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I am currently creating two similar maps with the same basic layers, including same basemap. I am exporting the mxd as a pdf with the exact same parameters, yet one comes out pixelated, and one is smooth (see attachments). I have tried different options for export from Compression to Picture Symbol (i.e. switch default from "rasterize layers with bitmap markers/fills" to "vectorize..." yet no improvement on pixelated figure. Data is the same for figure samples.

Pixelated map is 3Mb and the smooth map is 1Mb.

Has anybody experienced a similar issue?

ArcMap 10.6

smooth figure Smooth figure pixelated figure Pixelated figure

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  • So a lazy attempt to find answer on my end. I found the solution from a 4 year old post with similar but more specific topic. I will reference the answer here and leave it up to the moderators to determine whether I should just delete this question. – NW_Photo_Laureate Jan 22 at 21:06
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Highest ranked comment by @Michael Stimson on below post/question nailed it. I had a transparent layer close to top of Table of Contents. Apparently that vectorizes other layers upon output. So I removed the transparency (you can also just move it lower apparently).

Exporting inset map with same quality in ArcGIS Desktop?

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