I am using ArcMap 10 and I want to display my village parcel symbology differently at given scales. I have one idea to copy and paste same layer.

But my question is that in a single layer, is it possible to give different symbology as per the scale? e.g

Layer Name    symbol   scale
xyz            -----   100000
xyz            *****   200000

3 Answers 3


I do not think you can do this in ArcGIS 10 without having copies of layers ontop of each other in the TOC with different drawing scales set. It would be nice if you could set different symbology classes like you can do for labeling. Below is a thread that is similiar to yours.


  • 1
    Just to add, you only need to have a copy of the layer in the map - you do NOT need to have a copy of the data. The layer copies should all refer to the same data set. Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 14:10
  • dear sasa, i donot want to copy for doing so, without copy is it possible or not. Thanks for the reply
    – user876307
    Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 14:14
  • As @artwork21 answered, there is no way to do it with ArcMap without copying the layers. If you do not want to copy the layers, I suggest writing an ArcMap extension. Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 14:51
  • I think it can be done with representations. help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#/… help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#/…
    – Brad Nesom
    Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 15:00
  • 1
    Thanks for the Reply brad... can it possible with different scal references?
    – user876307
    Commented Sep 12, 2011 at 15:12

The simple answer is no. You are right in adding multiple layers referencing the same GIS Resource is the way to go. In addition to this if you were to have the 2 resultant layer in a Group Layer then you can control them as if they are a single for some things. This is the workflow I have always used, and one I also use for the generation of Map Services as it does allow for far greater control of layers.

Looking at the comments Cartographic Representations will also require the same methodology as it is an actual field in the geodatabase you are using for the symbology. So if you have different symbology for the same feature for a different scale you are changing the field that the representation points to.

If this is very important to you I would suggest that you head over to http://ideas.arcgis.com if it isn't there already added there. If it gets voted up then it may get in a later release.


This can be done using ArcObjects with a ScaleDependentRenderer. Not sure if this can be published as a mapservice though.

The ScaleDependentRenderer is not available using the ArcGIS interface. To use this renderer you must use code to build and assign the renderer to a layer.

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