Change symbol or label properties for multiple layers in the TOC

6754
10
11-15-2010 08:27 AM
Status: Under Consideration
Labels (1)
Occasional Contributor

Sometimes multiple layers in an mxd need to be symbolized or labeled in exactly the same way, but making multiple selections in the TOC doesn't allow the user to change these properties for all layers. You still need to go through each one individually.
This could be a big time saver in some instances, and would be easy to implement.

10 Comments

*Change*... apologies.
 

Before our office began using ArcGIS around 2000, we would use MicroStation as our GIS software and I loved using its ability to change symbology for multiple files at once.  I realize it could get tricky when dealing with different geometry types, but I think gaving this ability in ArcMap would be great.
In regards to the symbology you might want to check out the arcpy.mapping module function UpdateLayer with the optional parameter symbology_only. With this in python you could loop through mutliple layers in a map document and update the symbology for each layer based on the symbology properties of another layer or layer file.
BIG YES. To adjust same fill or outline color for multiple layers (even with single symbol) or same labeling can't be done in ArcMap with one simple click. User has to hire programmers at least from CERN to accomplish this challenging task.
Would love this feature. Maybe it's doable with coding but I can't find any references.
I couldn't find a way to edit or delete my previous comment - it wasn't clear.

What I would like woudl be a way to copy layer label propeties.  There are a few ways to copy layer symbol properties:

1) Apply symbology from layer which you can batch.
2) I guess that python stuff mentioned by Chris_Fox but I don't know python.

There may be a way to do this with python but again, I don't know python (yet, I guess).
And I've just relocated Label Manager but don't seem to be able to find any tools to do batch changes, you still have to copy the paramaers and paste to each label class.  I don't know if this can be done in python or not or in a batch manner or not.
This could be a very simple to have as a built in tool to apply "source" symbology froma  layer to multiple input field for target layers and have the option of selecting and confirming the value field etc. if necessary. 
Here is a potential workflow.
1. In Symbology tab of layer properties, create a symbol you like.
2. In Symbol Selector (double-click symbol) click Save As to save symbol in your Styles collection. This is saved in your profile by default but you can store it as a separate Style Set File (.style) in another location so you don't lose it. Providing it a useful name and tags can help you locate symbols within your style set.
3. Select the Categories Unique values or other symbol types and add values (all or ones you choose) to symbol set for the layer.
4. Right-click the symbol and select Propeties for All Symbols (or select the ones you want to change and choose Properties for Selected Symbols)
5. Select the newly saved symbol from your Style Set
6. Click OK.
The style should be applied to all the symbols you chose.