Ask A Cartographer

Map Legend & automatic link to data

February 27 2009 | 0 comments
Categories: Map Elements, Symbology


I am making multiple mapbooks. I am tasked with changing polygon symbols fairly frequently. I had originally inserted a legend - converted to graphics -and ungrouped so I could change the names. I then regrouped.

My question is how do i convert the entire legend back so if I change the symbol in the table of contents it automatically updates in the legend?


Mapping Center Answer:

Unfortunately, converting a legend to graphics is a one-way procedure.  No going back.

However, it is easy to just save the symbol you had to change, and then just apply it to the graphic in the layout--at least that's the fastest way I can think of to do the job you're left with.  To save a symbol, just click on it in the TOC, and then in the Symbol Selector dialog, click the Save button.

If you've got to recreate the legend from scratch, here are a couple tips for making updates in that scenario easier:

1.  Do not resize your legend before converting it to graphics.  Instead, use the legend properties to set the sizes and spacings--use ALT-PRINT SCREEN to capture that tabs of the legend properties and save the image so you can refer to it later. 

2. Name your layers and your data class/categories in the TOC or Layer Properties dialog exactly how you want them to appear in the legend--that way you won't need to spend extra time editing the text that resulted from converting the legend to graphics.

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