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Export a map or layout

After you've created a map or layout, you may want to share it as a file. You can export to several industry-standard file formats.

  • EMF, EPS, PDF, SVG, and SVGZ formats are referred to as vector export formats, because they support a mixture of vector and raster data.
  • BMP, JPG, PNG, TIFF, TGA, and GIF are referred to as image export formats, because they are purely raster export formats.

The supported export formats are listed below.

File FormatDescription

EMF (Windows Enhanced Metafile)

EMF files are native Windows graphics files that can contain a mixture of vector and raster data. They are useful for embedding in Windows documents because the vector portions of the EMF can be resized without loss of quality. However, since EMF does not support font embedding and is exclusively a Windows format, it is not commonly used as an interchange format between users.

EPS (Encapsulated PostScript)

EPS files use the PostScript page description language to describe vector and raster objects. PostScript is the publishing industry standard for high-end graphics files, cartography, and printing. EPS files can be edited in many drawing applications or placed as a graphic in most page layout applications. EPS files support embedding of fonts so that users who do not have Esri fonts installed can still view the proper symbology. EPS exports can define colors in CMYK or RGB values.

PDF (Portable Document Format)

PDF files are designed to be consistently viewable and printable across different platforms. They are commonly used for distributing documents on the web, and the format is now an official ISO standard for document interchange. PDFs are editable in many graphics applications and retain map georeference information, annotation, labeling, and feature attribute data. PDF exports support embedding of fonts and thus can display symbology correctly even if the user does not have Esri fonts installed.

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)

SVG is an XML-based file format that has been specifically designed for viewing on the web. SVG can contain both vector and raster information. Some web browsers may require a plug-in to view SVG files; older browsers may not be able to view SVG files at all. SVG supports font embedding, so users who do not have the Esri fonts installed can still view SVG exports with proper symbology. You can also choose to produce compressed SVG files. The file extension changes to *.svgz when this option is enabled.

BMP (Microsoft Windows bitmap)

BMP files are native Windows raster images. BMPs can store pixel data at several bit depths and can be compressed using the lossless RLE method. BMP images are typically much larger than formats such as JPEG or PNG.

JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

JPEG files are compressed image files. They support 24-bit color and have been a popular choice for use on the web because JPEG file size is often substantially smaller than many other image formats. However, the JPEG compression algorithm is lossy and is not recommended for many map images, as line drawings and text or iconic graphics become blurred by compression artifacts. Thus, PNG is usually a superior format for map images. JPEGs can be generated with an accompanying world file for use as georeferenced raster data.

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

PNG is a versatile raster format that can be displayed in web browsers and inserted into other documents. It supports high-bit-depth color and uses a lossless compression. For maps, PNG is often the best raster format, since the lossless compression keeps text and line work legible by preventing the compression artifacts that can occur in JPEG format. PNG files also have the ability to define a transparent color; part of the image can be displayed as transparent in a web browser, allowing backgrounds, images, or colors to show through. PNGs can be generated with an accompanying world file for use as georeferenced raster data.

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)

TIFF files are the best choice for importing into image editing applications and are also a common GIS raster data format. However, they cannot be natively viewed by a web browser. TIFFs also support georeferencing information in GeoTIFF tags or in a separate world file for use as raster data.

TGA (Truevision Graphics Adapter)

TGA files have historically been used for content that is meant to be used in other applications (for example, image sprites for animated games) and is read and written by many popular graphic arts applications. It supports multiple bit depths including 32-bit with alpha (transparency) support.

GIF (Graphic Interchange Format)

GIF files are a legacy raster format for use on the web. GIFs cannot contain more than 256 colors (8 bits per pixel), which, along with optional lossless RLE or LZW compression, makes them smaller than other file formats. Like PNG, GIF files also have the ability to define a transparent color. GIFs can be generated with an accompanying world file for use as georeferenced raster data.

