I have a single band raster, but I want to export it with the same colors as in ArcMap.

How can I do this?


4 Answers 4


You can create and save a color map to achieve what you want. Keep in mind that for geotiffs, colormaps are supported only with certain bit depths. ArcGIS Help 10.2 has excellent instructions on creating a color map (.clr) file:


  1. Add a single-band raster dataset to ArcMap.
  2. Right-click the raster dataset in the table of contents and click Properties.
  3. Click the Symbology tab.
  4. Choose the Unique Values renderer.
  5. Edit the symbol color to the appropriate color for each value. You can edit each symbol color, or you can choose a preset color ramp.
  6. When you are ready to save the color scheme, click the Colormap button and click Export a Colormap.
  7. Choose the location and name to save the .clr file and click Save. Once a .clr file is created, the Add Colormap tool can be used to apply the color to a raster dataset. The .clr file can be edited in a text editor, but be sure to only use spaces between values in each row in the file.

The colors you see in ArcMap are merely a graphical representation of your data. When you load a new data file into ArcMap, it will randomly assign a color scheme to it. If what you want is to load the data with the same color scheme every time, you will want to look into Saving a Layer File. Your other option, if this is not what you are looking to do, is to export the graphical representation of the data as an image (map export).


If you want to export the Image, such that it will be exported with the same render as you have in ArcMap, you need to check the 'Use Renderer' check box on the Export Raster Data dialog. Fore more details, see this Article: Exporting a raster in ArcMap


If the symbology of your source TIFF is defined by colormap, and you extract a sub region of this TIFF, and want to keep the same symbology.

You might want to (go to ArcGIS)

  1. Click the symbology of the source TIFF, and click the "colormap", export the example to a clr file.
  2. Click the symbology of the sub-region TIFF, and import the above colormap, then you will get the same colormap as before.
  3. if you want to export it with the colormap, make sure you checked the item "Use Renderer" and "Use Colormap" in the export GUI.

I did such operation using ArcGIS with CDL (crop data layer) dataset.

It works well, and it is still valid in 2023. enter image description here

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