Editing Layer Symbology

09-17-2010 03:08 PM
Status: Open
New Contributor II

I would like to see a utility for editing layer symbology that is easier to use than editing the layer symbology in the layer properties itself.

  • If you are grouping many values together it is difficult to keep track which values have been included as you need to hover your mouse over the value column to see all the values and you have to be quick because the pop-up disappears after about 10 secs. It is possible to change the width of the columns but the layer properties dialog is only so wide. Allowing the layer properties dialog to be expanded out further would help here.
  • If you make a number of changes to the symbology of a layer ArcGIS crashes, applying your changes, exiting out of the layer properties dialog and saving your mxd works around this but it is very frustrating if you forget to save before you lose all your work.
  • changing the order of values is also sometimes tricky. If you ungroup things all but the first one is removed from the heading to the very top of the layer properties dialog. Sometimes the dialog doubles up the value combinations. I would like to be able to ungroup things and then have them all stay under the same heading. Even nicer would be a dialog were I could remove one value combination or add another value combination from the set. It would also be very nice to sort on the value combinations to make sure that all the desired combinations are there.

I imagine this to be something similar to the style manager or possibly even part of it. A tool specifically for the editing of layer symbology. I hope to see something like this is a future release and I appreciate you taking the time to read this.

It should be possible to organize symbology directly in TOC (some simple opertions like new/delete symbol, group/ungroup etc. For advanced layer symbology management, layer properties should be radically enhanced for better user comfortability and effective work.
Because ordering and grouping in the layer properties -> Symbology is mentioned, I chose to post my comment here rather than creating a new thread.

The fact that sorting does not work when using the "Unique values, many fields" symbology option is an efficiency killer. Implementing national symbology standards, I often have hundreds of value combinations within the same layer to deal with. Correct sorting is given by attribute values, and losing it whenever you make a change is a true nightmare. Also, when grouping/ungrouping symbol occurences, original label texts should be respected when not being modified. I'm not so concerned whether the modification of the setup takes place in the TOC or in an enhanced Properties -> Symbology dialog in a future release. I just hope that basic user operations like sorting on multiple values and changing single elements without creating undesirable side-effects are supported. Last but not least, generating a template based on a  "Unique values, many fields" setup seldom works adequately. Layer symbology -> Template should go smoothly instead of generating a lot of manual work.