Attribute Driven Legend Patches

07-23-2021 02:10 PM
New Contributor II


What I have here is a legend where I'm indicating soil composition within an area. Each type of soil has an acronym symbol under a "MUSYM" field in the layer data and I want to project that symbol within the legend patch in quick fashion. The way I've been doing this is by painstakingly dragging a text box of the corresponding symbol into the patch as aligned as I can. However, I'm wondering if there is a step I can take to make this process smoother and not worry about an alignment issue in the overall presentation of my legend. Thanks for your help!

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3 Replies
Occasional Contributor III


It might take a while, but I sometimes make "legend only" layers that I drop in the legend but have turned off in my map.

Here you could add the soil acronyms on top of the color legend swatches as marker symbols, which are then spaced out accordingly, for example the letters below are on different symbol layers with their x offsets spaced out:

the letter d is x=-8pt s=0pt d=8pt all stacked on top of one another


Someone may have a more elegant solution to my hack here, lol, but maybe this will give you inspiration!


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New Contributor II
Thank you! I’ll keep this idea in mind.
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Occasional Contributor II

Another solution would be to set the acronyms as labels, and the type of soil as descriptions. Then, you can give the labels a background in the corresponding colour.

This also requires a legend dummy layer with transparent feature classes and re-arranging them so the patch is at the end: 


Still, I found this easier and faster than marker symbols because the spacing always looked off a little. 


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