I am using ArcMap 10.1 and working on a project which requires 5 different analyses on the same data. I created five map documents (.mxd) and completed my analyses. Now, the problem is that I want to export my results in map format but I want them to be uniform in display i.e. having a same map template. Is there a way to save one of the maps as a template and then use it for creating other 4 maps?

I tried saving one document in 'Map Templates' folder in ArcGis folder but a message box appears which says that I don't have permission to save in that location and I must contact administrator for that, even though I am the only user and administrator of the computer. I don't want to manually add all map elements for 5 different maps, thats too tedious!

1 Answer 1


The help page on Using Map Templates explains it quite well.

Here are three different ways you can go about rectifying this.

  1. From the help, it appears that you need to make a change in the registry to save in <install drive>:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Desktop10.1\MapTemplates. By changing it via ArcMapAdvancedSettings.exe, all users can access the templates. (Not really useful in your instance.)
  2. You can save the mxd to a different location and create a folder in MapTemplates. Then just copy the mxd into that new folder and it will appear as a template.
  3. The easiest way is to save it in %APPDATA%\ESRI\Desktop10.1\ArcMap\Templates. Only one user can access these templates, but in your case, you'll be the only person.

If you also want to apply a template you have created to an existing map, first have that map open and then click the Change Layout button on the Layout toolbar to open the Select Template dialog box.

  • I tried options 1 and 2 but still get the message that I don't have permission to change the templates location OR to save in a newly created folder in MapTemplates folder. I have checked the user accounts in control panel which show that my account has administrative rights. Please clarify if I am missing anything and also explain what is %APPDATA% ?
    – beginagain
    Jul 27, 2013 at 17:41
  • @UmairDurrani Hmm, option two worked for me, and I'm the only user on my computer. Did you create a folder in Windows Explorer (outside of ArcMap entirely) and try copying the mxd there? As for %APPDATA%, look here.
    – Paul
    Jul 27, 2013 at 18:21

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