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To preserve symbology you can right click on the layer in ArcMap and Save as a Layer. This creates a lyr file that references the source shapefile. This file needs to go with the shapefile, but it can be loaded in different map documents. You can change the source of the layer in the layer properties to switch different shapefiles if you need to. http://...


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Try adding arcpy.RefreshActiveView() after applying the selection.


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I love Layer Files and Packages, but I usually reserve their use for Layer Groups and not individual Layers (barring some situations with extensive labeling sub-classes). A Quick simple way to add a new layer to the map with pre-defined symbology ... Open a blank Map Add the data you want to symbolize Double Click the symbol in the Table of Contents and ...


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