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Area in data frame outside of "Clip to shape" OK in layout view, but white in print.

August 12 2011 | 10 comments

How can I keep the area in data frame outside of a clip defined by "Clip to shape" from printing white in an export to PDF or print to printer/plotter?

The "Clip to shape" option under the Data Frame Properties > Data Frame tab works fine in layout view. However, when I print to paper or export to PDF, the areas outside the clip come out white.

Attached is an exported PDF of the poster I'm trying to make. I have pasted on the poster a sreen shot of the ArcMap session for comparison.

Thanks for your help.


PS - Using ArcMap 10

Mapping Center Answer:

This is a known issue. The dataframe cannot be rendered as "hollow" or transparent in the current output architecture of ArcGIS if it contains ANY raster data.  See for more info.

Unfortunately there is no satisfactory solution currently other than to remove any raster data (which is not feasible given the maps you are creating) or use a white background to your poster to accommodate the issue that way.

Amazing posted by Mark Boucher on Aug 15 2011 7:23AM
Thanks for the quick response.

It is amazing to me that ESRI would "allow" ArcMap to have the layout view present the view exactly as I want it to, but not have the printed view look the same. Maybe you should change the layout view so it does not deceive the user.

I've spent hours getting this poster to look just right. I see that all that time was wasted. If you come up with a fix in the next few weeks, please let me know...
reason posted by Ken Field on Aug 15 2011 8:20AM
I appreciate the frustration and although a fix won't be forthcoming in the next few weeks I can assure you that it is being addressed. It requires a completely new graphics renderer to be built for the core software.
understand posted by Mark Boucher on Aug 15 2011 8:28AM
I totally understand. The feeling I have: its like having a great vacation planned and getting to the destination and finding out my reservation was not accepted. If I had known earlier, I wouldn't have gotten my expectations up.
Suggestion posted by Reginaldo Paderon on Jan 20 2013 8:16AM
Until such time ESRI find a solution to this issue, I suggest this feature be taken off so as not to waste time to users in composing their maps only to find out it will not be as expected.
Motivation posted by Mark Boucher on Jan 22 2013 11:04AM
Or... leave it as an option and get a solution! Use embarrassment as a motivation!
Known issue posted by Aileen Buckley on Jan 24 2013 11:16AM
This is a known issue and related to a larger problem. Of course, we are working on this and it will be resolved in an upcoming release of the software, but I cannot tell you for certain which release at this time.
Still Persists! posted by Charles McCready on Feb 12 2014 9:30AM
This problem still persists in 10.2! Any sort of a time frame on a resolution?
It will be OK in Pro posted by Aileen Buckley on Feb 12 2014 11:00AM
The new graphics pipeline used by the Pro App will resolve this. It's not fixable in ArcMap itself.
Still a problem and What is Pro App posted by Carrie Landgraf on Nov 12 2014 7:07AM
I am currently using ArcGIS 10.1 SP1 and have this same problem even if there is NO RASTER LAYER in any data frame in the map. I am getting ready to install ArcGIS 10.2 this week, and I am highly disappointed that the issue may not be resolved after 2 full releases of the software.

Aileen Buckley, what is the "Pro App" that can be used to resolve this problem outside of ArcMap? Thank you!
The problem posted by Aileen Buckley on Nov 12 2014 8:43AM
The problem is actually caused by the Windows GDI. In Pro, we use our own GDI so that circumvents the problem. 10.2 uses the Windows GDI so that problem will persists in the 10.2 version of the software.

Here is an ArcUser article about the new Pro App:

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