I'd like to include the background map in legend symbols, rendered under transparent fill.

For matters of better representation and easier orientation, it would be helpful if the symbols in the legend (right part in image below) had the underlying layer (the background map, cf. left part of the image) rendered below the current legend symbol.

If need be, I can just make a small cut-out of the background map with snipping tool or what have you, save that as a .png and somehow incorporate that in the legend symbol. It doesn't matter, if it's the same piece of background for every legend item symbol.

PS: I found out how to make the legend symbols have transparency, so that's not a problem any more.


  • 1
    It is good to know that you found out how to make transparent legends. Perhaps you would share how you did that with the rest of us? :)
    – Stu Smith
    Commented Mar 10, 2020 at 15:04
  • @StuSmith indeed. I inteded to link to another question. I corrected that omittance, now.
    – thymaro
    Commented Mar 11, 2020 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


ArcMap has the Cartographic Representations tool that allows you to create your own symbology with tons of options. Check it out: https://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/map/working-with-layers/introduction-to-the-cartographic-representations-tutorial.htm

  • 4
    Considering the tags in the request, you should try to answer about a possible solution in QGIS and not with ArcGIS.
    – Val P
    Commented Mar 10, 2020 at 22:19
  • As Val P indicates, I was wondering if the same thing is possible in QGIS.
    – thymaro
    Commented Mar 11, 2020 at 16:30

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