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ArcGIS Pro - copy layout and also copy map

09-03-2020 03:48 AM
Occasional Contributor

Say I have a layout and map setup in need a similar map but only one layer has been changed between maps. 

When copying an MXD a map and a layout are created together so the legend is fixed and stays the same. I would copy the MXD, change the title and swap the layers.  The legend will only need to fix issues with the layer that has changed

In ArcGIS Pro when i make a copy of a layout, it still links back to the original map.  I then have to make a copy of the map and re-link the new map to the new map frame.  The legend has now become messed up as it references a new map, and takes a lot longer to fix.

Is there a way of avoiding this. The whole process takes a lot longer than before.  Is there a means to make a copy of a layout and coy of a map?

I have also looked into the possibility of using the same map for multiple layouts and turning layers on and off within the layout and not the map but this is not possible either? 

Turn layers on or off independently on different layouts from the same map 



4 Replies
Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Joe, 

Thanks for the feedback and providing links. 

Instead of copying the layout you may want to consider using Layout files—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation . These act as a template for layouts. You have an option to create a layout file with an empty map frame which you can then use to populate with a new map. I you decide on using layout files I recommend reviewing the blog post Customize your layout gallery (ArcGIS Pro 2.5).

Unfortunately, when a map frame is empty ("<None>") legend properties are set to the defaults. However, you can save the properties for a legend item as a new default (hopefully we'll have something similar for the legend as a whole in a future release). This will be the property set for any new layer added to this legend or any copies of this legend (either copied to a different layout or included in a layout file). For example, if you use a different font than the default for item labels (ex: Stencil) and you save a new legend item default any new layer added to the legend will use Stencil as the font for item labels. This will also be the case if you point the map frame to a different map, or even if you empty the map frame. 

For more info see Work with a legend item—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation. There is also a good blog post you might find useful - Tips and Tricks for Working with Legends in ArcGIS Pro.

Another option would be to copy the legend (with all the formatting) from the original layout into the new layout. Update the map frame source in the legend properties as needed. You may need to change the map frame source to "<None>" and then back to the map frame proper to refresh the legend.

Unfortunately there is currently no way to have different versions of a single map (ex: one version with a layer on, a different version with the layer off). You will still need to have different maps. Of course, if time is of the essence and  setting the default legend item and creating Layout files is not currently practical, the option you had in ArcMap is also available with ArcGIS Pro. You can make a copy of the project. 

Hope this helps, 


New Contributor

Hi Tom,

any update on when this might be updated in Arcgis Pro? It is really very frustrating aspect, the lack of control over layer visibility independently within layout. 

New Contributor

I would just add that the ability to duplicate a map frame in the tab bar would go a long way towards doing this.

New Contributor

Hi TomBole and ESRI, 

ArcGIS Pro should at the least have the same functionality as ArcMap by now, don't you think? Pro is marketed as a superior version to Map but clearly isn't. It often appears that ESRI can't think beyond their profit margin.