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How to preserve original location of an object inside a font box in Symbol Property Editor

July 02 2010 | 0 comments
Categories: Symbology

Hi, my problem is shown on the attached image. I have a Black Triangle and a Green Butterfly and they are all centered at (0,0) when I put them together in ArcMap Symbol Property Editor, which I don't want.
I want my Green Butterfly to be automatically located in upper part, not in the center like my Black Triangle (in red circle, it shows my Green Butterfly is located in upper part of the font box by default). It seems like the Symbol Property Editor detects any object in the font box and treat its origin as the object's center, not the whole font box's center. And I don't want to change its offset values to change its location for my case here.

Is there any way I can prevent the Symbol Property Editor from automatically centering any kinds of fonts? I want to preserve the original position of the object (i.e. Green Butterfly) inside my font box so that I don't have to worry about changing its location again by giving some offset values after I bring it in Symbol Property Editor.


Mapping Center Answer:

The short answer is no, you cannot prevent the Symbol Property Editor from automatically centering the glyphs from any font.

The longer workaround answer is that there is at least one way to accomplish the desired alignment of your multi-layer symbol. We've had to do this in the past and you can do this, too, if (1) you have a font editor and (2) you have copyright permissions to edit a font. The edits you will need to make are similar to what we have had to make Esri's ESRI Hazardous Materials font (esri_803.ttf) which is included upon install. If you have a font editor, you can view the entire contents of that font, and figure out what you need to do with your own font. This is what the font content looks like in one of our editors:

Glyph Font Sample

What you will have to do with the glyphs in the font is to make sure each part of the symbol (the black triangle, the green butterfly, etc.) has the same extent within the same width and height of the glyph cell by adding a pixel at the maximum image area. In the case of the "corrosive materials" symbol, there were at least three glyphs that made up the symbol. There was a background layer and two layers on top of the background but are not as large as the background. This is the similar case to your symbol. Please see the images below:

Population growth with legend

Population growth with legend

The green circles surround the added pixels of the individual layer; we did this for the Esri font in sequence as highlighted in the screen capture above.

By adding those pixel place holders you are matching the extent of the inividual glyphs so that the assembled symbol in ArcMap will line up properly.

Once you've added the pixels, save your font and test it and the symbol alignment in ArcMap. Anticipate that you will need to test this out for placement in your symbol a few times before the alignment is right.

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