In my MXD with 14 different Raster-Sets (12 Months(January, February...), 1 GRID, 1 Border-Raster) I am looking to create a list (Layer Objects) with the function


I don't know how to specify a filter (Wildcard) to create a list containing only the 12 Months. So far I tried to filter the list monlist with a tmplist containing all the months as Strings. In the following example, the line

monlist = arcpy.mapping.ListLayers(mxd, tmplist ,df)

does not work. In result I get an empty list monlist=[]


import arcpy  
raster = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(0)  
outPDF = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(1)  
hill_bool = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(2)

mxd = arcpy.mapping.MapDocument("CURRENT")  
df = arcpy.mapping.ListDataFrames(mxd, "Layers")[0]   
hillshade = arcpy.mapping.ListLayers(mxd, "hillshade", df)[0]     
hillshade.visible = hill_bool

tmplist = ["Januar","Februar","Maerz","April","April",
monlist = arcpy.mapping.ListLayers(mxd, tmplist ,df) #Select only the months
addLayer = arcpy.mapping.Layer(r"C:Python\Legende_2.lyr")
arcpy.mapping.MoveLayer(df, monlist[:-1],hillshade, "AFTER")

for element in monlist:
    element.visible = "TRUE"
    if hillshade.visible = "TRUE":     #<<< ???
        element.transparency = 35

#...align Legend and other objects -> ExportToPDF
arcpy.mapping.ExportToPDF(mxd, outPDF)
  • Can you add a screenshot of what the workspace looks like in ArcCatalog?
    – Bjorn
    Jan 23, 2017 at 19:44
  • 1
    Please edit your question to include an actual snippet of your code so we can see what you've tried. Currently your question is a bit unclear.
    – Midavalo
    Jan 23, 2017 at 19:47
  • @RichardMorgan I think you should post that, with the actual code snippet, as an answer.
    – PolyGeo
    Jan 23, 2017 at 21:48

2 Answers 2


I don't believe you can pass in a list to the wildcard filter.

If you return a full list of the layers, use Python to walk through looking to see if there is a month in the name.

Here is an untested example:

import calendar

months = [calendar.month_name[month_idx] for month_idx in range(1,13)]

# layers = ['Test', 'January_2017', 'Bob', 'FebruaryIsCold']
layers = [item.name for item in arcpy.mapping.ListLayers(mxd, '' ,df)]

layers_of_interest = [lay for lay in layers if any(mon in lay for mon in months)]
print (layers_of_interest)

print ('Done!')

The layers variable just holds the names of the layers; you may not want that, but it made finding name matches easier.

The commented out layers is to show that a partial match of the layer name and the month name will be found in layers_of_interest.

Finally, you can use your tmplist for the month names; there's no problem with that. The months example was to show how to get the month names without hard-coding them in. Seeing your month names, you might need to change the locale first:

import locale
locale.setlocale(locale.LC_ALL, 'de_DE')

Here is a repl example showing the list comprehension working.


You could use some loops to clear the list. This is far from elegant, but it should be easy to follow the flow.

# You already have you list of expected good names
>>> ['Januar', 'Februar', 'Maerz', 'April', 'April', 'Mai', 'Juni', 'Juli', 'August', 'September', 'Oktober', 'November', 'Dezember']
# Get the list of layers from the map and look at them
lyrs = arcpy.mapping.ListLayers(mxd)
for l in lyrs:print(l.name)
>>> aaaa_add
>>> Roads
>>> Januar
>>> Februar

# Loop through the layers in the map and if the name matches, remove that layer from the lyrs list
for idx, l in enumerate(lyrs):
     if l.name in tmplist:
         print("this layer is ok: {}".format(l.name))
         print("removing {}".format(l.name))

>>>removing aaaa_add
>>>this layer is ok: Januar
>>>this layer is ok: Februar
>>>removing Roads

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