I am attempting to export a PNG image file from ArcGIS Pro 1.2.0 with the background set to transparent. In ArcMap 10.3 this is simple, there was a button for setting the transparent color to white during the export.

When I go to "share" the image in ArcGIS Pro, I do not see the same options to set my background or transparent color. Has this button been moved elsewhere? Or is it not an option anymore? enter image description here

The goal is just to find similar settings to the screenshot above. For this project, I have a basemap as a standalone PDF file. I need to overlay a callout box over top of that file--this requires that the callout box has transparancy all around it, and not a white box (like what happens when you clip to extent).

  • It's a little hard to understand what you're trying to accomplish. There may be a new workflow. It has not been moved it's just not an option in ArcGIS Pro yet. Are you attempting to remove the basemap?
    – GIS Joe
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 15:17
  • I know it's an extra step, but have you tried using a good image editor; i.e. Photoshop, Paint.Net, Gimp, etc.? Just making white transparent in one of those is easy and quick.
    – tpdance
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 22:02
  • 1
    In your Map Properties you can set a background color. In any Layout Map Frame you can set a background color. Set these to no color to get a png that has a background color you can turn off/make clear as you did using white on an ArcMap export to png. Interestingly, Pro exported a map view png with a black background while the layout export had a white background in ArcMap. I could turn them both clear in ArcMap using the symbology set background color to transparent. In QGIS the view came in with a clear background, the layout's was white and it could be made transparent. GIMP = QGIS
    – John
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 17:54

3 Answers 3


ArcGIS Pro will share/export to PNG including transparency.

If you have set a background colour, there will be no transparency, but if there is no background and no basemap then it will export to PNG with a transparent background.

The following image was exported from ArcGIS Pro to PNG (Color Mode: 32-bit with Alpha) and then added to ArcMap

enter image description here

I then set the background colour in ArcMap to blue, behind the same PNG image

enter image description here

Which shows that the PNG was exported from ArcGIS Pro with transparency.

This is only the case in the Map itself. ArcGIS Pro does not currently support exporting with transparency in the Layout.

  • Does anyone know if the 2.0 release of ArcGIS Pro meets this requirement?
    – Map Man
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 13:23

It may be that you want the "paper" area of your layout to be transparent.

We don't have a way to set a specific color as transparent in export in ArcGIS Pro.

If you want to clip out the borders (paper area) you can use the "clip to graphics extent" option.

If your goal is something else (e.g. color substitution to clip out some portion of the basemap or something) maybe you could let us know what workflow is impeded by lack of this functionality, and we can go from there.

  • That first assumption is correct. It is the "paper" area that I am trying to export as transparent.
    – Map Man
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 13:30

I was looking for the same thing, making the 'paper' transparent on the exported map. I just turned on my desired layer (white dots denoting some measurement points) and then exported as a layout with .PNG format and default 32-bit Alpaha colour mode. When I open the .PNG image in photoshop there is no background, the pixels are transparent. It also worked when exported as a PDF. So I assume transparent is the default background in Pro?

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