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Limit the symbols on the map & in the legend

May 04 2011 | 4 comments
Categories: Map Elements, Symbology

Hi Mapping Centre,

I have an interesting mapping question for you. A client I'm assisting has a map with roads symbolized into different colours based on type (eg Highway, local Road, secondary road, etc) however they only want to see certain roads on their map (for example highways, offramps, etc).

The workaround I suggested was to make a copy of the original layer and symbolize that layer with only the roads they want on their map and then turn off the original roads layer in the Table of Contents then remove the original layer from the legend and replace it with the copied layer. This does the job but they only want 1 line in the legend to represent roads but because the classification has more than 1, it displays all of these.

So the next option was to create another layer with 1 road symbolized and display this in the legend but this started to get messy & confusing for the client and I was wondering if their is an easier way of doing this?

I mentioned to convert the legend to a graphic but they don't want to loose that link.

Any ideas would be much appreciated.

Kind Regards.

Mapping Center Answer:

If they only want to see certain roads on the map, then you can use the Remove option on the Symbology to remove the classes that they do not want shown on the map -- this will also remove those roads symbols from the legend. This means that you only need to have one copy of the layer in the table of contents to show the roads with the desired classes.

If they want the roads on the map to have more classes than in the legend, they will have to have one additional copy of the layer in the legend, it should be symbolized as they want it to appear in the legend, and it should have a definition query set so that no features appear on the map.  Then when making the legend, add this layer to the legend items and do not add the layer with the mapped roads to the legend items.

legends and headings posted by David B on May 9 2011 11:28AM
You can also use headings to restrict which classes get shown in the legend
see the kb article at for more info
Thanks for the reminder! posted by Aileen Buckley on May 9 2011 11:29AM
Right you are, David -- thanks for reminding me of this option, too!
Very clever posted by Kris McKee on May 9 2011 6:17PM
Thankyou for the tech article that works a treat.
Thankyou to the Mapping Centre for your ideas very much appreciated!
Have a great day.
Happy to help! posted by Aileen Buckley on May 10 2011 9:41AM
Glad you found this useful!

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