Find symbols

Features and graphics are drawn with symbols. You can choose existing symbols from galleries. The galleries are filled with symbols that are stored in the project styles. You can search for symbols by name or using a keyword in the galleries in addition to browsing.

When you find an appropriate symbol, you can apply it directly or modify its properties, such as size and color. You can achieve a wide variety of appearances by adjusting symbol properties. Optionally, you can save symbols—modified or not—in a style for later use.

Find symbols in the symbol gallery

When feature data is first symbolized, it is given a default symbol that appears in the Contents pane. Click the symbol's patch to access the Format Symbol mode of the Symbology pane. This mode has two tabs: Gallery and Properties. You find and apply ready-made symbols on the Gallery tab; you use the Properties tab to make adjustments to the current symbol.

Format Symbol mode of the Symbology pane

You can browse the symbol gallery to find a symbol, or you can search for symbols by typing a search term. The gallery displays symbols of the current type (point, line, polygon, or text) that are contained within the project styles, or it displays the results of your search. By default, a search returns symbols from all system styles (those installed with ArcGIS Pro). To limit search results to only the symbols in the project styles, click the drop-down menu next to the search bar and choose Project styles.

Change the gallery view

Hover over a symbol in the gallery to see the symbol name, the style in which it is stored, its category, and its tags. In the filter menu Filter, use Icon View to see many symbols at once; use List View when symbol names are lengthy. Group symbols either by the style they are in or by the category assigned to them. Sort the symbols alphabetically or by their native order.

Search for symbols

Each symbol stored in a style contains searchable tags that describe its characteristics. Symbols in styles may also have a category. A category is similar to a tag but is used in some parts of the application to control which core symbols are shown in certain galleries. In your own styles, you can use the category as a main organizational tag. Search results consist of symbols in which the search term matches the symbol name, the symbol category, or symbol tags.

Search results match the beginning of the search term. For example, searching for tar finds symbols with the word target in their name or tags but not symbols with the word star. If necessary, use an asterisk as a wildcard to represent any number of characters. For example, searching for *tar finds symbols with both the words target and star. You can access previous searches by clicking the drop-down arrow to the right of the Search box.

Work with symbol tags

To return useful search results, each symbol contains descriptive tags. Tags are strings that identify key information about each symbol. They can include references to the appearance of a symbol, its origin, its usage, or any combination of these properties.

Tags can be up to 255 characters long, including spaces. The tags for system style symbols that are installed with ArcGIS Pro are read-only; they cannot be modified. The tags on the symbols in these styles are prepopulated to reflect the graphic properties of the symbols, such as the primary color and the symbol type, as well as other pertinent information. However, you can modify the tags of any symbol in an editable style. Tags in editable styles can be used to describe any relevant aspect of the symbol, such as a related project, map, layer, scale, or specification.

Manage styles

Symbols can be contained within styles for organization, reuse, or sharing. When you add a style to a project, the symbols in that style appear in the symbol galleries of the project. You manage styles and their contents from a catalog view. Click the Manage Styles button Manage Style in the Gallery mode of the Format Symbol pane to go directly to the Styles folder of the project in a catalog view.

Find more symbols

If symbols in the project's default system styles do not provide what you need, you can find additional symbols and symbol templates by adding custom or system styles to your project. You can also search for styles in the Catalog pane by clicking Portal > All Portal Portal and searching for stylx (the style file extension) in the search bar. Many styles exist with particular themes in mind, so it is helpful to search using keywords and tags related to your project's goals to find the symbols you need.

Some symbols, such as river labels and highway shields, are types of text symbols. These are available on the Labeling tab.


If you have ArcMap installed, you can also import ArcMap styles to provide additional choices for symbols. On the Insert tab, in the Styles group, click Import Import Style File and browse to [install drive]:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop<version #>\Styles. Choose a style and click OK. If the style references fonts for character markers, ensure that the font is installed on your computer. An ArcGIS Pro *.stylx version of the style is created in the project home folder and added to your project.

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