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Override default patch in legend for polygons

November 06 2008 | 0 comments
Categories: Map Elements

Is there a way I can use custom shapes in the override default patch dialog?

Mapping Center Answer:

Yes -- here are some instructions that we had in our 2003 User Conference presentation called "ArcGIS ArcMap and Cartography: Map Composition and Page Layout " (you can download it from the Other Resources - Presentations page):

Creating a New Legend Patch Shape is a two step process – first, you need to create a new legend patch shape, and then you can apply it in your legend. To create a new legend patch shape that you can select later for use in your legend, you need to use the NEW LEGEND PATCH SHAPE TOOL.

  1. Click on VIEW -> TOOLBARS -> CUSTOMIZE, and click on the COMMANDS tab. Note that the CUSTOMIZE option adds a tool to one of your existing toolbars. This tool is not really a custom tool – it is available in ArcMap to any user – but because it is only used for very specific purposes, it is not include by default on one of the toolbars, so you can add it now.
  2. In the left panel click on PAGE LAYOUT and from the right side select NEW LEGEND PATCH SHAPE. Click on the DESCRIPTION button to show the description. Drag the NEW LEGEND PATCH SHAPE tool to a toolbar and close the dialog box.
  3. Using the SELECT tool, select the geographic feature you want to use as a new legend patch. Click on the NEW LEGEND PATCH SHAPE tool. Make sure the Patch Type is AREA. Select OUTLINE OF FEATURES and from the dropdown for LAYER, select the geographic feature layer. From the Dropdown for FEATURES pick SELECTED. Click on the CREATE PATCH button and you will see your new legend patch shape. If you click ADD TO STYLESET, you can also add it to your personal style. If you do this, then specify a name and click OK. Now you have the new patch shape and you can use it in your legend.
  4. To add a new patch shape, click on LEGEND PROPERTIES, click on the ITEMS tab, and select the legend item to apply the new patch shape to. Right click to see the PROPERTIES for that patch, select the GENERAL tab, click on OVERRIDE DEFAULT PATCH for AREAS and select the shape you made earlier. Click OK to accept all the changes. Now zoom in to take a look at your new legend patch shape.

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