Masking in ArcGISLinked layer files?
I am working on an atlas and there quite a few styles that I have saved as .lyr files for quick symbolization consistency across the 300+ maps I am creating. When a style changes slightly I would like to be able to re-save the .lyr file and have that change automatically propagate itself through all the MXD's that use it. It there a way to create "linked layer files?" The necessity to "re-load" the updated symbolization to all the different MXD's becomes quite burdensome.
I would like it to work similar to the way desktop publishing software utilizes "placed images," whereby instead of imbedding the image - it is placed and if there is an update, the software recognizes it and it automagically updates if prompted.
Mapping Center Answer:
The concept of referencing colors, symbols (or even symbol layers) is something we've been thinking about for a while. First, there's nothing helpful in our standard symbology--you have to bear up and suffer through the tedium (or be up front about the cost of making changes late in the game).
That said, there are a few things you can do if you use representation symbology. In particular when you drive a symbol's properties using attributes in your data. For instance, you can have the widths of line symbols stored as an attribute and then calculate them at any point, knowing that the next time you use any map that has a layer using that data and representation, you will get the updates. That puts a bit of a burden on you to create, manage, and document that, but that's cheaper than the alternative.
There's still nothing that will do select by color (which really ought to be find/replace by color). There are a few others who have put the time into creating an Atlas using ArcGIS as the mapping engine--you know them from NACIS. If you contact them, this would be a good place to post any tips they have.
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