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Measured grids

Measured grids, commonly referred to as grids, are a network of evenly spaced horizontal and vertical lines that delineate the projected coordinates of the map. To delineate lines of latitude and longitude, use a graticule.

Grid example map

Modify grid properties

Once a grid has been added to a map frame, you can change its appearance by modifying its properties. You can then save it as a style to use again.

To modify a grid, right-click it in the Contents pane and select Properties to open the Format Map Grid pane.

In the Format Map Grid pane, on the Options tab Properties, you can set the following:

  • Name—Change the grid name, how it appears in the Contents pane.
  • Visible—Turn the grid on or off in the layout.
  • Automatically adjust—Automatically change the grid component intervals based on scale.
  • Origin—Specify a custom origin in the coordinate system units for the grid.
  • Coordinate System—Choose the grid's coordinate system.
  • Clip to UTM zone boundary—Remove coordinates outside the UTM zone boundary; this is only available if the grid has a UTM coordinate system.
    Note:

    A grid is associated with a single coordinate system. To create a map with a grid showing multiple UTM zones, each clipped to the UTM zone boundary, you need to create a grid for each zone.

  • Neatline—Adjust the line symbol of the border defining the geographic data extent of the map.
    Note:

    The map frame border is often coincident with the grid neatline. To avoid an overlap, adjust the symbology for the border.

  • Define map grid edges—Allow labeling on a per-edge basis. Short edges can be combined into a single longer edge by setting the Minimum Length control.
  • Preview edges and corners—Show where the defined edges and corners are on the map frame.

Components

Grids are composed of combinations of the following components:

Note:

If your grid is set to a UTM coordinate system, additional components for MGRS Grids are available.

These components are managed on the Components tab Components of the Format Map Grid pane.

Note:

Due to the dynamic nature of grids, there are limitations on modifying components. If you cannot achieve the necessary grid configuration by modifying the component properties, consider converting the grid to graphics and modifying the resulting graphics.

To add a component, click the Add button Add and select from the list of available components. To remove a component, select it in the list and click Remove Delete. Use the arrow buttons Move Item Up Move Item Down to move selected components up or down in the drawing order.

Select a component in the Components list to modify its properties.

Gridlines

Gridlines are the lines crossing over the map that delineate the x- and y-values of the coordinate system. By default, the gridline intervals are calculated based on scale. To set these intervals manually, on the Options tab Properties, uncheck Automatically adjust. Switch to the Components tab Components and type X and Y intervals. Check Sync Values to keep the x- and y-values the same when one is modified.

Click the Symbol button to modify the appearance of the gridlines.

Ticks

Ticks are linear marks at the edges of a grid. Multiple ticks of different styles and intervals can be used to delineate major and minor divisions on your grid. By default, tick intervals are calculated based on scale. To set the tick intervals manually, on the Options tab Properties, uncheck Automatically adjust. Switch to the Components tab Components and type X and Y intervals. Check Sync Values to keep the x- and y-tick values the same when one is modified.

Click the Symbol button to modify the tick's appearance. Set the position of the ticks relative to the map frame by specifying an Offset value.

Under the Visible heading, use the cardinal direction check boxes to specify which ticks are shown. It is important to remember that the cardinal direction boxes refer to the direction the line is drawn, not how the line is labeled. For example, lines drawn north and south are labeled with easting and westing values.

Alternatively, on the Options tab Properties, check Define map grid edges to control the visibility by the cardinal points at each map frame edge. On the Components tab Components, set Edges to Selected. Select one or more map frame edges and use the cardinal direction check boxes to set the visibility for only those edges.

Grids with ticks turned on and off for different edges
The first image is a grid with all ticks displayed. In the second image, East is not checked for all edges. In the third image, East is not checked for Edge 1 only.

Check Show edge visibility indicators to identify the edges with numbered buttons. Select an edge by clicking this button or choosing the number in the pane.

Labels

Labels are the textual x- and y-coordinates at the edges of the grids. By default, labels intervals are calculated based on scale. To set the intervals manually, on the Options tab Properties, uncheck Automatically adjust. Switch to the Components tab Components and type the X and Y intervals. Check Sync Values to keep the x- and y-values the same when one is modified.

