Locked Multiple Layouts in ArcGIS Pro

04-03-2017 11:22 AM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
New Contributor II

In ArcView 3 (AV 3) users often created multiple layouts and disconnected the live link to each one.  The AV 3 help text below briefly explains what we could do in the program.

Add a view


To create a map for output containing geographic data you must first add a view to your layout. When you add the view you can choose to make it live linked. This causes any changes in the view to be reflected in the layout. If you decide not to live link your view, it will not change in the layout even if you make changes to the view.

Layouts were not especially powerful in AV 3, but users could create multiple static objects and print them as displayed. 

In ArcGIS Pro, multiple layouts are available for within a single Pro project and multiple layouts are associated with a specific Pro map within the Project.  In each layout, the user specifies the extent, layers displayed, cartographic elements, and more.  In each individual Pro layout, the user now refines/updates the associated map, before printing or exporting the layout.  If the map is modified later, the layout changes, too.

It would be very helpful to lock individual layouts to preserve user settings and parameters, without modifying the underlying map.

I strongly recommend that this feature should be submitted as a near term enhancement.  I, and others, once used this AV 3 feature often.



I agree with you and I am experiencing the same thing. My work-flow is the same as yours: When I need a new Layout I must create a new map with the correct layers turned on or off (or even present or not present on the map).  I then create a new layout that references that new map made in the previous step.  I have a seperate Map and layout for each variation.

It seems to me what you are suggesting is exactly how maps and Layers SHOULD function.  The visibility of layers should be at the "Layout Level". One map should be able to "drive" multiple Layouts.  The only exception would be a scale change. For example if I had a map that I printed or exported at Size C and the same map at Size E - in that case I'd have two different maps so I could set symbology and Labels to the different scales.

Just wanted to reply to let you know that I follow the same workflow that you do even though it really feels like it should work the way you are describing it.  


Any updates on this?


Sorry I didn't see this reply earlier, but so far ESRI thinks they have all the Answers.... Hint: Go back to Arcview 3.x style layouts.




It would be really nice to be able to turn on\off layers in layouts that are referenced to the same map! That would help us minimizing the time in applying the symbology and other stuff for multiple maps!


Need to independently control layer visibility within layouts!!!

I agree with previous comments. It is really annoying that I can't independently customize layer visibility in each layout that reference the same map. You should be able to decided whether the map links to the main map or is customize-able.

Case use:

I have very complex maps that I use for Sewer, Water, and Storm map series. I have a different layout for each utility type as well as a layout for a series that shows all of the utilities. I currently need to manually turn on and off all the appropriate map layers to export each map series. They all have very complex symbology, labeling rules, and styles that I am constantly tweaking to best represent the data. I would like to move towards a scheduler the exports a particular map every time there's an update, however I would either need to maintain all different maps, or write more complex script that toggles all the appropriate layers on/off. It's even more of a pain when I run an export of hundreds of pages and realize I forgot to turn on/off a layer before.

I feel this idea doesn't clearly explain this functionality, it gets lost in the arcview comparison. There was a more clear idea out there that was marked as a duplicate of this.


Look back at the answer from Ari Villafuerte on Mar 14, 2019

"Whenever I want a new map I start by importing a layout file and that locks the settings for each layout. Before doing so, create a layout file that you can re-use by clicking on "Share" --> Layout File.


Once you're ready to create a new map within your current project, click --> Insert --> New Layout ---> Import a layout file


Add all the layers needed and you will see that anything that you change on that layout will not be reflected on the others."

You will end up with layouts that are independent (not locked) in the same Pro project.


This does not solve my issue. By following those step it does add a layout independent to the other layouts. But it does this by creating a copy of the original map that is now also independent. This essentially creates different maps that live in the same project.

I need each layout to reference the same map, with the ability to customize the layers visibility on each layout. That way I'm only configuring the symbology and labeling on 1 map with different layouts for how to display that 1 map. Having independent maps in the same project would still require any configuration to be copied to each different independent map to keep them current.


I have a project location at which I need to display data from several map layers on different Layouts. I would like the simplicity of unchecking a map layer under the map frame it is located to render that layer invisible for just that map frame. This would allow me to leave all layers visible in the basemap while customizing the visible layers in each map frame/layout