I am new to ArcMap. I have an assignment to prepare map of each wards of a municipality. The data are point features. I need to print the map in different scales. like 1:2500, 1:5000 and also in different layouts like ISO A3, A1 landscape or portrait. The main aim of this assignment is to attain uniformity in symbology in different maps, to get standard font size and symbol size according to scale.


  1. Is there standards on symbol size, font size with respect to Paper Size?

  2. I tried exporting layer (as .lyr file) and later imported in layer->properties->symbology. It works for me to make uniform symbols in different maps. Am I doing what I need to do or there is another better process?

Any reading material, link on these topic will be good for me.


2 Answers 2

  1. No, there is no such standard. You use whatever is both relevant and readable. Size of font can often relate to the importance of the feature and so will probably vary in labeling of different layers (though too many font sizes can look 'uncomfortable' and should be avoided). Likewise symbol size is often used to denote importance or some quantity, so again there is no absolute. Choosing what looks good and presents the data in a clear and informative way is the skill/art of cartography. Look at a lot of professional maps to get ideas. We could no more give you rules on Cartography than a set of instructions to paint the Mona Lisa.
  2. Using lyr files is one approach. You might want to combine that with using map templates to also standardize the map area and fonts and positions of things like titles, legends, copyright statements and all the other map 'furniture' (north arrows, scalebars etc).

While there may not be any predefined standards regarding what size font and symbols you should be using at a particular scale, you can in fact set up your maps to keep symbol size relative to the scale. For example, if you have an icon/marker symbol of size 10 at 1:5000, it would automatically scale to size 20 at 1:2500. You could do the same thing with labeling, although you may need to convert your labels from dynamic text to annotation.

In order to take advantage of this capability, read "Working with data frame reference scales" for full details. I won't reiterate the process, as teh web help is much more comprehensive, but the gist of this capability is:

You can set a reference scale for your data frame, which fixes the size for symbols and text to draw at the desired height and width at the referenced map scale. This is like freezing the symbol and text sizes used in your data frame.

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