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Layout files

Layout files (.pagx file extension) are saved layouts that can be shared across projects. They can be used as a template for new projects and can create consistency across a set of layouts or throughout an organization. Layout files can either contain map frames and elements that reference maps and layers, or contain empty map frames that don't reference maps and layers. Empty map frames can be populated after the layout file is imported and referenced surround elements will update accordingly.

Save a layout file with empty map frames

A layout file with empty map frames does not contain data. The layout may have formatted elements such as a map frame, legend, and north arrow, but the map frame doesn't have an associated map. When you import a layout file with empty map frames and then reference the map frame to a map, all the other elements in the layout update accordingly. Layout files with empty map frames can work as layout templates. The layout can be imported into various projects and pointed to a variety of maps, but the layout remains consistent.

Create and import a layout file with empty map frames from an existing layout by doing the following:

  1. Open the existing layout to save as a layout file.
  2. In the Contents pane, right-click the map frame and click Properties.

    The Element pane appears.

  3. In the Element pane, set the Map to <None>.

    The layout redraws and the map is no longer visible. All other elements that pointed to that map also stop drawing.

  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for any additional map frames in the layout.
  5. In the Contents pane, right-click each map surround and click Properties.
  6. In the Element pane, verify that the Map frame is set to one of the map frames you set to <None> in steps 2 through 4.

    If the map surround is not pointing to an empty map frame, it will automatically update when that map frame is populated and you will need to manually update the element.

  7. On the Share tab choose Layout File.
  8. Set the name and file location of the layout file and click Save.

Once a layout file with empty map frames has been created, you can import it into any project and populate it using any map in that project by doing the following:

  1. Open the project you'd like to add the layout file to.
  2. On the Insert tab, click New Layout.
  3. Click Import layout file Import.
  4. Browse to the layout file on the Import dialog box and click OK.
  5. In the Contents pane, right-click the map frame and click Properties.

    The Element pane appears.

  6. In the Element pane, set the Map to the desired map.

    The layout redraws so the map frame shows the selected map. All other elements pointing to that map frame update accordingly.

Note:

If the layout file contains table or chart frames, check the properties to make sure the desired table or chart is displayed. A map can have multiple tables and charts, and the autopopulated table or chart may need to be manually updated.

Save a layout file with maps and layers

A layout file can be saved with maps and layers that reference associated data. In this case the elements on the layout, such as the map frame, legend, and north arrow, point to maps and layers. When you import a layout file that references maps, these maps are also imported.

Note:

Layout files don't save data. A populated layout file points to existing data paths. If the data is moved, or the layout file is shared with someone who does not have access to the associated data, the data links will be broken and the layout will not draw correctly.

Create and import a layout file with maps and layers from an existing layout by doing the following:

  1. Open the existing layout to save as a layout file.
  2. On the Share tab click Layout File.
  3. Set the name and file location of your layout file and click Save.

Once a populated layout file has been created, you can import it into a project by doing the following:

  1. Open the project to add the layout file to.
  2. On the Insert tab, click New Layout.
  3. Click Import layout file Import.
  4. Browse to the layout file on the Import dialog box and click OK.

    Optionally, if the map in the layout file already exists in the project, check Reuse existing maps when importing layouts to avoid duplicate maps in the project. Any maps not in the project will still be copied if this option is checked.

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