Notes Bar (Like in Power Point) in ArcMap

08-18-2011 07:29 AM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
New Contributor II

Please, please, please will someone please add a Notes section to the ArcMap interface? I deal with thousands of maps each year and eons after pressing Save a colleague will inevitably ask me to pull it up and modify it. “Well,” I sigh and say to myself each time, “let’s figure out what in the world I was thinking in (insert month here) of (insert year here).”

 Anyone familiar with Power Point (that means everyone) has probably made use of the Notes section at the bottom of each slide. It would be A LIFESAVER to have the same capability in Arc. I don’t care if it is an extension, or if you have to click five menus to get it to appear as a default- please someone, for the love of God, make it happen. Yes- I realize one can go to File>Map Document Properties and see hidden notes there. But who wants to do that?

 I also have reoccurring working meetings where I regular sit with all kinds of people to edit spatial data and put together pretty maps. It takes me five minutes each time -in a conference room full of people - to remember what steps I took last time and what layer/record/map item I was working on before. It would be SO MUCH EASIER to just have a tiny little out-of-the-way Notes bar at the bottom of each MXD to jolt my feeble mind back into recognition.

 Having some indication of which layers have definition queries in the Table of Contents would also be golden- but I can repost that elsewhere…

Also- check out my super-high-tech-mashup of what would happen if ArcMap and Power Point had a baby:0EM30000000CrDc


Also referencing Notepad in ArcMap‌ as these are similar (if not the same) functionality.


This post looks a little older and I did read up on the Idea Notepad in ArcMap as suggested by @Kory Kramer in the suggestions.

I'd like to comment that this functionality would work even better (and make more sense) in the ArcGIS PRO environment. I'd like not only a place to add notes as suggested above but I'd also like some sort of "Auto-Authoring" that records what I did within a project.  For example, if I create a new map to create a Power Point slide for a Board meeting I'd like the Note editor to automatically record that I created  a new Map (and likely a new Layout) on a certain day.  Then, I cold add a custom text to the log stating that it was for the Q2 board meeting or whatever the case might be.  

Is there a way to re-post this idea for ArcGIS PRO?  Is there a way to "elevate" it's status so it is reviewed again now that we have a new platform? I think it's even more relevant now in PRO than before - and it was a good idea to begin with.


Sean, I added an "arcgis pro" tag to the idea so that when we report on all ideas and want to see those that are relevant to ArcGIS Pro, this will be on the list. 


Great Thanks Kory,

I found this thread yesterday because I returned to a project I hadn’t been in for many months and had to remember exactly what I did and why in order to fill a new request.

Having a way to take notes or have Arc automatically take some notes for us would get a lot of use by me!



I wonder if exposing the map/layout (or what have you)'s metadata (at least the summary) in a new Metadata pane would work? The user could set it to 'always display on launch' when the map gets opened in the future? I would also benefit from something like this for notes to self or others in the future; a message that slaps you in the face when opening a project or component within. I personally find viewing and editing metadata in Pro quite clunky to begin with, and the notes feature being requested here is essentially just metadata that's made very visible (as opposed to buried in the catalog, where it is now)...


And for the definition query idea @KatieTempleton : Definition Query - Esri Community