When using Data Driven pages, I'd like to be able to assign legend items to specific columns. I have each of the 3 top layers set to "only show classes that are visible in the current map extent." When all layers are present, the legend looks like this:

enter image description here

When the 2nd layer (SADC Easements) is not visible, it does not show the layer, but also doesn't push the "place layer in a new column" property to the next layer, so the legend shows up as: enter image description here

This is a problem when trying to fit the legend in the space available for it and still have it a decent sized font for legibility.

I would like to have 2 columns regardless of if one of the legend items is not on the map for the current data driven page, like this:

enter image description here

Without having this when all the layers are on a data driven page: enter image description here


One other solution is to create/insert two legend element, one for each of your column (each containing only the layer you want depending on the column and each with the correct option to display all or only visible classes)

The downside are you spend twice the time fine tuning the legend and the alignement between the two are not always easy to get right...

  • This is how I will do it as it will give me the desired result consistently (despite double the legend hassle.) Thanks – JMVDA Jan 17 at 17:21

I have the same issue with DDP and I get around it by having the the first two items in the legend, "Preserved Lands" and "Conservation Easements" for you, be what will always appear on every page. Then have the third item be what will only sometime show. Then on the second item check the "Place items in new column" and make sure it is unchecked from other items.

check box

This should put that item always in a new column. This will hold the two item structure and the page specific changes will happen under that second item. Hope that helps. If my understanding of you maps is correct it should show like this:


With this configuration the changes will occur under the second layer and keep a consistent layout.

Hope this help!

  • Its a good answer, unfortunately both items 2 and 3 are sometimes legend items and they aren't always on the same map. – JMVDA Jan 15 at 16:28

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