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Map frame constraints

Maps on a layout exist within map frames, which are containers for maps. A map frame can point to any map or scene in your project. The map frame and the map view are independent, so zooming or panning in the map frame does not affect any open map views. Map frame constraints let you set limits on the map extent. For instance, you might only be interested in a geographic subset of your data and want to limit the map to that area. Or, you may want to derive the map extent of one map frame, like an inset map, based on a different map frame.

Note:

While the map extent in a map frame and a corresponding map view are independent, the contents of the map are not. A map frame in a layout is just like having another map view open. For example, if you select some features in a map, those features are selected in all open views of that map, including any map frames. Likewise, if you turn a layer off in one view, it turns off in all views. Layer properties cannot be set per view.

Set a map frame constraint

Update the map extent of a map frame by activating it and using the map navigation tools to pan and zoom to the desired extent.

To learn how to activate a map frame, see Work with a map on a layout.

  1. To set map frame display constraints, ensure the layout is the active view.
  2. In the Contents pane, right-click the map frame and click Properties to open the Format Map Frame pane.
  3. In the Format Map Frame pane, on the Display Options tab Display Options, choose the map frame constraint.

    3D scenes cannot have fixed constraints. Map frame constraints in scenes are always limited to None.

Standard map frame constraints

There are five map frame constraints that can be applied to a 2D map frame:

ConstraintDescription
None

No constraints on the map frame. There are no limitations on the type of navigation allowed when the map frame is activated.

Fixed extent

Sets the map frame to the map extent. Navigation is unavailable when the map frame is activated, and if you resize the map frame the map scale changes to keep the extent. The fixed extent can be the current extent of the map (default), or the full extent of a layer within the map. You can also add a margin to set a fixed buffer between the extent and the map frame edge.

Fixed center

Sets the map frame center point. Zooming and rotating around the point are allowed when the map frame is activated, but panning is unavailable. If you resize the map frame the map scale and extent may update to keep the center point the same. You can set the center point to be the center of the current map (default) or the center of a layer within the map.

Fixed center and scale

Sets the map frame center point and scale. Zooming and panning are unavailable when the map frame is activated. If you resize the map frame the map extent will update to keep the map scale and center the same.

Fixed scale

Sets the map frame scale. Panning and rotating are allowed when the map frame is activated, but zooming is unavailable. If you resize the map frame the map extent will update to keep the map scale constant.

Multiple map frame constraints

If the layout contains more than one map frame additional map frame constraints become available. These additional constraints enable one-directional links between two map frames that tie their views together. Each constraint allows you to select the map frame to which to link the current map frame. This selected map frame is called the linked map frame. If you update the extent of the linked map frame, the map frame where the constraint is set will update automatically.

The additional constraints are:

ConstraintDescription
Linked map frame extent

Sets the current map frame to match the extent of the linked map frame. Navigation is unavailable when this map frame is activated.

In the Layer drop-down you can select a layer in the current map frame to be an intersecting layer. This means the extent of the current map frame will include the boundary of all features within the linked map frame extent. For example, if you set US States as a intersecting layer and your linked map frame includes all US counties, if you zoom into a county in New York, your current map frame will zoom to the extent of New York. Add a margin to set a fixed buffer between the extent and the map frame edge.

Linked map frame center

Sets the current map frame to match the center of the linked map frame. Zooming is allowed when the map frame is activated, but panning and rotation are not.

In the Layer drop-down you can select a layer in the current map frame to be an intersecting layer. This means the extent of the current map frame will include the boundary of all features within the linked map frame extent. For example, if you set US States as a intersecting layer and zoom to an area of New York, your current map frame will zoom to the extent of New York. Add a margin to set a fixed buffer between the extent and the map frame edge.

Linked map frame center and scale

Sets the current map frame to match the center and scale of the linked map frame. Zooming and panning are unavailable when the map frame is activated.

Linked map frame scale

Sets the current map frame to match the scale of the linked map frame. Panning and rotation are allowed when the map frame is activated, but zooming is not.

Map series constraints

Additional constraints are also available if a layout contains a map series. The Map series constraint is automatically applied to the map frame containing the index layer and cannot be removed. Other map frames on the layout can have any of the standard or linked map frame constraints applied as well as an additional constraint.

ConstraintDescription
Map series

Sets the map frame to the extent of the index feature. This is automatically applied to the map frame containing the index layer and cannot be removed. To customize the extent used set the extent options for a map series.

Linked map series shape

Sets the map frame to the extent of the index feature.

In the Layer drop-down you can select a layer in the current map frame to be an intersecting layer. This means the extent of the current map frame will include the boundary of all features within the linked map frame extent. For example, if your map series index layer is Major Cities and you set US States as a intersecting layer, on the page for New York City your current map frame will zoom to the extent of New York. Add a margin to set a fixed buffer between the extent and the map frame edge.

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