Control visibility of same features in different layouts and/or map frame

09-21-2020 01:19 PM
New Contributor

I am creating several maps in different layouts and different map frames using the same features in ArcGIS Pro. However, I would like to only show some features in one frame and not the other. When I toggle off the features in one map frame, they will disappear in other map frames and my map as well. Is there a way to make the visibility independent of each map frame?

I appreciate your advise in the best workflow in handling situations as such. Here is a thread that I came across on Stack Exchange. 

Thank you so much!

4 Replies
Esri Regular Contributor

Hi Candice, 

First, let's get on the same page for terminology. When you say "I am creating several maps in different layouts and different map frames using the same features in ArcGIS Pro". I'm assuming that you have several map frames in different layouts that point to the same map. This is what the Stack Exchange thread refers to and is not supported by ArcGIS Pro. Though map frames do control some "map properties" such as extent - it does not control many map properties such as layer visibility, or any layer properties. These are are controlled by the map. Think of the map frame much like a map view - it is a view of the map.  You can layer properties while working with a map view or a map frame, but all other views linked to this map will see these changes as well.

From the help topic - Add and modify map frames—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation 


While the map extent of each map frame is independent of other map frames, the contents of a map frame's map are not. A map frame is just like having another map view open. For example, if you select some features on a map, those features are selected in all open views of that map—including in map frames. Likewise, if you turn off a layer in one view, it turns off in all views. Layer properties cannot be set per view.

Until we engineer a way to either version maps or "freeze" map frames with a given state of a map (similar to ArcView) you will need to manage your map states by either toggling the layer visibility as needed or by created a new map for each map state that you want in different layouts.

Here is a thread on Ideas site that has more info: 

Hope this helps, 


New Contributor

Thank you for your very helpful and detailed response Tom! 

Occasional Contributor

Hi Tom,

I also would find this functionality useful, but the ideas link that you posted ( is no longer active. Is there any work being done to make this possible? Or is there another idea I can promote? I was also looking at, which would also more or less get me where I want to go.

In my use case, I have a variety of layers that I want to exhibit side by side in a layout. It would be very handy if I could just create one map that includes all of the layers, then apply something like a definition query in the layout map frames to set which layer is actually displayed in each of the frames. 

As it is, I have to generate duplicate maps, turn on the desired layer in each one, then link to the maps separately in each map frame included in the layout. Because I do this often, it's not only tedious and time-consuming, but my ArcGIS Pro projects get really bloated. It doesn't take me long to get upwards of 50 maps added into my project. 



New Contributor II

This is exactly what I am trying to do with the definition queries as well. Very frustrating as it seems it used to work in Arcmap but not ArcGis Pro. Kinda silly.