Ask A Cartographer

Group layers in a legend

July 24 2008 | 0 comments
Categories: Map Elements, Page Layout

I have a map document with several group layers, each containing at least 2 layers. Each group has a descriptive name. I would like to have the group names and the layers for each group (not the layer name, which is what I'm currently getting) in my legend in the layout view. Is there any way to accomplish this?
I'm using ArcGIS Desktop 9.2 with an ArcInfo license.

Here is a visual example of what I would like to do.

International Piping Plover Census (group name)
Piping Plovers (layers)
Snowy Plovers
Black Skimmer Nesting Areas (group name)
Ground_2000 (layers)



Mapping Center Answer:

The only thing I can think of to do this is to insert a legend for each group layer and make the title of each legend the group layer name.  This way everything will remain live-linked.  Here's how to do it:

When using the Legend Wizard, initially remove all the Legend Items by clicking the << button.  Then just select the layers from one of the group layers and move them over to the left Legend Items list.  In the next step, change the title to be the group layer name (the default is "Legend"--which is redundant anyway).  Finish creating the legend, and repeat this procedure for each of the group layers. 

Select and move each of the "legends" into place (this will just be a rough guess--the next steps will let you refine the spacing and alignment). To speed things along open up the Graphics Toolbar and select all the "legends" in a given column (this may be all of them). Click the Distribute Vertically button on the Graphics Toolbar, then click the Align Left tool.  Repeat this for each column, if the layout of your "legends" has multiple columns.

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