A legend tells a map leader the an interpretation of the symbols used to represent features on the map. Legends consist of examples of the symbols on the map v labels containing explanatory text. As soon as you usage a solitary symbol because that the features in a layer, the class is labeled through the layer"s name in the legend. Once you usage multiple symbols to represent attributes in a single layer, the field you use to classify the features becomes a heading in the legend, and also each category is labeled through its value.

You are watching: What does a legend look like on a map

Legends have patches that show examples that the map symbols. Through default, the legend patches space points, straight lines, or rectangles that complement the map symbols. You can customize the legend patches, because that example, so locations are stood for with patches of one more shape, or rivers are attracted with a sinuous quite than a straight line.

A fast tour that the Legend Wizard

The Legend Wizard gives an easy, quick means to include a legend to your map. The wizard enables you toChoose i beg your pardon map class you desire to be component of the legend.Set the number of columns in the legend.Create and symbolize a legend title.Create and symbolize a border and also background for the legend.Customize the shape and size that legend patches.Set the spacing between legend elements.

When you first access the wizard, you will watch the perform of great in her map that will make up the legend.


no all layers need to be in the legend. You have actually the option to remove any of the class listed. You can reorder the class list as you watch fit. This reordering does not affect layer ordering in the table that contents. This panel of the wizard additionally provides choices to collection the variety of columns in the legend. The wizard walk not administer options to determine where columns begin. Girlfriend can more refine her columns by editing and enhancing the legend after it has actually been produced using the choices on the items tab of the Legend properties dialog box.


Click Preview to watch what the legend will look like. Click the button again to eliminate the preview legend.

The following panel gives a place for friend to go into a legend title.


Along v typing in the title text, friend can pick the color, size, font, and also justification the the text.

The following panel offers selections to customize a border, background, and drop shadow because that the legend.


The beside last panel offers you the possibility to collection patch properties because that line and polygon symbols.


Here, friend can collection the width, height, and also shape that the patch because that line or polygon features.

Learn an ext about working v legend patch shapes

The critical panel allows you come specify the spacing between legend elements.


As girlfriend click every spacing input box, the spacing indicator (in red) in the picture to the right will readjust to show you where the spacing will be adjusted.

Transparency in legends

If you have layers with transparency in her map, ArcMap simulates the transparent colour in her legend. Once layers in a data frame are make transparent, the table the contents and also the legends in layout view immediately use lighter colors come reflect transparency.

The alternative to simulate transparency in legends is set on the basic tab on the Data frame Properties dialog box. When this alternative is turned on, solid, shining red polygons drawn on a layer show up in the legend as a irradiate red or pink, relying on the percent of transparency applied to the layer. However, with the Simulate transparency alternative off, the legend still mirrors the heavy red polygon symbol, even though the polygon don"t appear red on the map because the great is transparent.

In addition, girlfriend can transform the legend to graphics and manually clues the legend job colors. Using the Eye Dropper tool, friend can obtain the specific RGB value of a pixel and use that shade for the legend patch.

modifying legend properties

Using the Legend nature dialog box, girlfriend can

change the wording, symbology, and also position of the legend title. Adjust properties for patches. Adjust the reading orientation. Adjust the spacing in between legend elements. Change the presentation style. Add or remove columns. Adjust text symbology because that selected items. Determine the interactive behavior of the legend through its connection with the map.Determine the interactive behavior of the legend through the present map extent.

The Legend properties dialog box has 5 tabs: General, Items, Layout, Frame, and also Size and also Position.


The basic tab provides a means to customize the legend title, specify legend items, and collection the map connection properties.

Currently, only one place for the title, above, is supported. You can convert the legend come graphics and also rearrange legend materials manually if you desire to reposition the title. Girlfriend can additionally choose no to include a title as part of the legend and also create a title together an independent graphics element.

To specify i m sorry layers will appear as items in her legend, usage the buttons in between the lists of map layers and also legend items. Class in your map that deserve to be legend items will appear in the Map great list. The layers noted in the Legend Items list reflect the actual consist of of her legend. To reorder one or more items in the legend, choose the items in the Legend items list, and also click the buttons come the best of the list to move them up and down or come the height or bottom the the list.

There are also four options easily accessible to readjust the actions of the legend based upon changes made to the map:

Only display layers that are checked ~ above in the table of contents. Add a new item come the legend when a brand-new layer is included to the map. Reorder the legend items as soon as the map layers are reordered. Range symbols as soon as a referral scale is set.

You can select to only screen layers that room checked top top in the table of contents. If a layer"s visibility is rotate off, it will automatically be gotten rid of from the legend; otherwise, layers will be shown in the legend whether or not they room visible on the map. You can also have the legend add a new item come the legend automatically when a brand-new layer is added to the map. One more option is come reorder legend items automatically whenever the map layers room reordered in the Table that Contents. Lastly, friend can choose to range symbols in the legend as soon as a recommendation scale is collection in the map. This will complement the dimension of heat and suggest symbols in the legend to the dimension of line and allude symbols ~ above the map. This only applies when the map has a recommendation scale. There is no a recommendation scale set, the size of signs in the map and the legend will continue to be constant.

On the item tab, you deserve to customize separation, personal, instance legend items, change text symbology, change how items communicate with the present map extent, and readjust column settings at the article level.


While functioning in the item tab, you can use changes come one or more items at a time. Once you select multiple items indigenous the list, the alters you do will use to all the selected items. Settings you execute not adjust will continue to be the same as they were because that each separation, personal, instance item.

To readjust the text symbol provided by some or every one of the items, usage the font controls alongside the article list. Friend can use these changes to every the text associated with the selected items, or simply to specific text items. These encompass the layer name, the heading, the label, and the description. Usage the drop-down food selection to pick which message items you would like to change.

See more: What Is The Circumference Of The Given Circle In Terms Of Pi 14 In Terms Of Pi?

You can additionally modify all the message symbology in the legend at as soon as by utilizing the font controls on the attract toolbar when the legend is selected in her layout.

The Map degree Options allow you to manage how standard legend items interact with the present map extent. If the Only present classes that room visible in the present map extent check box is checked, a legend item course will only show up in the legend if a attribute from that course is in the existing extent. If no attributes from that legend item are in the current extent, the entire item will be removed from the legend. You have the right to also include feature counts to her legend by check the show feature count examine box. Note: