Export Extent Indicators or Map Frame Extents to Feature Class

09-20-2019 09:54 AM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
New Contributor II

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.


Any movement on this?



Please add this!

I just asked about this here: Re: Showing an extent indicator on a map (not a la... - Esri Community


To follow up on this, I'd like to second the use-case for annotations:

I'm currently working on a large map for print and had to convert all my labels to annotations. 

However, because of this, many labels that appeared roughly where I want them (because they draw based on the extent in the layout) moved during the conversion process. I now have to find them and place them where I want them to be.

This entails continuously switching back and for between my map and my layout to check if where I placed them is actually within view on the layout.

Being able to just see the map frame extent when viewing the map would make things like this much, much, much more efficient.