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Add and modify graticules

Graticules can be used to show location in geographic coordinates (degrees of latitude and longitude). Graticules from existing ArcMap documents (.mxd) can be imported into ArcGIS Pro and then further modified. For example, display of the graticule gridlines, ticks, and labels can be rearranged and their appearance altered. Once the graticules have been defined, you can save the definition as a style for use with other layouts. For more information, see Add styles to a project.

Import map documents with graticules

If the layout in yourArcMap document (.mxd) contains a map with graticules it will be included when you import the document to ArcGIS Pro.

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Project group, click Import Map.
  2. On the Import dialog, navigate to your ArcMap document (.mxd) and click OK.

The lines, ticks, hatches, and coordinate labels of the grids are displayed on the layout. Graticules and their components can be accessed in the Contents pane by right-clicking the name of the graticule under Grids and clicking Properties.

Add graticules

Graticules can be added to your map frames and modified to meet your requirements.

  1. On a layout view, select a map frame that references a 2D map.
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Map Frames group, click Grid Grid and choose a graticule from the gallery.
  3. To further modify the graticule, in the Contents pane, under the map frame, right-click the grid and click Properties.

Modify graticule properties

To access and modify graticule properties, expand the map frame in the Contents pane and right-click the name of the graticule (which is named Grid by default), and click Properties. In the Format Map Grid pane, the following Options for the graticule can be set:

  • Name - change the name and how it appears in the Contents pane.
  • Visible - toggle the display of the graticule on the layout.
  • Interval - automatically adjust the graticule intervals based on scale.
  • Origin - specify a custom coordinate origin of longitude & latitude for the graticule.

By unchecking Automatically adjust on the Options tab Properties, you can change the Interval of x and y for Gridlines, Ticks, Intersection Points, Interior Labels, and Corner Labels on the Components tab.

Gridlines, ticks, labels, corner labels, intersection points, and interior labels can also be added or removed on the Components tab Components. The Appearance of each component can be also be altered by choosing its Offset, and by modifying its Symbol. Labels can be additionally formatted and their display altered.

Visibility for Ticks and Labels can be checked on or off for the cardinal directions of the map. Corner Visibility refers to the labels in the corners of the map frame. All corner labels can be displayed or a sub-set can be specified by turning their visibility on and off. Setting an Interval of 0, 0 for Corner Labels will place the labels on the exact corner of your map frame.


For corner labels where the interval has been defined, if the angle of the gridlines are non-perpendicular or non-parallel to the edge of the map frame, you will see multiple corner labels per vertex. Circles, ellipses, and map frames created with the lasso will only have one corner label as the map frame will be defined as one edge.

Interior Labels by default are placed in the middle of the gridline. By choosing 1/2 , 1/3 , or 1/4 under Positioning, you are changing the placement of labels on the grid. The spacing between the number and the gridline can be increased or decreased using the increments of the X & Y Gaps.

The symbol for the Neat Line can be modified by right-clicking the Grid in the Contents pane and clicking Properties. On the Format Map Grid pane, click the Map Grid drop-down menu and click Neat Line.


The map frame border is often coincident with the grid Neat Line. You may have to adjust the symbology fo the border so they do not conflict.

If you want precise control over each grid item on the layout, you can right-click the grid and Convert To Graphics. Upon converting, the grid will appear as a grouped element in the Contents pane. To make changes to one or several grid graphics, expand the grouped element and select the text, line, or lasso graphic. Changes to each graphic can be made in their respective Format pane.

Format labels with tags

Labels are formatted using tags to change their display. You can add multiple labels and format them differently.

  1. On the Contents pane, if necessary, expand the map frame, right-click the grid and click Properties.
  2. On the Format Map Grid pane, click the Components tab Components, and select Labels.
  3. In the Format text box you can modify your labels by using tags.

The following tags are common to Decimal Degrees, Decimal Minutes, and Degrees Minutes Seconds. To utilize the tags below, follow the example syntax with True or False.



