Interact with a chart

You can interact with a chart to explore your data and get more information.


Selection is dynamic between charts, maps, and attribute tables. Selecting one or more features in your chart will select the same features in your map and table. Similarly, a selection in your map or table will also be reflected in your chart. To make a selection in your chart, do the following:

  1. Ensure your chart is in select mode by clicking the Select Mode button Active Select in the chart window.
  2. Use one of three available selection tools in the selection drop-down menu to make a selection in your chart.
    • Rectangle Active Select—Click a chart element, or click and drag the rectangle across the chart.
    • Polygon Active Select Polygon—Click in the chart to create the vertices of the polygon. Double-click to close the polygon and complete the selection.
    • Lasso Active Select Lasso—Press and hold the left mouse button and draw with the pointer to create a freehand shape in the chart.
  3. To clear the selection, click a blank area of the chart, or click the Clear selection button Clear Selected in the chart window.

Three available selection tools in the selection drop-down menu

Interactive selection allows you to explore features of interest and can also be used as a filtering mechanism. For example, you might use selection to highlight features of interest and run a geoprocessing tool on the selection set. You could also choose to export the selected features as a new layer or table.

Learn more about selecting features in a map


Zoom can be used to examine part of a chart in more detail. To zoom in to an area in your chart, do the following:

  1. Ensure your chart is in zoom mode by clicking the Zoom Mode button Rectangle Zoom in the chart window.
  2. Click and drag to create a rectangle around the area of interest.
    Chart full extent and zoom extent
  3. To pan, click and drag the mouse wheel button.
  4. To return to the chart's full extent, click the Full Extent button Fixed Zoom Out in the chart window.

The following mouse and keyboard shortcuts are available to facilitate chart exploration:


Select mode Active Select

Left button drag

Selection rectangle

Right button drag

Zoom rectangle

Zoom mode Rectangle Zoom

Left button drag

Zoom rectangle

Right button drag

Selection rectangle

Any mode

Left button drag + Shift

Zoom rectangle

Wheel button scroll

Zoom in and out

Wheel button drag


Left button drag + C



Full extent


Charts, like maps and tables, do not display features out of the current range or query applied to the source layer. You can visually filter charts using the range slider, time slider, definition queries, or any combination of the three.

In the following example, a range slider was used to filter crimes in Washington, D.C., based on ward number. As the ward number changes, the map and chart both update to show only crimes that took place in the specified ward.

Line chart filtered by range slider

Data on a chart can also be filtered according to a map's extent and selection set.

When Filter by Extent is enabled, the chart only draws based on features in the current visible geographic extent of the active map or map frame. As you pan and zoom in the active map to different spatial extents, the chart redraws to reflect the new extent.


Filter by Extent is only available in 2D map views.

When Filter by Selection is enabled, the chart only draws features that are currently selected. The selection can be made in the map, the attribute table, or another chart created from the same layer.

Filter by Selection can be used as a way to zoom in to a chart. To do this, create two identical charts and set one of them to filter by selection. Then, when you make a selection in the unfiltered chart, the filtered chart will zoom to only that area that has been selected.

Filter by Selection focuses on an area of interest in a scatter plot
The chart on the right shows only the selection subset from the chart on the left.


Hover over any data object in your chart to reveal more detailed information in a ToolTip. ToolTips display the variables and values for the associated record or records. This allows you to quickly interrogate the chart for exact values.


Some charts include a legend to distinguish between series or to display statistical information. You can click an item in the legend to turn it on and off in the chart.

Chart series shown in a legend
A bar chart series is shown in a legend.

Legend items for bar and line charts can be reordered, relabeled, and deleted on the Series tab in the Chart Properties pane.

Legend order and labels in the Chart Properties pane

Legend visibility or placement can be changed using the Legend button Legend in the chart window.