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I have created several representations for a road network on different scales. As many of the roads are displayed as cased lines, I use symbol levels to control the drawing order. I then have saved everything in layer files to import or to process with further tools (overpass etc.)

I created a template document with multiple layers for the different scales. They show/don't show depending on the scale set, ie

  • Scale 1 visible at 1:3,000,000 --> Representation 1
  • Scale 2 visible at 1:1,000,000 --> Representation 2 ...

A representation has different rules and I sort them in the symbol level window corresponding to the hierarchy of the road and attributes like bridges and tunnels, for instance:

Representation 1:

  • Motorways (Bridges)
  • Primary Roads (Bridges)
  • ...
  • Tertiary Roads
  • ...
  • Pedestrian (Tunnel)

and so on.

These rules and their order are properly saved in the layer files and show just fine when I load a single file into a document or the template. However loading more of my multiscale layers into it, they start to mix up. Have a look here on the first load of the scale of 1:500,000:

Symbol layer of Roads upon first load with layer file for the scale of 1:500,000

Now if I add another layer file, for instance 1:50,000, these entries totally mix up and consecutively mess up the drawing and the export:

Symbol layer of Roads after 2nd load of another scale set

That is certainly complete rubbish as I do not want to re-sort them everytime (they do get updated once a week) and furthermore will not save properly after a third of forth layer is added.

I tried a clean document and all other tricks that I knew, but I cannot resolve this issue. Some scales will maintain their original order, some won't. But I cannot try every combination of 7 scales and different representations for roads, railways, etc.

I would be grateful for any hint or help how to workaround (as I am pretty sure it is caused by buggy ArcMap itself).

  • What happens if you switch to "Advanced View" for Symbol Levels, and set the rendering order there using numerical values (higher numbers are drawn later, each unique number represents a drawing cycle in ArcMap). – Marco_B Feb 12 '15 at 18:58
  • Thanks for the reply. I tried that too, but it got mixed up again. I somehow figured it out, more or less a workaround too cleanly copy/paste it from a layer file or another document and not open the symbol levels ever again. Then it seems to stay in order for export etc. Any editing of these would mean to alter it in another document and paste it again into the template. – user45925 Feb 17 '15 at 8:54

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