GIS Cookbook: Cartographic Design - Adding and Editing a Legend 
Keywords: Presentation, legend, display properties, definition, printing, cartographic elements, symbols
Category: Cartographic Design
Software: ArcInfo 8

Problem: How do I add a legend to my map?

Description: Your map is inthe Layout format and you would like to add a legend.
Note: For help on getting your map into the Layout format, refer to recipe Shortcut to moving your map into the presentation stage (using a template)

1) In the layout view window, make sure the dataframe you want to work with is selected by clicking on the dataframe name. We would like to add a legend that includes the information for the United States dataframe, so we would click on the name "United States" to highlight it. Then select Insert -> Legend
Inserting a legend

2) The Legend Wizard window will pop up. Follow the steps to create your legend. First choose the specific symbols from the table of contents that you want to use in the legend.
Note:If the themes from the wrong data frame appear in the your legend wizard window, See Pitfall 1.

Legend Wizard (Choose the information you want displayed)

4) Now add a title and an outline by selecting the style and shape of the legend symbols presented to you in the legend wizard. You may also want to change the spacing within the legend.

Enter a title in the text area

Choose the styles of borders. If you do not want a border you may select a blank pattern.

Change the way certain elements are represented on your map.

Choosing the spacing between your legend elements.

5) Once you have finished personalizing your legend, click Finish

6) Your legend should appear on your map layout. You can then drag it by clicking on it, and holding down the mouse button, then moving the cursor to where you would like to place the legend.

Your legend will appear, click and drag it to its final destination.

7) You may want to further edit your legend to change the names of features or delete certain text or symbols. To edit make these additional changes RIGHT CLICK on the legend and select Convert to graphics. By doing this you will make the legend into an image independent of the map and make your necessary changes on the legend without it influencing your map.

Convert to Graphics

8) To edit the pieces of your legend individually, right click on the legend and select Ungroup

Ungroup the Graphics

9) The individual pieces of your legend will then each become highlighted and selected.

The resulting Ungrouped Graphics

Click on them individually to edit them.
Note: You may have to ungroup some parts of the legend more then once to edit the more detailed elements.

Personalized map legend

10) Be sure to re-group the elements by right clicking on the legend and selecting Regroup when you are finished modifying the individual elements within the legend.
Authored by: Benjamin N. Sprague Modified: 8/27/03

Copyright © 2002-2015 by Regents of University of California, Santa Barbara
Cookbook: Ben Sprague, Ethan Sundilson, Carlin Wong, Sam Ying