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Position and place marker symbol layers

Marker symbol layers are most commonly used in point symbols, usually placed directly on the point feature geometry. You can adjust the anchor points and offsets of a marker to customize their relative position. Marker symbol layers are also used in line and polygon symbols, drawn along lines and outlines, at endpoints, or within polygon interiors.

Marker placements

When a marker symbol layer is included in a line or polygon symbol, it includes a marker placement to tell the symbol how and where to position the markers relative to the feature geometry. Marker symbol layers in a point symbol do not have a marker placement; they are always placed relative to the point geometry. There are a number of different marker placements to choose from. Most are valid in both line and polygon symbols, but some are valid in one geometry type only.

  1. With a line or polygon symbol selected, open the Format Symbol pane and click the Properties tab.
  2. Add a marker symbol layer to the symbol if necessary.
  3. Click the Layers tab Layers. Highlight a marker symbol layer and expand the Marker Placement heading.
  4. Specify a Placement as described in the table below. Use the symbol preview to validate the settings.

Marker PlacementDescriptionExample

Along line

Along Line marker placement

Markers are evenly spaced along the line or polygon outline according to the Placement template, which can be a single number or a series of numbers. A placement template of 10 places a marker every 10 points (or other unit as defined by the 2D symbol display unit). A placement template of 10 2 places a marker at 10 points along the line, then another one 2 points farther, then another one 10 points farther than that, and so on.

Check Angle to line to orient the markers to the line instead of pointing up. Set a Perpendicular offset to place markers away from the line.

Decide whether the Endings draw with a marker or a gap, or no constraint. Set Endings to With half gap for a seamless progression from one connecting line to another. When Endings are set to Custom, you can set a Custom offset to adjust how markers fall in relation to the end of the line. Set an Offset to push all markers along the line.

Along Line marker placement example

Along line with random size

Along line with random size marker placement

Markers are evenly spaced along the line or polygon outline according to the Placement template, but the size and placement orientation is randomized, as specified by the Randomization property. Offsets and endings are set the same way as with the Along line placement.

Along line with random size marker placement example

Along line with variable size

Along line with variable size marker placement

Markers are evenly spaced along the line or polygon outline according to the Placement template, but the size varies progressively, as specified by the Minimum zoom, Maximum zoom, Size count, and Method properties. Orientation is not randomized. The markers are always oriented to the line, but you can randomize the offset off the line with the Maximum random offset property. Endings are set the same way as with the Along line placement.

Along line with variable size marker placement example

At extremities

At extremities marker placement

Markers are placed at the ends of the line as specified by the Extremities property. Choose from Both, At begin, At end, or None.

Orientation and offsets are set the same way as with the Along line placement. This placement is available in line symbols only.

At extremities marker placement example

On line

On line marker placement

A single marker is placed at the beginning, middle, or end of the line, or one marker is placed at the midpoint of every line segment, as specified by the Relative to property.

Orientation is set the same way as with the Along line placement, and you can specify a Perpendicular offset and an Offset along the line.

On line marker placement example

On vertices

On vertices marker placement

A single marker is placed on the vertices of the line or outline, according to the On regular vertices property. Marker can be positioned to Angle to line and can have a Perpendicular offset placing them away from the line or outline. Markers can optionally be placed On extremities (start and end points), and On control points. You can add control points with a symbol effect.

On vertices marker placement example

At ratio positions

At ratio position marker placement

Markers are placed proportionally along the length of the line or outline by specifying ratios of the total line length in the Positions property.

You can customize the positions by specifying a Begin position and an End position, and a Perpendicular offset. Use the Flip first property marker to have the markers at the ends point in separate directions.

At ratio position marker placement example

At measured units

At measured units marker placement

A single marker is placed along a line at a set Interval according to m-values on the feature. The associated marker can include a text element which is connected to the m-value attribute. The marker can be positioned to Angle to line and can have a Perpendicular offset placing them away from the line or outline. Markers can optionally be placed On extremities (start and end points). Specify a Skip marker rate to suppress markers at certain intervals. This is helpful when two or more levels of interval are being shown in conjunction.

See Draw measured hatches along lines for detailed instructions.

At measured units marker placement example

At center

At center marker placement

A single marker is placed within the polygon, either On polygon, at the Center of mass, or at the Bounding box center as specified by the Method property.

You can specify offsets in X and Y, and clip the marker to the polygon boundary if it exceeds the size or otherwise overlaps the polygon outline. This placement is available in polygon symbols only.

At center marker placement example

Fill polygon

Fill polygon marker placement

Markers are placed within the polygon, either as a Fixed grid or Random, as specified by the Position property.

Adjust the spacing of the markers with the X Step and Y Step properties. When Fixed, specify a Grid angle. When Random, specify the Randomness.

If two marker layers are drawn together, specify different Seed Values to ensure different random placements. Identical seed values place randomly placed markers from two marker symbol layers in identical spots.

You can specify offsets in x and y, and clip the markers to the polygon boundary if they overlap the polygon outline. This placement is available in polygon symbols only.

Fill polygon marker placement example

Anchor points

The anchor point is the location in the marker symbol layer that shows where it draws relative to feature geometry. When you rotate or resize a marker symbol layer, the transformation originates from the anchor point. You can set common anchor point positions by clicking Anchor point presets and choosing a location from the gallery. This is a shortcut to configure the X, Y, and Z anchor points. (In 2D, you work with just X and Y anchor points.) You can further refine these settings after you choose a preset as a starting point. Anchor points can be specified as a relative percentage of the marker symbol layer's extent, or as an absolute distance.

  1. In the Format Symbol pane, on the Properties tab, click the Layers tab Layers.
  2. Highlight a marker symbol layer and expand the Postition heading.
  3. Expand the Anchor point presets menu and choose a preset collection of anchor point values.
  4. Optionally refine the X, Y, and Z (in 3D only) anchor point values further. Use the symbol preview to validate the settings.

Note:

When a marker layer is billboarded in a 3D context, only anchor points in two dimensions—X and Y—are available. When a shape or picture marker layer has Depth of 0 and the anchor points are specified by a Relative percentage, the Z anchor point is disabled because there is no z-thickness in which to adjust anchor point placement.

Offsets

Offsets are linear translations that are applied to the marker symbol layer from the origin of the anchor point after all other transformations have taken place.

  1. In the Format Symbol pane, on the Properties tab, click the Layers tab Layers.
  2. Highlight a marker symbol layer and expand the Offset Distance heading.
  3. Specify values for Offset X, Offset Y, or Offset Z (in 3D only). Use the symbol preview to validate the settings.

Legacy:

When you import a map or scene from ArcMap, ArcScene, or ArcGlobe, or by importing a style, existing symbol offset values are converted to anchor points. Values may not be exactly equal to account for rotation differences.

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