I can see how to vary transparency of a whole layer, and also how to vary transparency by attribute.

Assuming that I have set my layer symbology to use Unique Values (e.g., different point colors depending on whether VALUE is A, B, or C), is it possible to set transparency on a symbology level (e.g., A and B are 25% transparent, C is 75% transparent)? I can't use VALUE as the transparency by attribute field, because it's not numerical.

  • not from within the layer properties -> symbology as far as im aware
    – Maksim
    Dec 1, 2017 at 19:27

2 Answers 2


(Well, I figured this out right after posting...)

It actually does work by combining varying transparency by attribute with an Arcade expression.

In the symbology dialog, instead of simply choosing a Field, create an Arcade expression:

if ($feature.VALUE == 'C') {
  return 1
else {
  return 0

The transparency of "high values" (anything with VALUE == C) and "low values" can then be set in the Transparency Range dialog.

enter image description here

  • have you determined a way to then set labels on the legend back to text? For example, I used an expression to set "low confidence" to 80% transparent and "high confidence" to not transparent at all, but the numbers on the legend are meaningless to my users.
    – Nova
    Jan 14, 2020 at 20:41

One more tedious way to do it, but it's within symbology. Select the symbology with unique values image1
click on the color and select the symbol icon(the one with a brush), select the colors drop arrow and select color proprieties and there you will find a transparency slider.image with trasparency slider.

  • Man, this stuff is really well buried. Nice find.
    – Erica
    Dec 4, 2017 at 0:31

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