Create and manage Legend directly in the Layout View

06-10-2011 03:23 AM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
Regular Contributor
Significant improvements are needed in the field of Legend Element creation and management to be more interactive and flexible, to allow for faster and more effective workflow. No wizards or cumbersome dialog boxes necessary. This idea makes use of functionality proposed by

Fast and easy Legend creation:
  • Drag and Drop selected layers from TOC directly to the Layout.
  • Context menu in TOC: Add to Legend/Remove from Legend options.
  • Legend context menu: Add/Remove Item.
Flexible Legend management and formatting:
  • Resizing Legend Element horizontally and vertically distributes Legend Items into columns and wraps legend text, especially labels into multiple rows.
  • More different shapes of Legend’s frame (not only rectangle). Wrap Legend’s contents around graphics in the Layout. Change vertical content’s alignment.
  • Threading Legend Elements – allow contents to flow between connected Legends in different parts of the Layout. Possibility to rotate Legend Element.
  • Edit Legend’s spacing with possibility to parametrically define each size directly in the Layout.
  • Change Appearance and Arrangement of all Items directly in Legend’s context menu.
  • Access map connection settings directly through Legend context menu. Possibility to define custom reference scale.
  • Insert special-purpose formatting objects: Line, Heading, Space, Column Break, etc.
  • Introduce overall Legend Style, which would define Legend properties and formatting including: items format, spacing between legend’s parts, title format, etc.
  • Legend context menu example0EM30000000Cphg
Interactive Legend Items manipulation, formatting and display:
  • Reorder, move or copy legend’s items directly in the Layout by drag & drop inside single Legend Element or between different Legends.
  • Possibility to replace items by drag &drop while preserving item’s formatting and settings.
  • Insert Placeholder or Proxy to temporarily take the place of currently unavailable layer.
  • Access Legend Items directly from the Layout. Apply style or custom formatting, patch shape and size to item parts, multiple items selected or the whole legend. Possibility for each item to have custom background.
  • Control display of: Item, Name, Heading, Label, Description, Patch for selected/all items.
  • Legend Item context menu example:0EM30000000Cphl

Provide serious Undo functionality.

Related idea:
@lee.davis: Thanks. You can make it in Adobe Photoshop or install ArcGIS 20 ;)
this is VERY well done Duri! THANK YOU for taking the time to create this! I hope that ESRI encorporates some of your ideas, because they are fantastic! they should hire you as a developer!!!
Come on ESRI implement this for 10.1
I agree complete restructuring of the legend functionality is needed. I actually don't even use it, it's so restrictive. I find it easier to create my own legends from scratch. Some support is needed for representing features with transparency too.
Great video!  I especially love the thought of typing directly in the legend (this could be applied to other text objects too!) and the items reorganizing themselves when the legend is resized.
I like this idea a lot and would also like to see the ability to have something like a dockable legend editor/toolbar to edit the legend without having to change between data and layout view.
YES!! This is such an obvious and badly needed improvement to Arcmap. 
Count me in.
Hooray for duri! I concur with the other posters - ESRI must make the Legend editing interactive (like duri has brilliantly shown). I sometimes feel that the ArcMap programmers don't actually use the program in real-world situations to know how cumbersome and time-consuming playing with the legend can be. Sometimes.
Real-world situations include having a small (sometimes irregular) space to fit in a legend (hence the NEED for multi-line descriptions, and variable-shape); having the ability (as an idea I had) to include labels in (or over the top of) polygons or lines, even; adding line spaces to separate out some unrelated layers.

The list of possible scenarios is as long as your arm, so to make the legend box interactive ovecomes much of the frustration. I really hope this becomes a reality sooner than ArcGis 20!!!
Absolutely brilliant! At the very least though, please let us set default sizes for the legend symbols & fonts. The wizard is useless. When you change symbol sizes in the wizard they are ignored. I also can't stand how you have to adjust spacing by entering a number? Why can't it be interactive? What is this DOS?