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North arrows

A north arrow maintains a connection to a map frame and indicates the orientation of the map inside the frame. When the map rotates, the north arrow element rotates with it.

Insert a north arrow

When a north arrow is added to the page, it will be automatically associated with the default map frame. If there isn't a map frame on the page, the map frame will be default to <None>. This property is not final, though, and can be modified at any time after the north arrow is inserted.

On the Insert tab, in the Map Surrounds group, click North Arrow New North Arrow. Clicking the top half of the button will insert a default north arrow. Clicking the bottom half of the button will display a gallery of north arrow style items from any referenced styles. Selecting a style item will insert a north arrow with those properties.

Modify a north arrow

You can modify a north arrow's properties and appearance using contextual tabs on the ribbon and the Format North Arrow pane. The following properties are available for north arrows and can be found either on the Design contextual tab or the Options tab on the Format North Arrow pane.

The map frame a north arrow is associated with can be changed by selecting a new map frame from the drop-down list in the Map Frame group.

You can control the alignment of the north arrow by selecting one of the following options:

  • Map North—North arrow angle uses the rotation of the map view.
  • True North—North arrow angle uses geodetic north or the direction to the North Pole. The true north calculation is based on the coordinate system using the center point of the map frame.

Use Calibration Angle to manually adjust the rotation angle: 0 to 360 degrees rotates counterclockwise and 0 to -360 rotates clockwise. Decimal fractions can be entered. This is a user-defined angle that can be used, for example, to show magnetic declination by entering the angle magnetic north that deviates from true north.

Calculated Angle shows the rotation angle of the north arrow. This angle is calculated automatically using alignment and calibration angles. This value is read-only.

To modify the north arrow's appearance, use the controls available on the Format contextual tab. For more information about working with the Format tab, see Add and modify graphics and text.

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