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Best way to update mxds to a new layout template with arcpy?

Question asked by iamurray on Aug 7, 2015
Latest reply on Aug 7, 2015 by iamurray

Alright GeoNet I need some input on a project.


I have 2400 or so map documents that all followed an old style template that was being used for our map documents.  We have devised a new template that have some different layout elements than the last one(PictureElements instead of some GraphicElements or MapSurroundElements), which all the old map documents should be moved over to.  There was an automated process for generating the maps, but even with the automation all the maps would need some edits and tweaks, so thats 2400 maps to re-edit if I just reproduce them using the script with the new templates.  Since I really don't want to hand edit some 2400 documents again, wanted some input on how best to accomplish this.


The easiest way to handle this would be if I could: A.) Add new layout elements with python to the existing map documents, but thats not possible without ArcObjects as I recall, or B.) If I could copy layout elements from one map document to another, which again I don't believe is possible(please let me know if so).


Since I think neither of those options are available, would it be best to use the access the new templates via python then just copy the dataframes from the existing map documents, copying the existing extents, and re-doing the other elements that stay the same on the each map, then saving these new map documents?  Does this sound like a good way to proceed, or does anyone know of any other good solutions for something like this?


Thanks in advance!