I am using the following code (ArcGIS 10.3.1) to produce a batch of PDFs:

mxd = 'CURRENT'
cid = 2
rf = ur'D:\Δοκιμές\Tester'
gdb = rf+'\\Ant.gdb'
arcpy.env.workspace = gdb
mxd = arcpy.mapping.MapDocument(('CURRENT' if not mxd else mxd))
df = arcpy.mapping.ListDataFrames(mxd,'DF')[0]
for lyr in arcpy.mapping.ListLayers(mxd):
    lyr.visible = False
mxd.activeView = 'PAGE_LAYOUT'
for elm in arcpy.mapping.ListLayoutElements(mxd):
    if elm.type=='DATAFRAME_ELEMENT' and elm.name == 'DF':
        elm.elementPositionX = 1.5
        elm.elementPositionY = 28.2
        elm.elementWidth = 18
        elm.elementHeight = 25.7
        elm.scale = 500 if elm.scale<=500 else math.ceil(elm.scale/100)*100
with arcpy.da.SearchCursor('Parcels',['pid','cid'],'cid = '+str(cid)) as cursor:
    for cur in cursor:
        arcpy.MakeFeatureLayer_management('Parts','Temp_'+str(cur[0]),'pid = '+str(cur[0]))
        lyr = arcpy.mapping.Layer('Temp_'+str(cur[0]))
        df.extent = lyr.getExtent(True)
        df.scale = 500 if df.scale<=500 else math.ceil(df.scale/100)*100
del mxd  

I define the mxd whether it is the currently opened or with an absolute path like (Line 1):

mxd = ur'D:\Test\test.mxd'  

When I use the 'CURRENT' option, I get the result as it is displayed on the first picture and when I use an absolute path for mxd, the result is, as it is displayed on the second picture:
It seems that when I use the absolute path for the mxd, the temporary Layers ('Temp_*'), the code creates, remain in the mxd and are printed with the wanted one.
Regarding the fact that I would like to be able to use the absolute path for the mxd, if possible, does anyone know why is this happening and probably a solution on how to solve it?

1 Answer 1


If you're not working from within an open mxd (with the current keyword), You must save the mxd at the end of the script, otherwise changes will not be permanent:


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