I am trying to put a map into the center of my ArcMap's layout view. I have checked various options (Full Extent; Zoom in and out; File --> Page Print Setup) but neither of them solved the problem.

Currently, my map looks like this:

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And a while ago I managed to produce this map. I remember that it involved selecting a pre-defined "A4" sized page in one of the menus. Unfortunately, I am unable to reproduce how I got there.

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Now I would like to center the first map in the same way as the second map. I am aware of at least a subset of similar questions that were asked on this site. All solutions that I found there, however, involved manually shifting the map around. Ideally, I would like to reproduce exactly what I did such that the map extent of both maps is the same. Edit: See comment to answer below

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3 Answers 3


Assuming you still have the map document (mxd file) for the first map you created (the one with the correct layout), you can use it is a template for your new map.

Open your new map, go to the Layout View, and on the Layout toolbar click on the Change Layout button

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Then browse to the mxd for your original map & select it. This will bring in the same page layout you used to create your first map. i.e. it will set the page size & orientation, the dataframe size & position and the legend size & position.

However, your map might still not look right, as the scale & map position will be incorrect.

You now need to go back to your original map document. Make sure you're in the Layout view. Click on the Bookmarks menu and select Create Bookmark. Give your new bookmark a name & press OK..

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Now click on the Bookmarks menu again and select Manage Bookmarks. Select the bookmark and click save > save selected. Choose a sensible place to save your bookmark.

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Now go back to your new map document. In the Layout view, go to the Bookmarks menu, select Manage Bookmarks and click on the Load button.

Now you can browse to the bookmark your just saved & select it.

Your map will now pan & zoom to the exact same extent as your original map.


When you change the layout from portrait to landscape, you need to adjust Data Frame size and position. You can do that by selecting the Data frame in layout view -> right-click -> Go to Size and position and swap the width and height values.

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It will be adjusted.

  • Thank you. I followed your advice. I have edited the result into the question. However, the data frame is still too small. I have also tried to just copy the data frame measures of the other map I produced but the results look different. Do you know what else I could try? Apr 6, 2017 at 8:48
  • Right-click the target layer in the table of content and select Zoom to layer. If the zoom to layer didn't work this means you have an object in the layer located somewhere far.
    – ahmadhanb
    Apr 6, 2017 at 8:51
  • If you want exactly the same extent of the previous layout (with red and green range color). The best way is to save the project of the correct layout as a new name, and load the blue color map into the saved project mxd file, and just update the layout.
    – ahmadhanb
    Apr 6, 2017 at 8:57
  • Find source of the layer in arccatalog and recalculate extent
    – FelixIP
    Apr 6, 2017 at 9:26

You should align your DataFrame at LayoutView according to the Page Layout.

As I can see from the first picture, page layout is 'Landscape' while Data Frame is portrait oriented.

From the vertices of the data frame, align it according to the page layout you want to use.

  • Thank you for the answer. Can you also explain how to do that? Apr 6, 2017 at 8:36

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