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Using ArcPy to move a scalebar

Question asked by anakaine on Sep 17, 2017
Latest reply on Sep 18, 2017 by Dan_Patterson

I'm looking to shift a scale bar with Python, and as such have a small proof of concept script happening in a python console window. Using the below code, no matter the location given with elementPositionY, the scale bar does not seem to change location at all. 


  • My current mxd has a single scale bar named "ScaleBar1"
  • My data frame has a geographic coordinate system set (not sure if this matters). 
  • I'm attempting to access the scale bar this way because ultimately I'll extend the for and if statements to work with multiple bars and some logic. 
  • I'm not a python coder, so please be gentle. 


My code: 

mxd = arcpy.mapping.MapDocument(r"C:\users\I5-Desktop\Documents\untitled.mxd") #current mxd
scaleBar = arcpy.mapping.ListLayoutElements(mxd,"MAPSURROUND_ELEMENT","ScaleBar1") #enforce working on "ScaleBar1". Can use wildcards when we have more.
for item in scaleBar:
   print #confirm that we are working on the only scalebar that's currently in the document
   if == "ScaleBar1":
      item.elementPositionY = 1
      print #reconfirm we have entered the if statement with the name

What reason might there be for the scalebar not changing location? I can resolve its name, and enter a loop based on its name, etc.