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Add and modify graphics and text

Graphic shapes, pictures, and text can be added to your page to create a complete layout. Once you've added a graphic to your page, you can move it, resize it, change its color or symbol, and align it with other graphics on the page.

Note:

By default, after adding a graphic shape, picture, or text to the layout, the application switches to selection mode to allow for resizing and replacement. If you plan to add multiple graphic shapes, pictures, or text to your layouts, you may want to enable the option to keep the last tool active, so instead of switching to selection mode the tool remains active and you can continue to add graphic shapes, pictures, or text without clicking the respective tool again. To enable this option, click the Project tab, click Options, click Layout on the dialog box, and then check the box to keep the tool active and click OK.

Map surround elements, such as north arrows, legends, and scale bars, can also be added to the page.

Insert graphic shapes

Points, lines, circles, polygons, and rectangles are among the graphic shapes you can add to a layout. The graphic shape insert tools can be found in the Graphics group on the Insert tab.

  1. Choose the insert tool for the shape you want to create.

    You can set the symbol of the shape before you insert it by selecting a style item from the gallery next to the insert tool. Choosing a symbol from this gallery also makes that shape's insert tool active, if it's not already.

  2. Draw the shape on the page.

    After you've added a graphic to your layout, you can move it, resize it, change its color or symbol, and so on.

Note:

Graphic shapes can only be placed on layouts. If you want to add graphic information to a map, add it as a feature. A quick way to do this is through the Map Notes template on the Insert tab when you have a map open.

Insert text

You can add point and paragraph text to your layout. The benefit of paragraph text is that the text wraps inside the given shape. Text insert tools can be found in the Text group on the Insert tab.

  1. Choose the insert tool for the type of text you want to insert. There are various shapes available for paragraph text.

    You can set the symbol of the text before you insert it by selecting a style item from the gallery next to the insert tool. Choosing a symbol from this gallery also makes the insert text tool active, if it's not already.

  2. Place point text or draw the shape for a paragraph text element on the page.

    After you've added text to your layout, you can move it, resize it, change its color or symbol, and so on.

A gallery of dynamic text tags is also available from the ribbon. Choosing a tag from this gallery inserts a piece of text containing the chosen tag. To learn more about dynamic text, see What is dynamic text? and Add and modify dynamic text.

Insert pictures

You can add pictures to your layout. The insert picture command can be found on the Insert tab in the Graphics group.

  1. Click the Picture button New Picture and drag the shape to where you want the picture to appear on the layout.

    The Format Picture pane opens.

  2. Simple path allows you to choose a field from the Map Series index layer, which contains either a path or a URL that references the image you want to use for each page.
  3. Browse to the image you want to insert and click Open.

    After you've added a picture to your layout, you can move it, resize it, change its color or symbol, and so on, via the Format tab.

    See Scalable vector graphics support to learn more about using SVG files in ArcGIS Pro.

Note:

After a picture has been added to the layout, it will be stored with the project and lose connection to the original image file. This makes sharing projects easier. However, if the source image is updated, all projects using that image need to be manually updated with the new image.

Insert dynamic pictures with Map Series

If you are using Map Series, you can make your picture element dynamic and have it update for each page. To do this, double-click the picture to open the Format Picture pane. There are two options from which you can choose: Simple path and Dynamic (Map Series).

Dynamic (Map Series) allows you to reference images that you have as attachments on index layer features. You can also reference a raster field as well. In cases where you have more than one attachment for a feature, you should use the Name filter. For example, you can filter on the file type (.png) or on a portion of text in the name. For more information see Map Series.

Select and format layout elements

To move or change properties of graphic, text, and map surround elements, use the selection tools in the Elements group on the Layout tab.

  1. With a selection tool activated, select an individual element by clicking it, or select multiple elements at once by drawing a shape around the graphics.
  2. Press the Shift key while selecting to add graphics to the selection or press the Ctrl key to individually remove elements from the selection.

    You can also select elements in the Contents pane. When an element is selected, selection handles draw around it and it is highlighted in the Contents pane.

  3. After you select an element, you can edit its properties from the Format contextual tab. The Format tab is made up of the following groups:

    Current Selection

    This group is only available for multipart elements. A multipart element is any element that can have at least a border, a background, and a shadow, such as polygon text or a scale bar.

    Use the drop-down arrow to select the part of the element you want to work with.

    Symbol

    Use the gallery to apply a style item of the corresponding type to the selected item, or set individual symbol properties using the available controls.

    Text Symbol

    Use the gallery to apply a text style item to the selected text, or set individual text symbol properties using the available controls.

    Arrange

    Use the available commands to align and distribute selected elements relative to each other on the page.

    Size & Position

    Use the controls in this group to set the location and dimensions of an element or multiple elements on the page. You can also set the anchor point, and lock or unlock an element's aspect ratio.

    Size and position commands are unavailable when working with an individual piece of a multipart element, such as a picture's border.

    If you have multiple elements selected, they are still treated individually and not as a temporary group. For example, if you change the X position to 2 inches, all selected elements will line up at 2 inches.

  4. To access additional properties and advanced symbol editing controls, right-click the element and click Properties. This opens a Format pane. Click the Properties tab to set general and placement properties for the element. Click Symbol to modify the element's symbol properties.

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