GEOG 486
Cartography and Visualization

Part IV: Creating a Page Layout


A. Changing the View

When you begin a session in ArcMap, data layers are displayed by their geographic proximity. The only boundaries correspond to the extent of the data coverage. This state is the called the Data View. In order to begin the process of creating a workable map layout you need to frame the data in terms of a page.

  1. Click View > Layout View. Your map is now presented on a virtual page (the default page size is 8.5 x 11").
  2. Click File > Page and Print Setup. You saw this dialog window earlier in this lesson. At the time you unchecked the box that reads "Use Printer Paper Settings." That choice disables several options. To see what is affected, toggle the check box on and off a few times.
  3. Make sure the Use Printer Paper Settings box is unchecked. From the Standard Sizes drop-down menu, choose Tabloid. This page size is 11 x 17 inches. Alternatively, you can enter these values in the width and Height fields.
  4. Under Page Orientation, choose Landscape.
  5. Near the bottom of the window, make sure the box that reads "Scale map elements proportionally to changes in page size" is unchecked.
  6. Click OK to apply the changes and dismiss the window.

Although the design of this map project is yours to create, I would like it to be on a 11 x 17 inch page. It can be landscape or portrait.

B. Rulers and Guides

The result of the previous steps is a tabloid sized map, but notice that the active data frame is still shaped like the default letter page size. ArcMap includes alignment tools to aid in positioning map elements including data frames. Notice that page rulers are already visible - they were there when you switched from the Data to Layout view. In this section you will use alignment tools to resize and position the data frame.

  1. To begin, explore the View options. Right-click outside of the map page. Notice the Rulers, Guides, Grid, and Margins options in this context menu. As you look at these options, you should notice that Rulers, Guides, and Snap to Guides are all turned on.

    Changing the Margin settings will have no effect because they are linked to the printer setup. You have previously changed your map to be independent of a specific printer.
  2. Place page guides at the 0.5 and 16.5 inch increments on the horizontal ruler. Pause the cursor over these ruler positions and click. A cyan guide appears with a small arrow over the ruler. To confirm the position, click and hold the head of the guide (the arrow).
  3. Place page guides at 0.5 and 10.5 inches on the vertical ruler. Individual guides can be removed by dragging the arrow head off the ruler. To clear all guides from a ruler, right-click on the ruler and choose Clear All Guides.
  4. Change the size of the data frame to match the guide positions. Is the data frame active? If so, you will see eight small teal anchor boxes around the edges. If not, click once within the data frame. Click and drag the center right anchor box to the right guide. Repeat around the other edges.

At least a half an inch of margin clear of all ink is needed for maps designed for print. Wider margins are acceptable, but going thinner is not recommended. If you want the title or other marginal elements (i.e. marginalia) outside the data frame, you should not extend the data frame all the way to the guide positions. The marginalia needs to fit inside of the clear margin as well (keeping the margin clear).

C. Recenter the Contents of the Data Frame

You may have noticed that changing the size of the data frame to match the guides also changed the scale of the map. It also altered the geographic extent displayed within the frame.

  1. If you set a reference scale, you can right-click the data frame in the TOC, go to Reference Scale and click Zoom to Reference Scale. Otherwise, use the Zoom tools or type in a map scale. If the scale you use changes, make sure to either clear or reset your reference scale.
  2. Use the Pan tool to center Bellefonte borough on the page.

D. Save Your Map Document

You have just completed Part IV, which dealt with creating a page layout. In Part V you will work with colors and their perceptual dimensions of hue, value and saturation, and practice mixing colors in CMYK and RGB color spaces.