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This question already has an answer here:

On the Data View in ArcGIS 10, I have some polygons and one PNG image (wind rose) with transparent background.

When I export what is showing on the screen to PNG, the compass appears in the output. When exporting the same to PDF, it doesn't.

Is there a way to get everything exported to a PDF?

marked as duplicate by Chris W, Brad Nesom, SS_Rebelious, Mapperz Dec 13 '14 at 2:33

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    Do you have a compass in the layout view? – gyoung1986 Dec 12 '14 at 15:40
  • Try printing to pdf, rather than exporting. Assuming you have a PDF 'printer'. – Chris W Dec 12 '14 at 19:09
  • @ChrisW Thanks for the printing idea, but it creates the same problem described above -- an image with a lot more map that I need -- and another one: the compass's background becomes white. – Rodrigo Dec 15 '14 at 15:16
  • When marking this question as duplicate, did you guys factor in the fact that the person in the other question was trying to export from layout view and not from data view? Does it not make a difference in ArcMap? – Rodrigo Dec 15 '14 at 15:33
  • @gyoung1986 I do. I knew this before but I wanted to avoid the hassle the layout view creates. The layout view shows slightly more map than what you can see when you zoom in an area in the data view. I need several screenshots of smaller areas of the same map, so going back and forth from data to layout view several times until I find the perfect zoom to export is a small hassle. But because ArcMap can't export my PNG properly, I suppose the most sensible thing to do is to accept the small hassle and use the built-in compass in layout view, as you suggest. – Rodrigo Dec 15 '14 at 15:47
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ArcGIS has some issues with exporting and transparency:

http://support.esri.com/em/knowledgebase/techarticles/detail/32379 http://support.esri.com/cn/knowledgebase/techarticles/detail/17336 http://support.esri.com/cn/knowledgebase/techarticles/detail/33011

I suspect your issues are related to some of these issues.

Whenever I run into a problem like this it seems like I always end up changing the design of the map to work with the existing ESRI functionality - I rarely find new ways to get ESRI to do what I want.

You might try converting your raster of the compass into a vector, then you will avoid all of the issues ArcMap has with transparency.

  • "I rarely find new ways to get ESRI to do what I want" Starting to accept this :) But I really wanted to do something it is supposed to do right? It exports JPEGs or PNGs if the background isn't transparent. I checked the bugs you linked, but it seems this is a different bug: my map is not rotated, the PNG doesn't overlap the layer, nor is the PNG part of a group. Well, because the raster I'm trying to include in the export is a compass and the layout view already has one, I think I'll just deal with the hassle of layout view (described above) and use that compass. Thanks for the links! – Rodrigo Dec 15 '14 at 15:53

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