ArcMap 9.3.1: Dashed lines do not appear correct on screen, in print, or after export

Discussion created by kevinedw on May 6, 2011
Latest reply on Nov 27, 2015 by nicks100
My apologies if this exact question has come up before, but I couldn't locate it if it has.

I have had this problem before, but hadn't ever thought to ask about it. I am working with a polyline feature set, which has to have as its symbol a dashed line made of two dashed symbol layers. The lower symbol layer is a cartographic line of width 4 and color black, with a pattern of 4-on, 4-off. The upper layer is a similar cartographic line of width 2 and color leather brown, with the same pattern of 4-on, 4-off.

The two symbol layers should combine to give a single dashed line with a brown interior and black edges. In the legend, this is indeed what you get. But on the map itself, and in prints and exports, you get a mess. Some places, it is what you would expect. Other places, the two symbol layers are separated from each other either partially, or completely (like an alternating brown-black line).

It is never consistent. Sometimes it doesn't happen at all, sometime all dashed lines are messed up, but more commonly it's a mix of both. I am attaching a screenshot of what I'm talking about. A black arrow points to an example 'good' line and a red one to a 'bad' line.

Thanks in advance for your help!