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New graphic drawing tool - cloud

09-27-2012 12:51 AM
Status: Implemented
Labels (1)
New Contributor II

In our professional drawing office and many other internationally we have to add "clouds" around parts of the map or alignment sheet which have been revised or updated. Clouds seem to be the excepted standard accepted by engineers globally

I know in AutoCAD they just have a pen tool with which can draw a "cloud" around anything. In ArcMap it is a nightmare and if you use the freehand graphic tool they look awful and copying and pasting in images is not ideal especially when it come to unusual shapes. ArcGIS needs this tool. Eg.0EME0000000TShL  

apologies i wrote "excepted" and i meant "accepted"
Could you not create a cloud template as a png (or something similar that supports transparancy) and then simply use the Insert Picture/Object?
thats what i have to do at the moment but with 40 sheets and several clouds of different sizes on each its a real long winded pain in the arse.
A tool with which I can add them on the fly as and when i need them and each to the unique size and shape needed is what is wanted.
You should be able to set the arc length and also be able to make the cloud be inverted, when a drawing has something that is either on Hold or to be removed the cloud is inverted. Maybe even be able to select a polygon or a shape and have that be converted into a cloud by picking it would be perfect.
This could be generate by symbology some how.  This way it would change the look of the cloud as you change the reference scale.  I found this idea because I was searching for a solution.
This is the only way that I found to do it

1) create a polygon (ellipse works well) around the area that you want to cloud.

2) Use "Densify" command to add vertices at a consistent interval
3) convert polygon to polyline
4) Begin edit session on polyline
5) Flip the polyline's directionality
6) Select each segment, Change Segment> Circular Arc

A little time intensive, but it works.

Mike Mejac
Natural Resource Technology

Thanks Michael, this worked! I unfortunately only have the basic license so instead of being able to use the "densify" command and "polygon to polyline tool", I had to improvise by exporting the shape to Auto Cad.


Brilliant John. I hadn't thought of this before I can will create the Clouds in Autocad then export them back into ArcMAP.

Eventually ESRI should have a solution to this.  ArcMAP is a little awkward to use for creating Engineering Prints.  However most of the issues are basic and would be easy to solve with a bit of development.  



I too have only a basic licence.  An Standard Licence doesn't have enough benefit for  user like me. 


If you print to PDF (Pro version), you can use the cloud tool to make the cloud. Then if you have to edit the map just replace the old map pages with the new map page using the replace tool and the clouds will remain.