Does anyone know if it is possible to create a custom symbology patch to be applied to a map legend in ArcGIS Pro?

I know this was possible in ArcGIS Desktop within the legend properties dialog, Items tab, style properties window.

4 Answers 4


In the symbology window for that layer, you will see the different symbols for each class in that layer. Beside the symbol is a tiny drop-down arrow that will give different symbology styles for that class, similar to what what available in ArcMap. It is a feature that many people want but it is quite hidden, and oddly it is not available in any of the property windows for the legend.


It appears that this feature is not currently available as far as I can find at How to Change Legend Patch Shape? However, there is a workaround.

At least from the ESRI Help, it appears that unfortunately this is not an option. It looks like one can only do sizing of the current patch, not change its shape.

From the Help: On the Design tab, you can set the default legend patch size. In the Settings group, you can select or input a size for Patch Width and Patch Height.

It appears only the size of the patch at the moment can be modified, Update legend patch size

You can set the default legend patch size by right-clicking the legend item in the Contents pane and choosing Properties. In the Format Legend pane, you can change the size for Patch Width and Patch Height

Also, it appears a potential work-around of importing a different patch shape from an existing mxd set up in ArcGIS Desktop is also out: Because the functionality of legends in ArcGIS Pro does not match the functionality available in ArcMap, legends will be converted to use settings available in ArcGIS Pro.

Import an existing legend

Legends are imported with ArcMap documents. When you import an ArcMap document, maps and layouts are created separately in your project. If the layout in your ArcMap document contains a legend, it will be imported with the layout and adjusted to use the properties and settings available in ArcGIS Pro.


Looks like you can change the patch shape in the legend by changing the patch shape in the symbology for that layer.

  • 1
    Hi Kelly and welcome in the GIS community. As your answer may be used as reference. Could you elaborate a little how you managed to create the custom symbology (and maybe show us a little example) ? that would be great thx Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 19:29

Under the Apply a legend patch heading of the Symbolize feature layers page in the Online Help it says:

... you can further symbolize feature layer data by changing the legend patch of any line or polygon feature layer. Legend patches change the preview shape of the symbol shown in the Symbology and Contents panes, as well as in layout legends.

To change the shape of the layer's legend patch, follow these steps:

  1. Highlight a feature layer by clicking its title in the Contents pane. The Feature Layer contextual tab appears on the ribbon.
  2. Under Feature Layer on the Appearance tab in the Drawing group, click the Symbology button Symbology.
  3. In the Symbology pane, on the Primary symbology tab Primary symbology, click the Update legend patch shape drop-down arrow next to the symbol.

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