I have a map book created via the Data Driven Pages tool in ArcGIS. Specifically, I used the Strip Map option when I created the book. And I have employed the 'Angle' attribute of the index layer in order to rotate each page so that the route is (generally) shown west-to-east, with the north arrow turning dynamically with each page.

Now, I understand the labeling options for the Data Driven pages. But I don't want to merely label the pages - I want to create vertical matchlines that appear on each page. Can this be done, even as each record of the index is turned 'upright'?

Graphic matchline example:

enter image description here

Credit/source: https://courses.cit.cornell.edu/arch465/arch367f07-workdwgs/notes/04.html

  • Are you able to elaborate on or provide an illustration showing what you mean by "vertical match lines"? I've produced strip maps long before DDP but can't picture what you mean.
    – PolyGeo
    May 15, 2013 at 12:27
  • I would like to have match lines on each page (and in the same place on each page - say 1" from the left and right borders). My index layer is 15 pages and I'm using the 'Angle' attribute of the layer to keep each page horizontal (the dynamic north arrow rotates). I thought about inserting polylines in each rectangle of the index but then they would rotate as the pages advanced. I could send you a PDF that was sent to me that appears to do what I need... I just don't know how to create match lines as they did. May 15, 2013 at 14:43
  • I received Jim's images and can see that this is a sophisticated requirement. Matchlines seem to be designed to enable someone to line up their map book pages and I think this is only simple to do if all strip maps are drawn at the same scale and at the same approximate angle. There is some background to this request worth reviewing that shows Jim has put considerable research into his requirement before posting here.
    – PolyGeo
    May 17, 2013 at 10:48
  • I still don't understand what is needed. Is it something like "extent rectangle"? Could you please add an illustration (if Jim agrees).
    – radouxju
    Feb 25, 2014 at 7:35
  • radouxju, my original issue was somewhat tricky (and I don't believe that I have any of the sample graphics). In summary, I have a DD map series whose index was created with the default ArcGIS tools. The indices follow a line, keeping it generally horizontal - thus each index has an 'Angle' attribute, used to 'turn' each page horizontal. Match lines were used on each page. The trick was that on each page, the match lines were all shown at 90 degrees and about 1 inch from the left and right margins - on every page. The index angle attribute should prevent that from happening. Nov 19, 2015 at 20:33

1 Answer 1


Matchlines are typically a feature found on plans, not maps. I'm not aware of any tool to directly implement them in ArcGIS. It's possible there are such tools in some of the mapbook extensions available out there. However there is a workaround that can roughly do it.

First, you need to create a new feature class and actually draw in the matchlines where you want them. Sometimes matchlines are shown in different places on their matching pages rather than right at the 'official split' - that won't be possible here. You'll need to create single lines. You'll then symbolize that layer in your map in some obvious way (overly thick and dashed for example).

Once you have the lines, you'll need to potentially modify your reference feature grid. If it doesn't already have them, you need adjacent neighbor fields. There's a tool for this that would work in some cases (Calculate Adjacent Fields), otherwise you just manually add an attribute and populate it yourself (which can also help control what your match line text says).

With that, you can insert a Dynamic Text element into the layout near the edges of the page. Your map view will rotate as you go from page to page, and it's possible the exact location of the matchlines may move as well and their rotation definitely will. However these text elements won't, so you need to locate them somewhere that will generally be near where the matchlines will appear.

It's not pretty or ideal, and is basically just taking adjacent page labels out of the map collar and moving them over the map itself. Related: How to label adjacent pages in data driven pages

  • This is what I do, draw them manually in a separate layer.
    – Dan C
    Nov 11, 2015 at 20:15

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