I have a shapefile containing three types of polylines, how can I color each type with different colors ?

  • 5
    What software do you prefer to use?
    – SaultDon
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 22:35
  • 1
    Shapefiles only store data—but not style.
    – Mike T
    Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 0:11
  • Do you also have access to arcmap? Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 13:39
  • 4
    Mahdi, welcome to our site! I suspect your question has collected some downvotes and no really specific replies because people may feel that more information is needed within the question itself. Consider editing it to say a little more about the shapefile (especially how the "types" of polylines are distinguished) and about the context of the application you are creating.
    – whuber
    Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


Whichever software you use, you should be able to display the line colours differently based on an attribute of the line itself. e.g. Road = black, river = blue etc.

In Mapinfo this is done using thematic mapping, in Arc you edit the symbology.

  • 1
    how can I change the line attributes using ARcGISEngine + C#,there is no line attributes in shapefiles, thanks in advance
    – Mahdi
    Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 12:16
  • 1
    In a shapefile, the attributes are stored in the .dbf file. If there isn't an attribute for the three types of lines you want to color, you can always create a new field and give each record one of three values (1,2,3; red,blue,yellow; high,medium,low; etc), then display the lines differently based on that attribute.
    – neuhausr
    Commented Apr 12, 2012 at 14:14

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