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Use north arrows

A north arrow maintains a connection to a map frame and indicates the orientation of the map inside the frame. When the map rotates, the north arrow element rotates with it.

Insert a north arrow

When a north arrow is added to the page, it is automatically associated with the default map frame. If there isn't a map frame on the page, the north arrow is not associated with any map, and the map frame is set to <None>. You can set the map frame of the north arrow later, after it is inserted.

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Map Surrounds group, click North Arrow New North Arrow.

    Click the top half of the button to insert the current default north arrow. Click the bottom half of the button to choose from a gallery of north arrows.

  2. On the layout, drag to position the north arrow.

Modify the appearance of a north arrow

To modify the appearance of a north arrow, select it in the layout, and under the North Arrow tab, click the Format tab. You can also right-click the north arrow (either on the layout or in the Contents pane) and click Properties to open the Format North Arrow pane and set the properties there.

The map frame a north arrow is associated with can be changed by choosing a new map frame from the drop-down list in the Map Frame group.

Set the map frame and angle of a north arrow

Under the North Arrow tab, click the Design tab to associate the north arrow with a map frame or to adjust the angle.

Control the orientation of the north arrow by choosing an option for Type:

  • Map North—The north arrow points to north as defined by the rotation of the associated map frame.
  • True North—The north arrow angle points to geodetic north (to the north pole) as calculated by the coordinate system of the associated map frame, at the center of the map.
  • Magnetic North—The north arrow angle points to the north magnetic pole, as indicated by the north-seeking needle of a magnetic instrument.

Enter a value for Calibration Angle to manually adjust the rotation angle. Positive values between 0 and 360 degrees apply counterclockwise rotation. Negative values between 0 and -360 degrees apply clockwise rotation. Use the calibration angle to show magnetic declination by entering the angle that magnetic north deviates from true north.

The Calculated Angle value shows the rotation angle of the north arrow based on the orientation and calibration angles. You cannot edit this value.

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