Create a symbol based on dimensions

3 weeks ago
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New Contributor III

Hi there, 

I want to create a point symbol in the shape of a rectangle of 1m large. Is this possible to create a symbol of a specific dimension in arcgis?


Thanks in advance


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MVP Frequent Contributor

You can create a polygon (shape) which occupies exact physical dimensions.  Do you want to digitize (draw) it yourself or do you have centroid/centre coordinates for the squares?

New Contributor III

I want to draw it myself and then use it as a symbol for a point feature. 

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MVP Frequent Contributor

Ah gotcha,

For this to work you'd need to have your map frame in a projected coordinate system.

Go to symbology and choose 'Proportional Symbols'

On the 'field' option just add an expression with the value of 0.5 (or you could add a new field and populate it with 'radius' values for the square then use that field).

Unit -meters

'Data represents' - Radius (this is why we set to 0.5 not 1)

symbol form - square (options are limited here with symbol and styling)

et voila.

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Regular Contributor

@IsabelleBreton these are the steps:

1. Change your 2D symbol units to cm in Pro options


2. Set your point symbol to be a rectangle 1cm in size



3. Set a reference scale on your map of 1:100 scale



4. Set your layer to scale symbol when a refernce scale is set



Hey presto, you have a 1m square.

Obviously this also applies to any symbol. You can import your own SVG symbol instead.

..Maps with no limits..
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MVP Regular Contributor

Also useful:

Points don't divide nicely into metric units, but when you know the conversion, it's possible to set the reference scale such that 1 pt = 1 m. Where 1 m is roughly 2835 pts, a 1 pt symbol measures out to 1 m.



- Josh Carlson
Kendall County GIS
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New Contributor III

Thanks everyone for helpen.

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