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Refresh a map series

Map series gives you the ability to generate a set of output pages by taking a single layout and iterating over a set of map extents. In some cases, you may want to refresh an existing set of map series pages. Refreshing simply re-creates the pages using current map series parameters.

You'll want to refresh if one of the following occurred after creating a map series:

  • Features were added to or deleted from the index layer.
  • Edits were made to the sort field values.
  • Edits were made to the name field values.
  • Edits were made to any field being used by map series as an index layer feature that drives the current geographic extent.

Until you click Refresh Refresh on the Layout tab in the Page Setup group, map series will retain the original set of pages. Once you refresh, the pages will correctly reflect new pages, deleted pages, a new order, and new names.

Some data changes will be automatically picked up by map series. These include edits made to the following:

  • Rotation field values
  • Spatial reference field values
  • Scale field values

Changes to these fields will be picked up as the map series iterates through the series, with one exception. If edits are made to any of the above fields for the current page's index feature, you won't see the changes until you click Refresh Refresh.


Map series does not lock any elements on the page or any layout properties. You make changes as you would normally, and the changes will be applied automatically. Refreshing map series has no affect on these changes.

All static changes to the layout, such as repositioning the north arrow, changing the size or orientation of the page, or resizing a data frame, are reflected in all pages in the series. Map series does not allow each map page to have a different layout.

The Map Frame will always reflect the current list of map frames contained in the map document. Removing a data frame currently being used in the map series resets the map series field parameters to their default values.

Map Frame

Enabling map series does not restrict you from editing the properties of the map frame (or any other map frame in your project). Some properties are always applied to all pages.

These properties are as follows:

  • Map frame name
  • Map frame description
  • Reference scale
  • Map and display units
  • Map cache
  • Size and position
  • Frame
  • Grid
  • Layer order
  • Extent indicator

You can make changes to the map frame as you normally would. You'll see most of these changes reflected in each page of map series, regardless of whether you refresh the pages or not. For example, if you change the size and position of the map frame, each page shows these changes.

Refresh does not affect these properties.

There are three map frame properties that can affect each page, or if specific fields have been specified in the map series setup, a refresh of the pages overrides any settings you made manually.

These properties are as follows:

  • Spatial reference
  • Rotation
  • Scale

Setting these properties for map series is optional. If you don't set these fields, each page in your map series uses the default values.

When you interactively change the map frame map extent, you're only changing the map extent for the current page. Clicking Refresh Refresh snaps the map extent back to the appropriate extent for that page.

Index layer

There are things you can do to an index layer that directly affect the map series, including the following:

  • Adding or removing features
  • Editing feature geometry
  • Adding or removing a definition query
  • Removing the index layer from the data frame

Changes you make to the features of the index layer, such as adding or removing features, editing feature geometry, or applying a new definition query, will be automatically reflected in the map series. For example, if you delete a feature from the index layer, its corresponding page is also deleted. If you change the spatial extent of an index feature, the data frame map extent for the corresponding page also changes.

The only exception to this is if the index feature driving the current page is changed. The page does not immediately show this change. In this case, you need to refresh to update the current page and see the change.

Removing a layer currently being used as the map series index layer prompts a warning.

Selecting a different layer for the index layer resets the map series field parameters to their default values. Map extent options are not affected if either Best Fit or Center and Maintain Scale are used. If you're using a Scale From Field, map series will change back to Best Fit, since there is no guarantee that the new index layer has an appropriate field and values for a Scale From Field. After making any changes, you should double check all the map series parameters before clicking OK.

Index layer files

Enabling map series does not restrict you from editing the properties or values of index layer attributes or fields.

These changes can include the following:

  • Editing field values
  • Adding or removing fields (including from table joins)
  • Adding or removing a table join
  • Changing the properties of a table join (inner vs. outer)
  • Changing field alias

If you're editing a field or attribute that map series is not currently using, you don't have to worry about adversely affecting, or having to refresh, the pages when you're done. If you're editing attributes used by the name or sort fields, you should refresh the pages. If you're editing attributes used by the rotation, spatial reference, page number, or scale fields, you don't have to refresh the pages unless you're editing the attributes of the index layer feature driving the current map extent. In this case, you should refresh the pages.

The field drop-down lists in map series reflect all these changes automatically. They show newly added fields, newly joined fields, or newly applied field aliases. Conversely, the drop-down lists do not show deleted fields.

If you delete a field currently being used, map series uses the next valid field, or, in the case of rotation, a value of 0 is used. This change is reflected the next time the pages are drawn. On the Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Refresh Map Series Refresh to enforce the change for the current page.

Unchecking the Enable Map Series check box disables map series functionality. This check box needs to be checked to create, view, and utilize map series. If you disable map series and click OK, all map series settings you made are cleared. Map series utilizes the default settings the next time you enable map series for your project.

Refresh Map Series pages

To refresh map series pages, on the Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Refresh Map Series Refresh.

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