I am making a legend in ArcGIS 10, and have a few layers with a large number of classes. When I try to display the legend with two columns for that layer, the second layer always lines up with the heading/layer name. This doesn't look proper, and I want the first item in each column to line up with each other. I have used a few work-arounds, like splitting the legend, or converting to graphics and manually adjusting. Is there a place in the legend properties where this can be done?


I don't know of any such work-around, though I agree there should be. However, another option for a work-around, if you only have the one layer in the legend, is to go into the legend properties and turn off the layer name in the legend options (Legend Properties > Items Tab > right click on layer > Properties> General Tab > Uncheck "Show Layer Name") and then go in and make the legend's title the layer name (instead of "Legend").

Not ideal, but it's another work-around I've used that may help.

  • I've used that method as well, but have additional layers in the legend as well, which led to making additional text elements for a new title anyway – TDavis Feb 13 '14 at 20:19

You could also try controlling a legend layout containing layers with many classes by creating copies of the layer that have limited classes. For example, only symbolize Classes 1-5 in Layer X. Then make a copy of Layer X and symbolize Classes 6-10. This can make it easier to manage the legend layout while keeping the legend items linked to the map; instead of converting to graphics.


After some random right-clicking, I figured out a work-around that is probably the best option for this issue. adding additional headings in the symbology tab by right clicking a legend item, you can add multiple titles. Placing a new heading into a split column legend item will have the headings line up, as well as the first legend item in each column.

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