I am working on copying a layers symbology to a number of other layers which have the same geometry, table structure etc, etc but not the same number of features.

I have a state wide layer and I have written some code that selects out the different regions within the state layer based on a definition query and exports the features to shapefiles and then adds these shapefiles to ArcMap.

I am now trying to copy the symbology from the state wide layer to these other layers. However when I copy the symbology it copies the symbology that's set for the entire state.

In VBA, is there a way to remove these extra values so I end up with the same symbology as the state layer but that is specific to the layers new extent?

2 Answers 2


Here are two options that you can use to remove the extra State layer unique values from your exported new layer.

Trim Unique Values

Remove Unique Value Symbols out of current extent

  • artwork can you please check the 'Trim Unique Values' url - have updated the link just need confirming by yourself is the correct link. Thanks. (was pointing to zhttp://remove%20the%20extra%20state%20layer%20unique%20values%20from%20your%20exported%20new%20layer/)
    – Mapperz
    Jul 28, 2011 at 13:49
  • @Mapperz, yes that is correct, thx!
    – artwork21
    Jul 28, 2011 at 14:11

When you import the symbology from another layer file it will import all symbols but if you don't have a value for which your symbol has been created then it will not display on the map. If you are using categories you can check the symbols that are not being used by going to the symbology tab and clicking the "Count" header. This will count the number of features for each symbol. You can then select all the symbols whose count is 0 and delete.

What the issue is that you are having with leaving all the symbols in the layer is not clear.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.