Shows number of decimal places.

directionSeparator=" "

Separates between number and direction.


Functions same as zeroPad.


Always shows 3 digits in degree values.


Always shows 2 digits in minute values.


Always shows 2 digits in second values.


True shows N, S, E, or W direction. False will not show direction but will show a negative sign, if applicable. None will neither show direction or a negative sign.


Shows positive sign when showDirections is set to "None" or "False".


Shows degree, minute, or second symbol.


Shows or hides minutes value. If the minutes value is zero, the zero can be added or removed by following the syntax with True or False.


Shows or hides seconds value. If the seconds value is zero, the zero can be added or removed by following the syntax with True or False.


Always shows decimalPlaces numbers to the right of the decimal point.

For a broader review of tags see: Add and modify dynamic text.

The following examples demonstrate how these tags can utilized to modify labels.

Example 1: Degrees with three decimal places and cardinal direction. directionSeparator is any string between the value and the letter denoting cardinal direction. In the example, directionSeparator is a space.

<dyn type="grid" units="dd" decimalPlaces="3" zeroPad="True" showDirections="True" directionSeparator=" "/>.

Label example

Example 2: Degrees with three decimal places. showDirections = "False" instructs the labels not to use letters for cardinal direction. A minus sign is used in front of South and West values.

<dyn type="grid" units="dd" decimalPlaces="3" zeroPad="True" showDirections="False"/>.

Label example

Example 3: Degrees with three decimal places. showSymbol = "False"/> removes the degree symbol from the label.

<dyn type="grid" units="dd" decimalPlaces="3" zeroPad="True" showDirections="False" showSymbol="False"/>.

To italicize decimals, a font that supports italic (Arial, for example) is required. Tags that italicize both the degree integer and the decimal value have been added to the example.

Label example

Example 4: Degrees, minutes, and seconds. The minutes and seconds have been italicized in blue and set at a smaller size and aligned to the top of the degree value. To italicize elements within the label, a font that supports italic (Arial, for example) is required.

<dyn type ="grid" units="dms.deg"/>°<CLR blue="200"><FNT name="Arial" size="5"><ITA><dyn type="grid" vAlign="top" units="dms.min" showZeroMinutes="True"/>'<dyn type="grid" units="dms.sec" showZeroSeconds="true" zeroPad="True" decimalPlaces="0" vAlign=top"/>"</ITA></FNT></CLR>

Label example

Example 5: Degrees, minutes, and 2 decimal places. Degree integer and symbol have been separated into two tags. showZeroMinutes tag is set to True to display minutes. zeroPad is set to True in order to display 2 decimal places.

<dyn type="grid" units=""/><dyn type="grid" units="ddm.deg.sym"/><FNT size="4"><dyn type="grid" vAlign="bottom" units="ddm.min" showZeroMinutes="true" zeroPad="true" decimalPlaces="2"/></FNT>.

Label example

Format the symbol of each component

The appearance of each grid component can be formatted like any other symbol or text.

  1. On the Contents pane, if necessary, expand the map frame, and select the grid.

    The Format contextual tab will appear at the top of the application.

  2. On the Format tab, in the Current Selection group, select the individual component to modify from the drop-down menu.

    Depending on the selection, you may change the symbol or text symbol.

  3. To make more detailed changes to components of the graticule, on the Contents pane, right-click the grid and select Properties.

    The Format Map Grid pane will open.

  4. On the Format Map Grid pane, on the Components tab Components, underneath the Appearance, you can further modify the Symbol.

Save to a style

Customized graticules can be saved as styles for later use. To do so:

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click the graticule and select Save to Style.
  2. Provide entries for Name, Category, and Tags and click OK.

For more information see Styles.

Modify a style

Styles can be modified and re-saved. To do so:

  1. In the Catalog pane, expand the Styles folder and right-click the style and click Manage.
  2. In the Catalog view, double-click the style you would like to modify.
  3. Make desired changes to the style's description and properties and then click Apply.

For more information see how to Manage styles.

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