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Get rid of 10MB Map graphics layer size limit

03-09-2023 12:43 PM
Status: Open
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Occasional Contributor III

As of 3.1 there is a stone age 10MB limit on graphic layers in a map.  ArcMap did not have this.  If you want to insert more than 10MB of graphics, like picture markers for example, into the map the only way is to make a style file, make a feature layer, compose a marker symbol of each graphic needed, and assign the right marker to each symbol.  A tedious and pointless process that greatly slows down workflows.  This is an equivalency issue.


Just a note that this is not a limit that was introduced in 3.1. It has been in place for graphics layers since they were added in Pro multiple releases ago. 

Here is the 2.6 documentation: 


Because graphics are not stored in a database, it is very inefficient to read and render them. We had numerous complaints from ArcMap users over the years about slow performing .mxds only to find out that they had thousands of graphics instead of actual features in feature classes, shapefiles, etc. Instituting the limit in Pro is a compromise to allow the use of graphics, but keep maps relatively performant.

Thanks for the explanation. It makes sense from that angle. The option I'm looking at is to make GIS features with picture marker symbols out of the existing image file library for all these features, but will that be just as slow? It'll still be loading a bunch of image files, just in a slightly different way. I'm starting to think there's no good way I can use, in Pro, the image files library I have for this job. Maybe I can convert all these little rasters into vector files somehow.


Is there any way to convert a Pro project back to an mxd?  The picture or shape marker symbol solution is going take time I don't have.


There is not a conversion of a Pro map into an mxd. I'm not sure what the final deliverable is, but would it work to share a web map from Pro and then use that as a base for continued work in ArcMap? 


Found a work around.   Insert the graphics you need in ArcMap, take care to do it in small 10MB or less lots.  Import said lot into Pro.  Repeat as needed.  The 10MB cap doesn't get enforced when you import from mxds.  Once they're in it will be enforced, but all that means it you can't add to your graphics layers or add any new graphics layers.


Adobe ought to thank ESRI for making so many people learn Illustrator.