I am creating maps of underground utilities using DDP with a grid layers as my index layer. Each grid shows a segment of the run. The pages must be generated in an order that maintains the continuous run.

My problem is that I don't have a good sort field because none of the grid fields adequately align with the continuity of the run. For example, page 1 should be where the run starts and page 17 would be where it ends. But I don't have a sorting index for this unless I create a page index field and manually assign values.

The problem is that I have over 45 MXDs to data drive, each with its own grid package, and some grid packages containing up to 15 grids apiece.

This means I am having to manually sort roughly 200 pages in total which is going to take way more time than I have.

Is there a way to rearrange the page order without having to rely on the index layers attributes? At first I accomplished this by simply reordering the PDF pages in Adobe, however this is not a good option because then my dynamic text page numbers are off (for example page 1 of 17 might be followed by page 8 of 17 followed by page 6 of 17 etc.

  • 1
    I'm not entirely clear on how you generated the original reference grid, but if there isn't an attribute somewhere that orders the cells like you want them you either have to create a new one that does or manually edit the attributes of the existing one, as Farid says. A screenshot or two of the issue might suggest another solution, or more description about exactly what attributes the grids do have.
    – Chris W
    Commented May 23, 2015 at 0:06

1 Answer 1


Try using Strip Map Index Features tool, to create your index layer. This tool generates the pages in an order that maintains the continuous run (a pipeline, an electric feeder,...). Then you can use the PageNumber Field as your sort field.

If you have already used this tool, and it doesn't suffice your needs, then you have no other option than manually populating the Custom Field in an appropriate order.

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