I am trying to add dynamic text to my map layout that displays the current sheet number out of the total number of sheets (e.g. "Page 1 of 15"). I'd like to set it up so that the label changes when I move from one bookmark (Sheet 1) to another (Sheet 3).

I'm aware of the dynamic text feature that uses data driven pages, but not sure that's the correct method to use... it seems like that is geared more towards working with specific shapefile layers within my MXD file. Is there another way to accomplish what I'm trying to do?

  • I can't tell from your question if you actually have DDP setup or not, but in ArcMap look at the Insert --> Dynamic Text menu -- Data Driven Pages Page Number is a choice which sounds like what you want. Once you add that Dynamic Text to the layout, you can double click on it and change the text to <dyn type="page" property="number"/> of 15 – ianbroad Oct 2 '15 at 22:54
  • I didn't currently have DDP set up. In the interest of time I was hoping to be able to create the dynamic text without adding DDP, but it sounds like it's necessary to add it. – sdchris85 Oct 2 '15 at 23:13
  • I'd recommend looking into DDP because it can be a great timesaver and is easy to use once you get into it. I have published an online eLearning video tutorial called Map Books Made Easy using Data Driven Pages. – PolyGeo Oct 2 '15 at 23:58

I think using data driven pages (DDP) is your best bet. It is set up to work with a specific shapefile/feature class, but that's not a problem when you don't have a specific file you're focused on throughout all of your maps. All you need to do is create one - i.e. a new file that has a series of polygons representing all your desired layout extents. You can do this using the Grid Index Features tool, the Strip Map Index Features tool (for linear features), or by hand if that works better. Then you can make that your DDP layer, fill out the attribute table with your figure/page #s or whatever, and insert the dynamic text box in your desired location. Then you can turn that layer off (so it doesn't show up on your printed out maps - DDP will still work), or you can set the colors in the symbology to none, and you're all set.

DDP was basically set up to be a better version of bookmarks.

  • +1 Although I think your analogy between DDP and Bookmarks is not one that I would make despite there being a "go to place and refresh" idea behind each. I think My Places was created to be a better version of Bookmarks but Bookmarks was then enhanced to "re-take the crown". – PolyGeo Oct 2 '15 at 22:50
  • Thanks. I was thinking the same thing; creating a polygon shapefile that mirrors each layout view that I want to show. Glad to hear there's a feature that automates it (Grid Index or Strip Map Index both work in this case). Thanks again- this is helpful. – sdchris85 Oct 2 '15 at 22:52

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