Scale bar fixed size

07-08-2010 08:35 AM
Status: Open
Occasional Contributor
We have an issue with the scale bar in ArcMap resizing itself when we would like it to stay at the physical size of one inch even when the actual scale is odd (say 1 in. = 531 ft).  We have noticed that the scale bar resizes even when the resizing setting in the Scale Bar Properties is set to Adjust Division Value only.  The technical staff at ESRI has said that the resizing of the scale bar happens because the scale bar units are actually rounded so as not to have an odd scale.  We are not so concerned with the scale being an "understandable value", but are concerned when the division units of the scale bar are not equal to one physical inch.  (In other words, users cannot use a ruler easily to determine a distance on the map because the division unit on the scale bar, for the most part, no longer equals one inch when an odd scale is rounded).

I would like an option where the scale bar does not resize because of rounding, but rather the scale bar's physical dimensions remain fixed no matter what the scale.
Tags (1)
We also notice a phenomenon when we export maps using DS_Mapbook in 9.3.1 that the scale bar "creeps" along the marginalia and actually increases in size as well.  Haven't tested if this is fixed in v10 yet.
Good one. Also, should be able to set scale bar dimmensions to 2 inches, 3 inches, etc...
Thank you for submitting your idea. I can definetly see the value in what you are requesting. One thing you might consider as a workaround is instead of a scale bar you could utilize scale text, Insert > Scale Text. This would give you the ability to explicitly print on the map that 1 in =  531 ft.
I have same kind of issue. It is good ideat to have fixed size scale bar with same size text at different scale.
In addition, it is also good if we have multiline and custom unit text as well.
My clumsy work around for this is to make a graphic that's one inch long and put scale text under it like Chris suggested. I put a white box over the "1 in = " part so that it looks like a normal scale bar. It would be great to just set the scale bar so that it's always one inch. Our engineers would really appreciate it!
YES! I'll second this one!
Yes,   This would be great the the scale bar division equal 1 inch always.  I work with engineers who are absessed with the right scale and they want to measure it with a ruler this would help a lot.

Yes, ArcMap makes mapping presentation really dificult compare to competitors. They need to catch-up big time on this.