Click the Symbol button to modify the text symbol of the labels. Set the position of the labels relative to the map frame by specifying an Offset value.

Label text is set using tags in the Format text box. Tags can be used alone or in combination to create labels. See Work with grid label tags for explanations of these tags along with examples.

Check the Vertical check boxes for each cardinal point to draw those labels vertically.

Under the Visible heading, use the cardinal direction check boxes to specify which labels are shown. It is important to remember that the cardinal direction boxes refer to the direction the line is drawn, not how the line is labeled. For example, lines drawn north and south are labeled with easting and westing values.

Alternatively, on the Options tab Properties, check Define map grid edges to control the visibility by cardinal points for each map frame edge. On the Components tab Components, set Edges to Selected. Select one or more map frame edges and use the cardinal direction check boxes to set the visibility for only those edges.

Grids with labels turned on and off for different edges
The first image is a grid with all labels displayed. In the second image, East is not checked for all edges. In the third image, East is not checked for Edge 1 only.

Check Show edge visibility indicators to identify the edges with numbered buttons. Select an edge by clicking this button or choosing the number in the pane.

Corner Labels

Corner labels are the textual coordinates at the vertices of the map frame. Map frames in the shape of an ellipse, circle, or lasso have one corner label. Each corner label represents a point and has two labels: one for the east-west direction and one for the north-south direction.

Note:

If you check Define map grid edges and change the Minimum length value to reduce or increase the number of edges or corners, those changes will be reflected in the number of corner labels.

The X and Y intervals determine the coordinate in the label. By default, the interval is set to 0,0, meaning that the coordinate of the map frame corner is shown. Increasing the interval places the labels offset from the corner at that distance. For corner labels with an interval greater than 0,0, if the angle of the gridlines is nonperpendicular or nonparallel to the edge of the map frame, there may be multiple corner labels per corner. To set the intervals manually, on the Options tab Properties, uncheck Automatically adjust. Switch to the Components tab Components and type the X and Y intervals. Check Sync Values to keep the x- and y-values the same when one is modified.

To change the appearance of the corner label text, click the Symbol button. Set the position of the corner labels relative to the map frame by specifying an Offset value.

Corner label text is set using tags in the Format text box. Tags can be used alone or in combination to create labels. See Work with grid label tags for descriptions of the tags along with examples.

Corner labels can be turned on or off for each corner of the map frame using the Corner Visibility controls. To see the corners, switch the Corners toggle button to Selected and check Show edge visibility indicators. Numbered buttons appear on each corner of the map frame on the layout. Select a corner by clicking one of these buttons or choosing the corresponding number from the list in the pane.

To turn off the corner label for a single corner, switch the Corners toggle button to Selected. Select the corner to turn off, and uncheck both the North-South and East-West check boxes.

Intersection Points

Intersection points are point symbols showing where coordinate lines intersect. You can use intersection points, without gridlines, to create a grid of points on your map.

By default, the display intervals for intersection points are calculated based on scale. To set the intervals manually, on the Options tab Properties, uncheck Automatically adjust. Switch to the Components tab Components and type the X and Y intervals. Check Sync Values to keep the x- and y-values the same when one is modified.

To change the appearance of the intersection points, click the Symbol button.

Interior Labels

Interior labels are the textual coordinates within the grid, usually placed on top of gridlines.

By default, the interval of the interior labels display is calculated based on scale. To set the intervals manually, on the Options tab Properties, uncheck Automatically adjust. Switch to the Components tab Components and type the X and Y intervals. Check Sync Values to keep the x- and y-values the same when one is modified.

To change the appearance of the label text, click the Symbol button.

Label text is set using tags in the Format text box. Tags can be used alone or in combination to create labels. See Work with grid label tags for descriptions of the tags along with examples.

The X Gap and Y Gap controls set the amount of space between the gridline and the label drawn on top of it. This can be increased or decreased.

There are three options for where labels are shown on the grid: 1/2 1/2, 1/3 1/3, and 1/4 1/4. Each option has different positioning and displays a different number of labels.

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