I currently use ArcMap 10.2 and find it quite handy to be able to set default values for settings such as Labeling Properties, ensuring new maps use relative paths and to always build pyramids for a raster in the Customize --> ArcMap Option window.

Is it possible to set the default values for a new reference grid in ArcMap? Specifically, is it possible to set the initial default value for the number of decimal places for a new reference grid, instead of clicking through several windows to set number from 6 decimal places to 0 every time a new reference grid is created?

I ask because the majority of the maps I make have no use for any decimal places in the reference grid.

  • You could have a look at the Advanced ArcMap Settings utility found in the utilities folder of your ArcGis install, there's lots of handy things in there. I haven't seen anything for grids there only graticule. As for relative paths by default that used to be an option for 9.x but seems to have been missed in 10.x. Apr 15, 2014 at 22:42
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    @MichaelMiles-Stimson they moved "make relative paths the default for new documents" under > Customize > ArcMap Options > General Apr 16, 2014 at 0:13
  • Thanks, I wondered where that had moved to. I've had the same annoyance with grids since 9.x but I don't use them much so it wasn't a big enough deal for me to try to find a way around it. Apr 16, 2014 at 0:51

1 Answer 1


I can't see a way to set a default for new grids.

A workaround is to create the desired grid style including decimal places, then use the > Style > Save option:

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Open a new ArcMap document and create a new grid (quickly tabbing through all the panels of the wizard, accepting the defaults). Then use > Style and choose the saved style.

  • It's also the best method to deal with scale bar and scale text.
    – Adam Thom
    Apr 16, 2014 at 20:17

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