Spatial Analysis Lab (SAL)

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Using Layer Files to Save and Reuse Symbology


Layer Files (.lyr) are a means of preserving a defined symbology for a data set (or sets). These files are simply a pointer to the original data, with instructions for how to display the data in ArcMap. A layer file will also preserve Definition Queries and/or Selection Layers.



First customize the symbology for your layer as desired:


Note the changes made (from the Symbology tab of the Layer Properties sheet

    All Other Values box has been Unchecked

    Median Line symbology has been Removed (could be via a Definition Query)

    More descriptive name entered (from the General tab)


Right-click on the layer name and choose Save As Layer File...


Browse to a folder to store your layer file

You can rename the file layer file if you like


Now you can add the layer file to any ArcMap project just as you would Add Data:


Browse for the layer file


Results: Note that the data comes in with symbology and customized name...




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