I have this feature class

enter image description here

I would like it to be :







No data

The only was I know how to sort it in the Symbology tab is alphabetically. I know I can also rearrange them in the legend in Layout View. Should I put Water and No data in separate layers and label the classes with numbers instead? Or is there away to sort them the way I like?

  • 1
    Did you use buttons on the right size in Layer properties / Symbology?
    – aldo_tapia
    Aug 17, 2017 at 17:45
  • @aldo_tapia I didn't know what you meant at first, but after reading Alex's answer, I understand. It worked.
    – Amy Boddah
    Aug 17, 2017 at 20:34

1 Answer 1


When you add symbology to your layer, the labels will be sorted alphabetically by default. You can specify the order of listing of labels in the Layer Properties > Symbology tab. Select a row and use the up and down arrows buttons to reorder the list.

On the image below, I've moved California to be the first item in the list.

enter image description here

You can also create a new field (called something like LabelField to calculate the values that will be used for symbology and symbols order). Mind that the sorting happens alphabetically anyway, so if you have more than 9 items, the order would be 1 Arizona, 10 Georgia, 11 Hawaii and so forth.

  • Your first suggestion worked, thanks! I don't understand the LabelField thing, though.
    – Amy Boddah
    Aug 17, 2017 at 20:36
  • 1
    Great! The LabelFIeld I was talking about: you create a new field in your feature class and calculate it to have values that would let you sort your classes in the TOC using the order you want. Take a look at this Help topic: desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/manage-data/tables/… Aug 17, 2017 at 20:57

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