Link between Map and Layout Windows to Simultaneously Pan in ArcGIS Pro

05-15-2015 10:38 AM
Status: Implemented
Labels (1)
by Anonymous User
Not applicable

It would be very convienient to be able to simultaneously move in both the map and the layout windows in ArcGIS Pro just like you can between two maps (such as your 2D/3D maps). That way, I do not have to make a new layout map from my map window every time I move to a different area in my map window. 

Have you tried activating the map frame in the layout?  Right-click a map frame, choose "Activate".  Now as you pan the map, you are also updarting your layout at the same time.

I would like to see this happen as well.


Hello, we appreciate your feedback.  The Layout team is very interested in learning more about your requirements.  Please provide more detail on your exact workflow so we can better understand why you want to link map views with map frames in a layout view.

Here is why it works the way it does:

1) Map views are simply a "viewer" (window) for the layers in a map.  A map view has its own camera information (i.e., center position, scale, etc).  You can create multiple map views for the same map (or different maps).  These were designed to be independent of map frames in a layout (which also preserve their own, independent camera information).  In ArcMap, users often expressed concern that if they changed the extent, scale, etc of their map (in data view), the layout (view) would get affected.  Therefore we separated the two types of "views".

2) Layouts support map frames which are also a type of "viewer" to layers in a map. You also can have multiple map frames in a layout and those map frames can be "linked" so if the camera information is changed in one map frame, other map frames will update.  The way you do this is to set the map frame constraints via the map frame pane --> Display Options tab. There are many options (e.g., Fixed Extent, Linked Map Frame Extent, etc).

In summary, the problem with linking map views and map frames:  You can have multiple map views (of the same map) and multiple layouts, each with multiple map frames (possibly pointing to the same map) in a single project.  The scenario can get quickly out of hand. 

Again, please provide a detailed workflow so we can evaluate your scenario.




Thanks for the reply.  I understand how things could get out of hand QUICK!  What I am suggesting is something along the lines of what is currently in place, only it links the "Data View" to the "Layout View".  A feature that currently available that links "data view" to "data view".  Maybe a setting that the user can turn off/on, and allows for a maximum of 5 "links" between the data view/layout view?  

My department deals with the public on a daily basis and many people request a "printable" map, on either a 8.5"x11" or 11"x17" sheet of paper. Many times they stand/sit watching and waiting.  Right now I pull up ArcMap and can navigate to the location in either "Data View" or "Layout View" and can toggle between both with no issues.  I can pan in "Data View" and switch over to "Layout View" and, produce a map relatively quickly!  However, it looks like, in ArcPro if I navigate to something in "Data View" and switch to "Layout View" I would have to re-navigate to it in that view?  It's more hassle and work, at that point.  Especially when you are doing this over and over, each day.  

Again, this is my opinion, and might not work for everyone.  Just like not having a link between "data view" and "layout view", doesn't work for me.  Just a thought.

I appreciate your response to this issue!


I have to agree with Kevin.  I'm in  a similar position, in that I need to be able to zoom into an area quickly in the "Data View" and then print the "layout View".  Having to zoom in twice, once on the data view and once on the layout view is frustrating.  Surely there could be an option to switch on/off Data and layout view linking.  Currently I'm just switching back to ArcMap to do these types of task (it's much quicker).



Given your description, it seems like if somebody comes in and says they need an 11X17 printout, couldn't you just go to your 11X17 layout, Activate the map frame and do all of your panning, zooming, basically do all the work in the map that you need.  Then export/print the layout.  

+mliebert‌ and raps‌ Please chime in here as well after reading about Activated Map Frame Mode.

Work with a map on a layout—Layouts | ArcGIS Desktop 

Activated Map Frame Mode

In this mode, you may now work with the map within the context of the page. The rest of the layout will become disabled until you exit activated map mode. The core tabs of the ribbon will contain the same map commands as they would in a map view. Once you are in activated map frame mode, you will have two sets of navigation tools available...

I guess the question is, what about the above functionality does not work in your workflow?  Thank you!



This could work, yes for some people.  However, most of the people I deal with don't know what they want until the end.  When they come in its usually "Can I just see where my water meter is?  or Can I see the zoning for my house?"  then its "Oh by the way can I get a print out of that? "  Then  going back and forth with them on the different sizes of paper, and seeing if things fit best in either landscape or portrait.  I can't tell you how many times I've had someone tell me "11x17 will work" then when its printed out, "Oh this is too big can I get an 8.5x11" or even "can I get one in 11x17 and 8.5x11".  I have this happen at least 1 time a week and becomes a hassle!  I typically have anywhere from 2-4 different map documents open at any given time due to not knowing what the next person will want their map to be printed on.  That's why I'd like to see the "View" and "Layout" be linked, so no matter what request comes through, it can be navigated to quickly and effectively.  If a person says they want an 8.5x11 map and I pull that map up and then they want it in 11x17 as well I'd have to do the same thing again.  But by "linking" the layout to the view I wouldn't have to worry about that.



This function existed in ArcMap "Automatic Mode" (default).

For some uses, it would be convenient to have this function.


Matthias, can you describe the use cases where it would be convenient for you to have this?  Are you able to activate the map frame from the layout and work like that?  Because ArcMap had one map (potentially many data frames) and one layout, and an ArcGIS Pro project can contain many maps and many layouts, we can't draw a strict comparison.  But it would be good to understand in detail your work and how this functionality would look for you.

Thank you.


Hi Kory, I don't know that I have much substance to add to this topic, but do know that many of the folks in my community would like that functionality as well. The reasons why things are currently the way they are make sense and the workflows that you envision for working within Pro also make technical sense. But consider that the way software 'feels' to a user may be as important as what it can technically do.

I would argue one point, which is that the real estate in the map is greater than the real estate of the map frame within the layout, and some folks may be more comfortable working that way where they can see details just a bit better. Also, many folks will often only have one map frame within a layout and it's just a bit annoying to have to scale the map twice. I agree with other users above, and can speak for many people in our organization, that having some kind of obvious function where you can link the map frame with the map would be helpful. How you implement that functionality seems less important -- it could be a simple right-click --> "link map frame to map."

Just my two cents....