adding transparency to legend symbols

03-16-2016 09:06 AM
New Contributor III

I am using ArcMap 10.2.1 and I have a polygon layer with a transparency over an aerial image. How can I apply this same transparency to the legend symbol for this polygon? I have checked that the data frame>general tab> box for transparency to legend symbols is checked, but it is not transparent. It makes the legend symbol a light color only. 

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3 Replies
Occasional Contributor III

You can't actually make the legend patches transparent in ArcMap, because they ate basically graphics and transparency for graphics is not supported for a number of reasons.

You can try to workaround that limitation by constructing a legend out of features in a data frame.

ArcGIS Pro has more options for transparent colors throughout the software. And if a layer has transparent symbology the legend picks that up by default, as transparency rather than lightening the color. That's one of the advantages of the new architecture.

MVP Frequent Contributor

One workaround (and I believe this is what David Barnes is referring to) is to take screenshots of items in your map that correspond to what you want in the legend.  Then use an image program like Photoshop to cut them up into small images (say jpgs) of each item.  Then when you build your legend, insert the appropriate image next to each legend item.  Very manual, but well worth it if you really want your legend to correspond to your map in this situation.

Chris Donohue, GISP