Within the properties (symbology tab) of ArcGIS-Desktop (10.2.2, Standard/ArcEditor license level), is there a way to color the polygon outline of a layer using a color ramp?

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Using predefined color ramps it seems only the polygon areas can be filled and the polygon outlines are all colored in the same color (grey).

My goal is to have a transparent fill and only colored outlines based on a predefined color ramp without manually choosing the colors.

One possibility would be to assign the fill color to the outline and then remove the fill color. However, the problem still remaining is how to assign the fill color to the outline?

2 Answers 2


If you click in each color symbol generated by color ramp you can choose your outline color for each symbol.

Also, you can convert your polygons into lines and make a ramp color symbology for the lines and other symbology to the polygon with transparent outline.

  • 1
    This should work. However, using any license below ArcInfo the tool "Polygon to Line" is not available. Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 7:13
  • Consider using free sooftware like gvSIG or QGIS... Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 15:32
  • Yes, QGIS has the possibility to convert polygons to lines and then append a color ramp. However, I'd like to find a solution solely in the ArcGIS environment... Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 7:00

I have the same issue with my dataset. With QGIS you can change the feature from simple fill to simple line and still apply a colour ramp but with ArcGIS it seems we cannot do it.

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