I am using ArcMap 10.6.

I have a polygon layer whose color needs to represent certain categories. There are a couple of polygons that belong to two categories at once (in the attribute table, the relevant cells literally contain a value of "[category 1], [category 2]").

Is there a way of showing this on the map with a crosshatched fill for those polygons, i.e., alternating diagonal lines of either color filling the polygon?


1 Answer 1


You could create a single symbology that included both colours on alternating lines, but I would not do it that way.

For situations like this, if there are 4 or less categories, I would symbolise each category with a cross hatch of a different colour AND different direction (vertical, horizontal, diagonal, diagonal the other way). This way will work even if an area includes all 4 categories.

(For more than 4 categories, you'd have to come up with some other combination of symbologies that could not possibly obscure each other. Eg, You could do 8 categories, by offsetting another 4 by half the distance between the lines.)

Then, as @michael_stimson commented, use a separate layer for each category, with definition queries for each layer to include only the features that match that category (including those that also match oither categories).

As @michael_stimson commented, your definition queries could look like:

  • field LIKE '%[category 1]%'
  • field LIKE '%[category 2]%'

(Note that as a general rule of thumb, its usually better to avoid a data model that could have multiple values in a field. Other options could include using a many-to-many relationship, or having two copies of a feature that is in two categories. This way, you'd only need a single layer using the "Categories" -> "Unique values" option in the Symbology tab, which would be the preferred and easier way to symbolise categories. This would avoid the need for a separate layer for each category.)

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