How can an MXT help me make 9 identical maps?
I'm not sure what the real benefit of an MXT is. I've been created the first of my 8 maps in a MXD and have it all layed out how I want it. Now I need to create 8 more maps using the same data and layout. How should I go about creating the others without having to revisit all 9 if my boss asks for a simple layout change. I'd hate to edit 9 documents just to nudge over the north arrow. I've tried messing around with saving as MXT and MXD and run into "You can't save this document" and "the map template is missing" issues. Can someone explain a good workflow? Do I save the MXD as an MXT and then create 8 more MXDs from the MXT? If I change the one MXT will it change all the MXDs that were created from it? Am I even understanding how it works??? I guess my main question is how can I create 9 similar maps and keep them all "synced" together? Thanks in advance.
Mapping Center Answer:
The answer to the first question in the title: Yes, the MXT is designed to help you make identical maps. The suggested work flow is that you create the template, and then generate subsequent maps by using the Change Layout button on the Layout Toolbar. You've made the important point that once you have saved your new, derived MXD, there is no longer any connection to the original MXT - these are now two separate files. So this work flow won't update changes made to an MXT back to any maps already derived from it.
If you want to maintain a dynamic relationship between map layout elements across a series of maps, you need to download the "DS Map Book" developer sample. This allows you to create and store multiple layouts within a single MXD. Any changes made to the "index" map layout properties show in the various maps in the series. You can find the "DS Map Book" sample on the ESRI Developer Network ("EDN") website under the Code Exchange tab, keywords "map book"
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