I produced a map in ArcMap 10.3 with a point shapefile representing two types of values from its attribute table. One value is represented by symbol size, the other by color. For that I used the Symbology-->Multiple Attributes in the Layer properties dialog. I can not find a way to sort the points, so that smaller points are in front and bigger in the background. Situation now is that some bigger points overlay smaller ones in areas with point clusters. The proposed methods I found online are only working for unique values, like sorting the data or using symbol levels.

  • You can physically sort the table into a new one, then draw from that, but even that won't assure deconfliction when a spatial index is used. In order to assure draw order, youd need to make multiple layers in the map document, with appropriate definition query and symbolization.
    – Vince
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 13:43
  • It is important for me to keep the two values combined into one point by size and color. That is only possible by using multiple attributes, I believe. Physically sorting the table does not help in that case.
    – Anna
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 14:34
  • Sure it would, if you place the features you want at the "bottom" first in the file, but once a spatial index is used the query order might be superseded. The only way to assure that overposting will not occur is to use multiple layers.
    – Vince
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


In the layer Properties>Symbology tab click on the Advanced button>Symbol Levels option. Here you can assign drawling order per symbology value.

enter image description here

  • This is not an option, if you are using multiple attributes. "Symbol levels" is not in this menu and only "Rotation" is possible.
    – Anna
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 13:34
  • Screenshot above was using multiple attributes in ArcMap v10.3.0. What version of 10.3 are you using?
    – artwork21
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 20:16
  • The exact version number is
    – Anna
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 11:57

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