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Extent indicators

Extent indicators are a way to show the extent of one map frame within another map frame. They are often used for layouts containing locator or overview maps. A locator map shows a larger area, or extent, than the main map to provide spatial context. An extent indicator can be added to the locator map to show the area represented in the main map. Inset maps show areas of your main map in more detail. With inset maps, one or more extent indicators can be added to your main map to show the areas represented in the inset maps.

Insert an extent indicator

Extent indicators require two map frames—the map frame containing the extent indicator and the map frame with the extent you want to show—and only work with 2D maps. Because of this, the Extent Indicator button is disabled until there are at least two 2D map frames on the page. To add an extent indicator in your layout, complete the following steps:

  1. In the Contents pane, select the map frame to which you want to add an extent indicator; this is the map frame where the extent indicator will draw.
  2. On the Insert tab of the ribbon, in the Map Frames group, click the Extent Indicator button. A drop-down menu appears listing all the other map frames on the page. Choose the map frame for which you want to show the extent.

    An extent indicator draws on the map frame.

  3. Optionally select the extent indicator in the Contents pane, right-click and choose Properties to open the Formant Extent Indicator pane. There you can change the symbol, add a leader line from the extent indicator to the map frame of which it shows the extent, and collapse the indicator to a point.

Extent indicators are listed beneath the map frame with which they are associated. If you don't see the extent indicator in the Contents pane, expand the map frame. If the map frame contains multiple extent indicators, you can select all or some and format them simultaneously. You can also reorder the extent indicators within the map frame by dragging them into the Contents pane.

Change the symbol

To change the extent indicator's symbol, right-click the extent indicator in the Contents pane and choose Properties to open the Format Extent Indicator pane. Select the Symbol button and choose a new symbol from the gallery, or select Properties to modify an existing symbol.

By default, extent indicators are the same shape as the map frame of which they are showing the extent. You change the shape of the extent indicator by setting the Shape drop-down control. The following options are available:

  • Frame—Draws the extent indicator the same shape as the map frame of which it shows the extent. This is the default.
  • Rectangle—Draws the extent indicator as a rectangle, regardless of map frame shape. This may result in the extent indicator showing slightly more than the actual extent.
  • Current map series shape—Draws the extent indicator the same shape as the map series index feature. This is only available when map series is enabled.

Check Apply symbol outside extent to have the extent indicator draw on the area surrounding the extent, rather than the extent itself. This can be used to mask features outside the extent, further highlighting the map extent being shown.

Add a leader

A leader can be added to connect the extent indicator to the source map frame. It can be a line or a callout. The following leader options are available:

  • <None>—Does not draw a leader line. This is the default.
  • Shortest line—Draws a line showing the shortest distance between the extent indicator and the source map frame.
  • Line to midpoint—Draws a line between the extent indicator and the midpoint of the closest side of the source map frame.
  • Line to center—Draws a line between the center point of the extent indicator and the source map frame and clips the line to the edges of the extent indicator and source map frame.
  • Callout to edge—Draws the source map frame as a callout by drawing a polygon between the extent indicator and the shape of the source map frame.
  • Callout to center—Draws the source map frame as a callout by drawing a polygon between the centers of the extent indicator and the source map frame.
  • Callout to edges—Draws the source map frame as a callout by drawing a polygon between the corners of the extent indicator and the shape of the source map frame.

To add a leader, right-click the extent indicator in the Contents pane and select Properties to open the Formant Extent Indicator pane. In the pane, under the Leader heading, set the Style to the desired option. To change the leader's symbol, click the Symbol button and choose a new symbol from the gallery, or select Properties to modify the existing symbol.

Collapse to point

Sometimes the area displayed in the source map frame is so small on your main map frame that the extent indicator would be better symbolized as a point. The collapse to point option allows you to set the smallest width or height value in points where the extent indicator should be drawn as a shape. If the width or height of the extent indicator is smaller than that value, the extent indicator will draw as a point.

To set collapse to point, right-click the extent indicator in the Contents pane and select Properties to open the Formant Extent Indicator pane. In the pane, under the Collapse to point heading, set the Smaller than control to the smallest width or height value where the extent indicator should draw as a shape. To change the symbol used when the extent indicator is collapsed to point, click the Symbol button and choose a new symbol from the gallery, or select Properties to modify the existing symbol.

Note:

When the extent indicator draws as a point and Apply symbol outside extent is checked, that setting will be ignored and the point will draw on the map extent, not outside of it.

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