Export Extent Indicators or Map Frame Extents to Feature Class

Idea created by SamuelKruegerDWP on Sep 20, 2019
    Reviewed
    Score20
    • SamuelKruegerDWP
    • kreuzrsk

    I want to make a polygon representing the exact extent of my layout's map frame that I can view when working with data in the map itself. The concept would be similar to the existing Extent Indicators, but they would be an actual feature class.

    Two reasons I used this in ArcMap (used a third-party tool):

    1. For placing annotations. When I'm hand-placing my annotations in the map view, I want to know precisely where the edge of the map frame is.
    2. For setting up map books. I used to set up a layout based on one view extent, then create the extent polygon feature and copy it multiple times and move those polygons around to set view extents for each sheet in the map book. Seeing the polygon in the map view is necessary in order to be able to predict the exact extents that will be visible on each resulting page.

    If I could see the existing Extent Indicator in the map view even though it wasn't converted to a feature class, that would at least solve problem 1, but it wouldn't solve problem 2. Same goes for activating the map frame in the layout view, although in my experience that adds so much processing overhead as to be a very frustrating workaround.