Ask A Cartographer

Symbols sheet?

August 26 2011 | 13 comments
Categories: Symbology

I am looking for a way to see all available symbols for each Character Marker (like on a PDF) instead of looking on each one separately using the Symbol Property Editor.


Mapping Center Answer:

We don't have a printed book of the styles. For our latest collection of PDF pages which you can download and then can print out, please try the Support Page linked here.

View the contents of a font posted by Aileen Buckley on Aug 26 2011 2:46PM
You can also view the contents of the font that is used to make the character marker symbols. One way is to simply double click the font in the font diretory to open the font viewer. The font directory is usually installed at C:\\Windows\Fonts.

Alternatively, you can use the Character Map to see the contents of a font - here is a link to MicroSoft's help on using the Character Map:
Thanks, but it is pretty much the same posted by Ayelet Greenberg on Aug 29 2011 8:52AM
as looking for an icon via the Symbol Property Editor, i.e. both show small icons and in order to decipher what which character is I have to click on it to enlarge it. I wish there was a file (like PDF that is more up-to-date) that shows ALL characters, or if there was a way to have a larger view.
Fonts directory posted by Aileen Buckley on Aug 29 2011 11:46AM
You are right that the icons are pretty small in the Character Map (although they enlarge a little when you click on one) but if you double click the font in the Fonts directory you will see the fonts displayed at 72 points, which gives a pretty good view of the characters.

However, you should also note that there is a 400% zoom option in the symbol Property Editor -- that might help. And in the Symbol Property Editor you can always choose a symbol from a font, change the size to be quite large and then choose others in the font to see the other symbols at the same large size.

One last idea, if you have a version of ArcGIS that is prior to 10.0 is to use the Symbol Dump script -- with this you set the size of the symbols in the output file (if I remember correctly). Here is a link to a previous Ask a Cartographer question that references this script:
The problem is that I have to posted by Ayelet Greenberg on Aug 30 2011 11:53AM
look on each of the characters separately. I know that when double clicking on a font I can see it large, but I don't want to double click one at a time in order to find out what they are. As long as they are small I can't tell what are they. I was looking for a way to see ALL icons on a sheet (grouped by font name) or at least have the Symbol Property Editor showing me a larger view of all characters, not only when I double click on them.
Symbol Dump or Font Directory posted by Aileen Buckley on Aug 30 2011 12:41PM
It seems then that the solutions that would work for you are to use Symbol Dump (if in a version prior to ArcGIS 10) or the viewer that opens when you double click a font in the Windows/Fonts directory.
I work on 10 posted by Ayelet Greenberg on Aug 30 2011 12:50PM
So that StyleDump option is not applicable for me, or am I missing something here...
And if there is no such option in version 10 it means there is actually no solution and in order to look for the right icon/character I'll have to double click on each and every one until I find the one that I want.
Very not-efficient.
PDF pages posted by Aileen Buckley on Aug 30 2011 1:51PM
As noted in the original answer, it seems the best resource for you is the PDF pages.
Thanks posted by Ayelet Greenberg on Aug 31 2011 9:31AM
Good luck! posted by Aileen Buckley on Aug 31 2011 1:09PM
In the meantime, I will check into creating the equivalent of a Symbol Dump for version 10 (but I am not promising anything!) :-)
Font Viewing posted by Chris Pratt on Sep 17 2011 10:34PM
I have had great luck using an after market program called "Printer's Assistant". It is a font management program that allows you to view any font (installed or not) in various ways. It is by far better than ESRI's symbol property editor or the Windows character map for viewing characters. Heck, I can now see the characters, so I was able to postpone getting glasses. ;-)
Thanks for the tip... posted by Aileen Buckley on Sep 21 2011 8:44AM
Thanks for the tip, Chris!
PDF of 3D symbols posted by Tim Langner on Feb 12 2015 4:47AM
The PDF will be very useful. I notice on the page it says: "Note: The 3D styles are currently missing from the list below. This page will be updated at a later date to include the missing styles."

That was just over 11 years ago. Was a PDF ever created for them or is this still to happen at a later date?
No plans posted by Aileen Buckley on Mar 26 2015 1:26PM
There are currently no plans to update the PDF files on the support page:

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