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Normally when I'm making something semi-transparent I edit the transparency in layer properties, but now im trying to make something in the layer (a symbol level) semi transparent. I want to edit the transparency of each fill symbol when I've symbolized by category. is this possible in ArcGIS 10.0?

marked as duplicate by Paul, Zachary, Brad Nesom, Mapperz May 23 '14 at 22:00

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No, transparency can only be defined at the layer level, not the individual symbols. The work around would be to have multiple versions of that layer in the table of contents defined at different transparencies based on a layer definition query if needed.

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    ah, that's annoying. I'll just have to create separate layers. – whatahitson May 23 '14 at 14:11
  • Per the answer below, this one is not entirely correct. It is one of the possible work-arounds, but there is a way to vary transparency by individual symbols in a layer. – Chris W May 23 '14 at 20:23
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You can make transparency vary for each category using a field value if you click the Advanced button in the Symbology tab (EDIT: available in 10.0). Now you have to see what's more convenient between adding and populating a field with the percentage, and duplicate the layer as @artwork proposes. The first option will surely save extra work if you need to build a nice legend.

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OK, this only works with polygons, not points nor lines.

  • That's awesome. I didn't know this existed! +1 – GISKid May 23 '14 at 14:31
  • Yeah, Polygons only :( You can buffer Lines and Points with a distance according to cartographic scale. Thus turning them into Polygons that can then be given a transparency based on a field value (percent represented as a number between 0 and 100). – user23715 May 23 '14 at 22:16

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