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how to save group of graphics

September 23 2008 | 1 comment
Categories: ArcGIS Methods, Map Elements

I have a ArcMap project that requires me to frequently produce maps for a several areas. For each of these areas, I insert graphic text to supplement labels from the .shp files. These maps are always exported at the same scale and extent.

How do I save a group of these graphics that apply to one of the several map layouts? That is, can I group a set of graphics and turn it on and off so that I don't have to recreate them each time I have to export a different map extent?

Mapping Center Answer:

There are really two issues here, graphics in the data frame, like those to supplement labels, and graphic elements in the layout. 

For the first case, we added a new function in 9.3 to convert graphics to features, which means you can store those supplemental graphics in what is effectively an annotation feature class (in a geodatabase).

For the second case, the layout, this is actually the case we designed map templates for.  However, it sounds like your maps are sufficiently different that a template may be more work than it's worth.  Thus, I would advise to keep doing what you are doing (copying and pasting graphics from one MXD to another by having two ArcMap sessions running at the same time).

graphic groups posted by Steven Moore on Nov 12 2008 4:53PM
Maybe you've already thought of this, but what if you created an annotation group of graphics in your dataframe properties which you set to either be manually turned on or set to turn on with a specified layer tied to that group?

I don't know though how many dataframes you have. That could open up another "can of worms" to deal with, but it could give the possibility of having graphics groups unique to each dataframe.

Good luck.

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