I was wondering if it's possible to make a layout, with rounded measured grids, in zoom maps.

I'm using ArcMap and rounding the corners of data frame on layout mode to give a magnifying glass effect over the map.

Here's a picture example of what I've already got.

enter image description here


Rounded dataframe ArcMap

  • What do you mean by rounded grid? Could you perhaps illustrate what you are trying to accomplish? The circle inset looks great BTW.
    – blah238
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 22:35

1 Answer 1


This isn't an automated process and more cosmetic, but I think it will get you what you want (see my example below)

  1. Create a mask of the areas you wish not to show. In the example below, everything on the outside of the blue circle is the mask.
  2. In the layout view (ARCMAP), move the edges of the data frame so that its a little bit bigger than your area of interest (in my case, the data frame was a bit bigger than the blue circle)
  3. Add the required grid from the data frame properties.
  4. Convert the grid to a graphic.
  5. Cut and paste the grid graphic into the data frame by using the focus data frame button (located in the layout tool bar)
  6. Ungroup the grid graphics
  7. Select all the grid lines and convert them into features (Convert Graphics to Features located in the drawing tool bar)
  8. Select all the grid text and convert them into annotations (Convert Graphics to Features located in the drawing tool bar)
  9. Create a buffer around the mask, and clip the grid lines using the buffer shapefile.
  10. Re-position the annotations closer to the grid lines.

This may not be the best solution, but it will give you a rounded grid.

There is always a possibility that the grid will move while editing, so just keep checking the lines against the coordinates shown by ARCMAP.

This process took about 15mins.

Hope this helps.

enter image description here

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