New and Old ArcMap Problems

Discussion created by oskarello on Aug 6, 2019
Latest reply on Aug 11, 2019 by oskarello

This Articles' only purpose is to bash ArcMap for several Problems, some of them old, some of them new.

Administrators feel free to put this anywhere it should be - I have no time to visit those thousands of themes and communities and whatever. You may put it in the trash, I don't care, I will repost. If any problem I mention here got a solution in 10.7., take it simply as not mentioned ;-)


1st Problem: This "GeoNet" is now existing for a while and it seems to be existing in this hardly comprehensible structure just as a hindrance to post proper comments on proper places. If one can live in it and with it, fine. But I see it as a method to reduce complaints. As I am at work, I cannot spend hours to explore this community. I have to be fast and efficient.

2nd Problem: Old. ArcMap (I am on 10.6.1) did not allow certain lengths of filenames, certain characters in filenames, each level and kind of allowance seems to be different with the team that created the respective tool. It should now, since ArcMap "has been rewritten in Version 10", for all tools be the same, and all tools should be able to overwrite files that are at least not in use. Since we aren't such idiots that aren't able to honor a warning. But ArcMap quite resists those hopes.

3rd problem: Newer: ArcMap began to become slow in 10.4. but now in 10.6. it is very slow. I do not talk about the Font problem in dialogs, beginning with 10.4 or 10.5 (which needed complaints by many users, many useless tips, and many months until it was solved after the release of 10.6). Meanwhile, someone decided to give multiple TOC redraws, together with multiple feature redraws a try. Why not making a GIS slower if it isn't already slow enough ?

4th problem: Older: I don't know when ArcMap began to confirm a successful execution of a geoprocessing tool, but didn't execute anything. I think it was in 10.3 or 10.4. You start a tool, it executes successfully, and if you search for a resulting change (i.e. a new shapefile or so), you find nothing. Great idea, folks ! I like to be pranked professionally ! To save Esris' honor, after a restart/reload of the map or ArcMap, this may (or may not) work (simply recall the procedure from history).

5th problem: Older. When I open a tool, say 3d-Analysts' "Add Surface Information", I select the Input feature Class and the Input Surface. If one of those features is in a group (as 99.9 percent of my feature classes are) , the execution of the tool could fail (if it doesn't show a successful execution where it didn't do anything, see 4th problem). I have to locate the features with their correct paths then, in order to hope for a successfull execution. To restart the map or ArcMap itself usually doesn't help here .

6th problem: Old: The positioning of TOC, Toolbox, and other bigger elements is a pain with those Auto-Snap-Placers appearing immediately. Could not anyone invent an easier method helping with that monsters layout ? And to save the complete layout, as it tooks time to configure it, and after a fresh installation, it is gone.

7th problem: Old: It happens so often that you need to overwrite or simply, for instance, change a shapefile. Now, it is understandable that there are certain problems with changing files while they are in use. So one may think, let's remove the file from TOC, and then overwrite or change it. But no, that doesn't work. ArcMap leaves all kind of file locks (some of them magically inside an excel file !) until ArcMap is shut down. Yes, it isn't enough to open a new Map, some file locks survive even that.

8th problem: Old: ArcMap has great functionality and great sense for styling, but the problem with sometimes eight or more levels of click-through (f.i. Properties / Labels / Symbol / Edit symbol / Advanced Text / Text Background Properties / Balloon Callout Symbol / Edit Symbol Line Fill Symbol Line  / Edit Symbol / Cartographic Line Decorations Properties / Line Decoration Symbol / Edit Symbol / Arrow Marker Symbol Mask Symbol / Edit Symbol / Marker Fill Symbol Marker / Edit Symbol / Mask Symbol / Edit Symbol / ...... 18th Level that was) is waiting for a horizontal short-cut for years now.

9th problem: Old: No .bak files of any kind.

10th problem: Old: Pdf-Transparency !! Yes, transpacency in pdf exists for a very long time now. But Arcmap renders every feature that got a transparency as a raster, and every feature under this, also. That leads to huge pdf's, when vector content has to be shown properly and therefore the raster resulution needs to be enhanced.  Many users aren't aware of that, and many are wondering why a small map results in a huge pdf. There is even a catch: If ArcMap decides that the map is complex, rasterization can affect even "higher" (in terms of z-order) placed layers. Then we have to create a vector group, and a raster group, where both types are completely separeted from each other. But why isn't there a pdf-transparency option ? Boys and Girls, yes, it IS possible.

11th problem: Old: At some point of complexity, both Maplex and the Standard label engine are giving up their good work. You then can create levels and rules, it doesn't matter. Labels are drawn....not following the rules anymore. As if Maplex is lying on the ground and says to us, please...I am done....But however !! It leads us to the

12th problem: Old: Why can't I simply place manually the labels I need to place manually ? Why do I have to create a  Annotation Feature Class, and why, oh why is it so complicated to change its reference scale afterwards ?  Why is the bounding box of individual overriden Lables in an AFC changing, or better aske, why isn't the bounding box, where the label shows up, anymore ? (I know it, but the explanation is kind of rude).

13th problem: Newer: Performance again. ArcMap seems not to take advantage of CAD graphics cards. But ArcMap also seems to become slower and slower (taking minutes for start, with or without loading maps), with growing lag after opening tools, and the tendency is disturbing. We have several Dell Precisions here with Xeon1545 and 32 GB RAM, and it seems that ArcMap gets faster slow than the hardware can evolve. That wasn't alwas alike, as I remember (I began with 8.0).