Modifying map elements
When you place elements (for example, north arrows and scale bars) in your map, you choose them from a style. A copy of each element used gets embedded in the map; there is no reference maintained back to the style. This means that you can modify elements in your map without impacting the styles they came from. Similarly, any updates made to an element in a style will not be reflected on maps that may use that element. After modifying an element in your map, you have the option to store the new element in a style.
You can modify and save elements in a style directly in the Style Manager dialog box. A common workflow is to copy elements from a read-only style that is installed with ArcGIS, paste it into a custom style, then modify the element properties as necessary.
Modifying elements in a map layout
You modify map elements in your map's layout by adjusting their unique properties:
- Right-click directly on the element in the map and choose Properties.
- You can make changes to the element on the property dialog box that opens. The property dialog box will have a different title and different controls depending on the type of element you are working with; there may be multiple tabs to access a variety of properties. Alternately, you can choose a different element from any currently referenced style instead.
The menus on the Symbol Selector and graphic Properties dialog boxes accept values in points only, but the Symbol Property Editor dialog box can be set to use points, inches, centimeters, or millimeters.
Modifying elements in a style
You modify the map elements in a style by adjusting their unique properties from the Style Manager dialog box:
- Click Customize > Style Manager to open the Style Manager dialog box.
- Expand the style tree that contains the element you want to modify.
- If the element resides in a style that is not currently referenced, click the Styles button to choose it from the list of available styles.
- If the desired style is not in this list, click the Add Style to List button to browse to another style.
- Open the appropriate element folder. Elements present in this style are listed here.
- Right-click on the element and choose Properties.
- You can make changes to the element on the property dialog box that opens. The property dialog box will have a different title and different controls depending on the type of element you are working with; there may be multiple tabs to access a variety of properties. Alternatively, you can choose a different element from any currently referenced style instead.
The system styles included with the software are read-only, indicated by a gray folder icon in the Style Manager dialog box. They are installed at <install drive>:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Desktop10.1\Styles. You can copy symbols and other style elements from them into writable styles to use as a starting point. Populated, writable styles have yellow folder icons; white folder icons indicate empty style folders.