I am including the related attribute table to the spatial data shown in a map; see attached image. I have the attribute table shown with the map in layout view, but I would like to include gridlines to separate the individual lines of the attribute table. The table is added utilizing the "add table to layout" option available in the attribute table dropdown menu. Although this shows the gridlines in layout view, the gridlines do not export with the pdf option. How can I include table gridlines in the final PDF map?

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  • I agree with @ChrisW - that text could be coming from an ArcPy script making a very different answer - we need to know precisely how you placed it on your layout.
    – PolyGeo
    May 9, 2015 at 5:53
  • Have you tried saving this to a different format (e.g. PNG)? Do the gridlines show when saved as a PNG?
    – Aaron
    May 11, 2015 at 20:00

2 Answers 2


I tested this on 10.3 and got the same result you did. The lines show up in layout view, but not once you export to pdf. It's possible that one of the settings in the export pdf options (and the slightly different arcpy.mapping options) causes this to happen, particularly something to do with compression. I didn't feel like testing them all because I use a different solution.

I have frequently run into issues with ArcGIS's internal pdf writing. I thought that it had been frozen at a particular pdf version and not been updated since, but I can't currently find any official documentation to support that at the moment. I do note that the file created reports pdf version 1.6 (Acrobat 7.x).

As a result, I tend to print to pdf instead of exporting. This uses whatever pdf writer/virtual printer that is installed on your system instead of ArcGIS' writer and gives full access to pdf format options via the print driver. This typically solves any issues I see when using export. The vanishing grid lines appear to be another one - when I printed instead of exported the grid lines were present in the pdf.


Why not try to add the attribute table from .dbf file, open it in Excel, create your table design, and in the end, add it in ArcGIS as an object?

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