Legend usability in ArcGIS Pro vs ArcMap. Confusion about adding and adjusting layers in a legend

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04-01-2021 06:02 AM
Status: Closed
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MarkVolz
Regular Contributor

Hi I just wanted to mention a couple usability items that I found when trying to add a legend in ArcGIS Pro.

In ArcGIS Pro I did not see anything in my legend after I added one under Insert-->Map Surrounds-->Legend.  The only thing I noticed is an ellipse...   At this point I thought the issue is that I need to add layers to my legend in the legend properties pane.  I was able to find everything on formatting the legend, changing colors, synchronizing new layers, etc.  I did not see anything under "Legend Items" which is the first item that is presented to us in ArcMap.

Anyways here are just a couple thoughts:

  • The feedback to users could be more informative when new legends are too small.  Perhaps clicking on the ellipse could display a pop up message stating "The legend frame is too small to fit all of the items"
  • In order to adjust the items on the legend I was looking in the wrong spot.  I thought it would be located under "Legend Items" in the format legend pane.   Perhaps adding a "Change Layers" button could pull up the items in the the contents.  This could possibly help new users find the legend items.
  • I noticed that I can create a legend with 3 out of the 5 layers but I was not clear how to go back and add the 4th and 5th layer.  When creating a new legend with only a few layers selected all of the layers should be added to the legend in the table of contents...  The only difference is that layer 4 and 5 will be turned off.
  •   I noticed we can turn off synchronize the layer order with the map however I am not sure how to change the order of items on a legend.

Thanks!

 

4 Comments
KoryKramer
Status changed to: Needs Clarification

Thank you for posting @MarkVolz 

It looks like there are at least a few different ideas here.  Please see the submission considerations section of the ArcGIS Ideas Submission Guidelines and Statuses.

KoryKramer_0-1617291879909.png

1. "The feedback to users could be more informative when new legends are too small.  Perhaps clicking on the ellipse could display a pop up message stating "The legend frame is too small to fit all of the items""

I searched and cannot find a similar idea, so this could be it's own idea.

2. "In order to adjust the items on the legend I was looking in the wrong spot.  I thought it would be located under "Legend Items" in the format legend pane.   Perhaps adding a "Change Layers" button could pull up the items in the the contents.  This could possibly help new users find the legend items."

Are you suggesting to add a Change Layers button to the Format Legend Item pane?

KoryKramer_1-1617292180772.png

Can you explain more about "pull up the items in the contents"?  Are you just trying to get here?

KoryKramer_2-1617292285567.png

If further clarified, this could be submitted as a separate idea.

3. "I noticed that I can create a legend with 3 out of the 5 layers but I was not clear how to go back and add the 4th and 5th layer.  When creating a new legend with only a few layers selected all of the layers should be added to the legend in the table of contents...  The only difference is that layer 4 and 5 will be turned off."

To add layers to the legend, you can drag/drop onto the page, or into the Legend container in the Contents pane.

AddLayersToLegend.gif

There is a related idea that you might consider voting for: https://community.esri.com/t5/arcgis-pro-ideas/quot-add-to-legend-quot-option-in-context-menu-of-tab... That would maybe make it more discoverable, even though the primary use case for that would be not wanting to drag a layer a long way just to get it added.

For the part about wanting to create a new legend containing all layers and having a couple turned off, that is mentioned as part of https://community.esri.com/t5/arcgis-pro-ideas/arcgis-pro-legend-options/idi-p/926445 but the main part of that request seems to be about legend templates, so there isn't a specific request for this behavior in creating legends.  You could submit a specific idea for this, but I would suggest that the best way to accomplish this is to simply create the legend with all layers, and then uncheck the ones you don't want to show (highlight and hold Ctrl +click check box).

AddAllLayersToLegend_CtrlClickToRemove.gif

4.  "I noticed we can turn off synchronize the layer order with the map however I am not sure how to change the order of items on a legend."

Layers in the legend are re-ordered using drag/drop in the Contents pane.

Hopefully some of the tips shared here help.  If you want to edit this current idea to be about a specific request, please update the title and description.  Separate requests can be submitted as new ideas.

Thank you!

MarkVolz

@KoryKramer 

I apologize about the confusion.  Regarding the idea I meant to summarize the idea by saying that it was difficult to figure modify layers that appear in a legend.  I am going to restate my idea to "Modify legend items (layers) in the legend properties pane."  this would be a nice safety net for those coming from ArcMap.

I think this could be done by either adding a button on the pane that allows us to adjust which layers are visible in the legend, which was similar to ArcMap, or perhaps you could add a question mark that brings up a help topic explaining exactly what you showed me in the previous reply.

Figure 1.  Adjusting Layers within the Legend Items dialog in ArcMap.

MarkVolz_1-1617312378081.png

Figure 2.  The ArcGIS Pro dialog has everything except the ability to modify current layers.

MarkVolz_0-1617311765294.png

PS  Thanks for showing me how to work with the legends using the contents pane vs the legend properties pane!

 

KoryKramer

Thanks @MarkVolz You should be able to modify the Title and the body of this idea to clarify it as you stated in your last comment.  Once that is done, we can reset the status to Open.

Thank you!

KoryKramer
Status changed to: Closed

Closed pending clarification/modification of idea.