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Is there a way in ArcMap Legend Properties to make the legend above look like the picture below?

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  • 4
    Which is your legend as it exists, and which picture is the one you want it to look like? Mar 8, 2016 at 22:51
  • It is obvious (if you ever inserted default legend) the one on the top is existing, the lower one is the one he wants to see
    – FelixIP
    Mar 8, 2016 at 23:48
  • Go to items-style-properties and uncheck both "Show Layer Name" and Show Heading. Use layer name instead of default "Legend". This will place entries in table like order, unfortunately for 1 item only.
    – FelixIP
    Mar 8, 2016 at 23:52
  • 1
    Depending on how dynamic you wish to keep your legend, you could convert legend to graphics (right-click > Convert To Graphics), and then iteratively ungroup elements until you have them down to the level that you want.
    – Tom
    Mar 9, 2016 at 0:15
  • 2
    You could work around this by creating two legends: one for the Shelters layer and one for the County Boundary. Then under Legend Properties > Items, set the Column Count for Shelters to 2.
    – Dan C
    Mar 9, 2016 at 18:47

2 Answers 2


In short, no - not without a lot of messing around (and even then you may only get close).

The legend tools don't allow you to remove the symbol from the legend (which is how the bottom example is laid out).

The easiest solution would be to do as @Tom said and convert it to graphics and make your adjustments from there.

If you wanted to keep it as a dynamic legend you'll need to set the symbols for your layers to be really small (around 1 point) and make them the same color as the background of your map. This will make them not show up in the legend. However, it will also make them invisible on your map - so you may need to add a copy of the layer you are symbolizing and only include that one in the legend. That way you can mess with the symbols and still keep the feature counts like you are looking for.

The rest is just a matter of setting the shelters layer to display in 2 columns and placing the County Boundary underneath Shelters so it shows up on the bottom.

My apologies if that is confusing - messing with ESRI legends is not always straightforward.


Unless you're making a quick map you should create your legend manually and not with the insert legend process. By using custom text and graphics you can completely control your legend. The only downside is your legend won't automatically update when you update symbology. I make over 300 maps a year and only insert a legend if it's a rush job.

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