I'm working in ArcMap 9.3.1 and apart from "regular" slayers with symbology, I have a few layers which I do not show their symbol on the map, but only their label (for example: cities layer in which I've made the point symbols transparent and their labels printed in blue).

Is there any way I can show the labels of the layers on the legend instead of their symbols (which is the default)?

  • 1
    I believe that as close as you can get is to create a point fc and change the symbol to no-fill/no-outline and then modify the description name (font, size, color). If you have several "styles" you would like to show, you can make the symbology of the point layer categorized and then make each of them blank (as above), and represent a seperate style. To change the description of a layer or category you simply select click next to it's value either in TOC or the symbology dialog.
    – Brad Nesom
    Jan 4, 2011 at 16:09

2 Answers 2


The nearest you can get is: http://webhelp.esri.com/arcgisdesktop/9.3/index.cfm?topicname=adding_mixed_format_text_to_legend_descriptions

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ArcGIS 10 has more capabilities (not what you want to hear) http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#//00s80000000q000000.htm


In this case what I always did was to create a single example label as an Annotation Feature Class, then add the Annotation feature Class to the Legend. Once I have done this I tend to move the Annotation out of the current extents of the Dataframe so that I will not confuse with the labels I wish to use on the end product.

Just a work around not really a solution.

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