Now that my map is pretty and perfect, I'm discovering that I cannot export it properly. I have tried Exporting the Map to PDF, PNG, TIFF, etc. I have tried various settings of image quality and DPI. I have tried various compression methods. Gave up on exporting.

Tried using the Adobe Printer to print a PDF instead. That gives me worse results, with more bands or other artifacts. I've played with some of the Adobe Printer settings with no positive result.

In every type of export/print, I have at least one very obvious horizontal band.

The basemap is not transparent at all (though I wish it was). It is sourced from NCOneMap, a public North Carolina mapping portal/GIS service.

Now that I've spent my morning trying to export a single map (shakes fist at ESRI), does anyone else have some ideas?

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  • What version of ArcGIS are you using? I haven't had this problem with it in a long time.
    – Dan C
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 18:15
  • 10.2.2 I haven't used Arc in about 12 months, so I'm hoping it's a quick fix.
    – user54613
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 18:47

3 Answers 3


The problem lies in the "statistics: from current display extent". For some reason on export the statistics no longer stay fixed. The work-around is to eliminate that as a variable.

  • Apply your "statistics: From current display extent".
  • Change to "statistics: From Custom Settings (below)". Apply.
  • Confirm the values are the same as they were "statistics: From current display extent"

It looks like this is a problem for at least 10.2.1 and 10.2.2. I do not see an esri bug for it.

  • Just had that problem in 10.5! Thanks for saving the day on that, but surprised Esri hasn't addressed it.
    – AlecZ
    Commented Apr 25, 2019 at 22:12

I don't know exactly what's happening, but whenever any export output is not coming out right, there are a few things I'll try:

  • Turn transparency off in all layers.
  • Turn vector layers off one by one and export at each step, sometimes one particular layer's symbology or labeling is causing the problem.
  • Export in different formats, at different resolutions, and with different compression levels (you've already tried this).
  • Print to PDF using a PDF print driver (you've already tried Adobe's, you may want to try others, like Bullzip or PDFForge).

I don't think any of those are your problem though. Since the basemap is the layer you're having trouble with, one (crude) workaround would be exporting the basemap on its own: turn off all your other layers and export just the basemap to JPG, if that works and you get a usable image, georeference that image and use it as your background instead of the live NCOneMap service.

  • 2
    Thanks Dan for your detailed response. Lots of good things to try in there. In the end, you were right. The basemap layer was the cause (and solution!) to this. The problem was, gamma stretch (with statistics from 'current display extent' was turned on. I'm guessing the export/print function resampled part way through and caused the horizontal bands. Hooray!
    – user54613
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 19:57

I've had banded exports as you've described and the issue was always related to a setting in the layer that the error appeared in. For me the issue was:

Image/layer properties - symbology tab - Statistics dropdown "From Current Display Extent"

If you're familiar with the option, it's a great way to maximize the dynamic range of a raster, but it's caused me export issues time and again. Changing it back to "From Mosaic" and adjusting the dynamic range manually has always fixed my exports.

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