but this only adds all the attributes of a single field. I want to add all the value fields from NVC_TYPE1 up to RSPB....

  • 2
    Could you try to explain what you're trying to do a little better? I'm having trouble understanding.
    – ianbroad
    Oct 22, 2014 at 15:52
  • Agree with ian. The way I read your questions it sounds like you want to symbolize on the list of fields/attributes rather than the values of a field/attribute, which doesn't make any sense. A screenshot of your attribute table may be helpful in describing what/how you're trying to symbolize.
    – Chris W
    Oct 22, 2014 at 19:41
  • Can you edit once more to include the link or image -- you say "see pic" but there's nothing there :)
    – Erica
    Oct 23, 2014 at 11:31
  • Every record will have all of those attribute fields, so there's nothing different to symbolize on. It's the values of those fields that differentiate records. As ian's answer points out, you can symbolize on the unique combination of values from up to three fields. If you want to consider the values of all fields, you'd need a new field that codes the unique combination of all other field values - and might well mean each record is unique. Especially if one of those attributes, like POLYGON_ID, is already unique. In which case you could just symbolize on the unique values of that field.
    – Chris W
    Oct 23, 2014 at 21:16

2 Answers 2


You can only symbolize by a maximum of 3 fields, and to do that you need to select:

Unique values, many fields

Under Categories, on the left side of the window.

But, if you want to symbolize based on the 15+ fields in your screenshot, you might want to rethink your approach. You could always create a new field, and field calc the values of all the other fields, and symbolize by the new field.


you shouldn't be losing information, but it does want you to pick which thing you are classifying by. You couldn't classify by the description or comments fields for example, that wouldn't even be possible. I know one thing we often did in class was to do reclassifications that take the values in the selected field and redistribute it like a 1-10 scale for example. If what you're trying to do involves coming up with an overall rating based on different values, you could go into the map algebra function after reclassifying each attribute into new layers with scales that mesh, and then use the map algebra to create a weighted scale. ( Population_reclass*.35+vegetation_type_reclass*.65).

Hopefully that helps, but the question was still somewhat confusing.

  • It's entirely possible to symbolize on the description or comment fields using the Categories method. Classification is something different related to the Quantities symbolization method, which deals with numeric values.
    – Chris W
    Oct 23, 2014 at 21:02

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