Share a map or layout as a vector format (EMF, EPS, PDF, SVG, SVGZ)

  1. Make sure a map or layout is your active view.
  2. On the Sharetab, in the Export group, click Map Export or Layout Export, depending on the active view.
  3. Browse to the location where you want to save the file.
  4. Type the File name.
  5. Click Save as type and choose a format.
  6. Type the Resolution (DPI).
  7. Check Embed Fonts to include embeddable fonts in your exported document. Note that fonts with licensing that does not allow embedding will not be included in your export regardless of this setting.
  8. For layouts, check Clip to Graphics Extent to include only the areas of the page that have map or layout element content, rather than exporting the entire page.
  9. Choose the Image Quality. This controls the quality of rasterized data going into the export. The default is Best, meaning the full resolution of the requested export. Changing to a lower option results in the rasterized data being down-sampled to a fraction of the chosen DPI.
  10. Optionally, if exporting to PDF or TIFF, click Export Options to set advanced options. Click OK when you're done.
    • Compress vector graphics compresses the vector content streams in the PDF. This option should be left on unless clear text is desired for troubleshooting.
    • Image Compression specifies how raster streams in the PDF are compressed. You can choose between using lossy but space-efficient JPEG compression, or lossless Flate compression. The Adaptive option mixes JPEG and Flate compression depending on the contents of the stream and is the default.
    • Layers and attributes controls whether your PDF will contain layers like your map. Additionally, you can choose to include the attribute data from the features in the PDF. Be aware that including attributes for a large number of layers can affect the performance of the PDF.
    • Export map georeference information controls whether geospatial information is included for the map frames in the PDF. If this information is included, readers of the PDF can extract x,y-coordinate information from the map frames and perform geographic measurement directly on the PDF map frame.
    • Use password to restrict opening the document and accompanying password fields allow you to add a password to restrict opening of the resulting PDF document.
  11. Click Export.

Share a map or layout as an image format (BMP,JPEG,PNG,TIFF,TGA,GIF)

  1. Make sure a map or layout is your active view.
  2. On the Sharetab, in the Export group, click Map Export or Layout Export, depending on the active view.
  3. Type the File name.
  4. Click Save As Type and choose the desired format.
  5. Type the Resolution (DPI).
  6. For maps, choose whether to generate a World File. The world file is used to contain georeference information so the image export can be used as raster data in ArcGIS Pro or other GIS applications. This option is unavailable for 3D view and layout exports.
  7. For layouts, check Clip to Graphics Extent to include only the areas of the page that have map or layout element content, rather than exporting the entire page.
  8. Choose the Color Mode. This controls how color in the map ends up in the export. Various choices for color mode are available depending on what is supported by file type.
    • 32-bit with Alpha is capable of describing 16,777,216 different colors, and an alpha (transparency) channel of 255 different values. This color mode is useful for situations where maximum color fidelity and the ability to overlay the Map or Layout on another image transparently are important.
    • 24-bit True Color is capable of reproducing 16,777,216 colors. This color mode is useful for situations where the maximum color fidelity is desired.
    • 8-bit Adaptive Palette compresses the color information in your map or layout to 255 possible colors, using an adaptive palette to maintain recognizable hues. Because it stores significantly fewer bits per pixel while still maintaining color fidelity, this is a good choice when a small image file is desired.
    • 8-bit Grayscale converts all of the colors in your map or layout into 256 shades of gray. This can be useful if the deliverable is a monochrome brochure or other single-color destination.
  9. Optionally, if exporting to TIF, click Export Options to set advanced options. Click OK when you're done.
    • Image compression sets the method used to compress content within the TIF. The default is LZW. Unless you need to use a different or no compression for compatibility with an older graphic design application, you should leave this at the default setting.
    • Include GeoTIFF tags to write GeoTIFF information directly into the TIF header. Note that this is independent from the Create a World File option. GIS-capable software can choose to honor the GeoTIFF information or the world file for these exports.
  10. Click Export.

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