Marker symbols defined in a style
Same style used to provide symbols for a layer
What: For this map, we used a style to create the symbols used to display earthquakes of varying magnitudes. You can use a style to pre-define the symbols for your layer. Why: We did this because we wanted special symbols for each category used to display the various ranges of magnitudes. Each marker symbol was custom-made, that is, we created each one with specific individual characteristics. By using Match to symbols in a style, we were able to automate the assignment of symbols to the data. Additionally, we wanted to be able to share these symbols with anyone mapping earthquake epicenter data.
How: To create and manage the symbols, use the Style Manager, which allows you to assure that your symbols will look exactly like you want. If you want to make changes to your symbols, you only have to do it once in the style and then you can update all your maps easily.
Once you have defined your symbols in a Style, you can use a layer symbology option called “Match to symbols in a style” to automatically assign the correct symbol to each feature. This requires that you use the same value for a feature attribute as the name of the symbol in the style. When you click the Match Symbols button, ArcMap searches the style for names that match your data's values. When a match occurs, the symbol is assigned. To propagate any updates you may have made to the symbols, simply click the Match Symbols button again.
- Your data's symbol field should be an integer field (for efficiency).
- You can also use a coded value domain that contains integer values for your symbol names. This will save time when you are editing and prevent mistakes in your maps that might occur because of typos.
- When creating the coded value domain, or editing your data, copy and paste the symbol names from the Style Manager to avoid accidental typos; both the symbol names and domain value descriptions are case-sensitive so there is an increased potential for errors. To copy from the Style Manager, select the symbol, right-click on its name and use Ctrl-C to copy the name. Switch to ArcCatalog and the Workspace Domains window and click in the discription line for the value code you are editing and use Ctrl-V to paste the symbol name.
- When you create the symbols in your style, be sure to give the symbols a category name of your choice, which allows you to find them easily in the Symbol Selector window. This is done by clicking to the right of the symbol name under the Category heading and typing in the category name you want to use.
- If your style includes character marker symbols that are not based on ESRI's fonts or Windows system fonts, be sure to include the font file(s) that you used when you share your style with others.
- A quick way to set up the fields in your earthquake data to use these symbols is to select each range of magnitude values and then calculate your field for the selected rows. Be sure to use the same name as in your style to update the attribute values.
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