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I'm trying to spread my ArcMap legend across 3 columns.

Ideally column #2 and #3 should have their symbology header / layer name above them (see picture). ArcMap however is of the opinion that either one or both headers should be placed at the bottom of the column before. In Legend Properties I tried assigning each layer to it's own column. I tried using them as symbology headers or layer names. What am I overlooking?

legend column header

  • You can convert to graphics and ungroup the elements and move Biotope across manually. – Mapperz Jun 29 '15 at 14:48
  • You may also be able to resize the legend box to slightly smaller, wrapping the header to the next column. – recurvata Jun 29 '15 at 15:06
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If you have ArcGIS version 10.2, to get the headings to sit properly as in the legend on the right you need to make sure that fixed frame strategy is switched off.

Example Legends

So in the legend properties make sure fixed frame is switched off on the layout panel (see below). Legend Properties Layout Panel

Then to define items to be in new columns select the item you wish to be in a new column on the legend properties panel and check the "place item in a new column" box see image below:enter image description here

  • Thanks awfully! It turns out the fixed frame option was off, however turning it on and adjusting the frame height got me exactly where I wanted to be. – Blackadder Jun 29 '15 at 17:31
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I often find it easier to make multiple legends - each with only one or two feature classes and then just line them up next to each other. It is much easier to control the text that way and only slightly less convenient.

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