Can anyone lend a hand with what I'm doing wrong here? I'm trying to get a 92x92 (because it's the biggest I can seem to setup) PDF to come out of ArcMap 10.1. I'm in layout view, set 92x92 in the page size, set it to scale map elements proportionally, etc.

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It comes out not actually filling the whole page.


  • There are two different things showing in your images: the page size (outline) and your data frame. Two issues: 1) the dataframe does not cover your whole page (which could be a design decision). 2) The dataframe is not placed entirely inside your page, which causes the behaviour seen in the second image.
    – Martin
    Feb 16, 2015 at 15:24
  • I saw those didn't line up, but didn't know what to do about it. To me it would make sense that ArcMap would default to - ya know - using the whole screen and limited to the whole screen, aside from some margin value. I do see this video now that I use some different Google-fu. youtube.com/watch?v=U2Z8XXJj-fs It shows how to adjust that, I was just looking for the wrong things. Hopefully this thread helps someone else's Googling. Actually yes, I have done this before, I just forgot. I need to export things out of my environment so rarely that I don't remember the nuances. Feb 16, 2015 at 16:28
  • @martin I'd make that into an answer, specifically describing how page size and data frame size/location are independent. Mike - I for one would not be happy if my dataframe(s) were automatically resized every time I changed a layout page size or orientation. I believe it does what you say - available space less margins - but only for the default page size. You'd have to change the default for the dataframe to automatically size to that.
    – Chris W
    Feb 16, 2015 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


The page size (outline) and the data frame (which are visible in your images) are two different things, and are not automatically adjusted to each other. You have to do that manually when changing layout/page size (this is why I always use layout templates). ArcMap doesn't know how much of your page each (if you have more than one) data frame should cover, where you want space for legend etc.

So there are two issues with your layout: 1) the dataframe does not cover your whole page (which it doesn't have to, but it seems like you want that), 2) the dataframe is not placed entirely inside your page, which causes the behaviour seen in the second image.

Solution: Add a few guides to your page layout, say 5-10 mm from the page outline, and snap your data frame to them. That'll give you a full page map to work with.

EDIT: I now see that you use the Print dialogue for creating PDF files. If you instead use the Export option (File --> Export map...) you have more control over resolution, colorspace, if you want to export with vector layers etc.

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