Setting up a layout aids the design of your layout. Use rulers, guides, and printer margins to help arrange items on the page. Snapping can be configured to help place elements more precisely. You can also customize additional aspects of your layout by updating layout properties in the Layout Properties window.
Use rulers to show the size of your layout page and place elements at specific positions. You can switch their visibility on the Layout tab in the Show group. When rulers are visible, you can turn them off by right-clicking the ruler and unchecking Rulers.
Ruler units always match page units. To change page units, double-click the layout in the Contents pane. On the Page Setup tab, click the Page units drop-down menu.
Add guides to help position and size elements on the page. Guides are lines drawn vertically or horizontally at a specified location on the page for visual reference. They are not included when the layout is exported or printed.
To add guides, right-click the ruler and choose Add Guide or Add Guides. Choose Add Guide to create a single vertical or horizontal blue guide at the location you right-clicked the ruler. Choose Add Guides to open a dialog box with options for placing guides at exact locations.
While rulers must be visible to add guides, rulers do not need to be visible to view existing guides.
The Add Guides dialog box allows you to choose the orientation and placement of your guides.
- Horizontal—Create horizontal guides
- Vertical—Create vertical guides
- Both—Create both horizontal and vertical guides simultaneously
- Single location—Place a guide at the specified position
- Evenly spaced—Create evenly spaced guides across the page starting at 0
- Center—Place a guide at the center of the page
- Offset from edge—Place guides at a given distance from the edges of the page
For Single location, Evenly spaced, and Offset from edge, you can specify a Position in page units for the guides to draw.
To move a guide, hover over its position on the ruler until a slider control appears. Click and drag the slider to move the guide to the desired position.
You can switch the visibility of guides by checking or unchecking Guides on the Layout tab in the Show group. To remove a guide entirely, right-click the guide along the ruler and choose Remove Guide or Remove All Guides from the context menu .
Printer margins can be displayed on the layout as dashed lines. Generally, printers have a set margin and cannot print to the very edge of a page. To avoid losing elements when a layout is printed, all the elements should be drawn within the printer margins.
The printer margin varies for different printers. To display the printer margins on the layout, the layout size must be based on a printer paper size. Use the Select page from printer option when creating a blank layout to add margins when creating a layout. If a layout has already been created, you can add margins by doing the following:
- On the Layout tab in the Page Setup group, click Select page from printer to open the Select page from printer dialog box.
- Choose the printer you are using from the Printer drop-down list.
- Select the layout's page size from the Paper Size drop-down list.
- Set the Paper Source and Orientation options.
- Check Include margins from printer to add the printer margins to the layout.
- Click OK to create the layout with the dashed printer margins.
Printer margins draw by default. You can turn off their visibility by unchecking Margins on the Layout tab in the Show group.
Printer margins are static and only apply to the printer the page was selected from. If you switch printers, you need to select the margins from the new printer to make sure they are accurate.
Layout elements can snap to guides or to existing page elements. If snapping is enabled, when you create, move, or resize a layout element, it snaps to a guide once the pointer is close enough. This also applies to the dynamic, temporary guides that appear based on the pointer's position relative to an existing element's geometry. This is helpful when aligning elements with each other.
The following snap modes are available on the layout:
|Snap mode||Snapping behavior|
Elements snap to the nearest guide.
Elements snap to temporary guides that appear when an element is aligned with the edge or center of other elements on the page.
Elements snap to the edges of the layout page.
Elements snap to the dashed printer margins on the page. This option only applies when the printer margins are included in the layout.
To turn snapping on or off, click the Snapping button at the bottom of the layout view.
To enable or disable snap modes, hover over Snapping and click them to turn them on or off.
You can temporarily disable snapping by pressing the Spacebar.
After a layout has been created, you can view and modify its properties at any time. To do this, right-click the layout name in the Contents pane and choose Properties to open the Layout Properties window. Layout properties are grouped into five categories:
- General—The name of the layout.
- Metadata—A subset of metadata properties for the layout.
- Page Setup—The Page units, Page size, and Page orientation options for the layout. Here you can also use Select Page from Printer to set the page size based on printer page sizes.
- Map Series—The map series definition for the layout. See Map series for more information.
- Color Management—The color model and color profile settings for the layout. See Use color management for more information about color management.