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Newbie here and this has been bothering me for a while. In the image below, I want to zoom in on the map element and large the area with the data. I seem to only be able to zoom in/out the entire layout view. I want to enlarge the area of the map with the data.

enter image description here

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There are two separate toolbars that contain zooming tools, one of which zooms acts on the data:

enter image description here

the other which works on the layout:

enter image description here

You are likely using the layout view tools (or using the mouse wheel, which will use layout zoom while in layout view. You can either:

  • stay in layout view and use the data layer zoom tools, or
  • Switch to data view, zoom as needed, then switch back to layout view.

The buttons for switching view are in the lower left corner:

enter image description here

Or can be accessed through the view menu:

enter image description here

  • Perfect. I didn't quite get the interaction between data and layout views. Thanks! – BillTheCat Nov 6 '14 at 15:43
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The screenshot looks like it comes from ArcGIS for Desktop, but I'm not sure because you didn't specify which software you use. If it is indeed ArcGIS, you can zoom in using the usual zoom tool: Zoomin tool on the toolbar: Click on that button, then use the mouse to drag a rectangle over the area you want to zoom in to. You can do this in either the Data View or the Layout View.

  • Mea culpa. Yes this is ArcMap 10.2 – BillTheCat Nov 6 '14 at 15:39
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Right-click the data layer in the table of contents that you want to zoom to, and click "Zoom-to-layer". The map in layout view will zoom to the extent of the data.

For example, right click your 'areas' or 'points' layers, and the extent will be set to the extent of that data.

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