Adding a custom overlay grid

In some cases, the grids provided by Grids and Graticules Wizard or those created using the Make Grids and Graticules Layer geoprocessing tool do not meet your needs. You may want to use a custom overlay reference grid. You can create custom overlay reference grids that use the geometry of a line or polygon data source to define the grid lines and an attribute column in this same feature class to specify the labels. Using ArcMap, you need to create a new reference system to contain the custom overlay grid you want to use.

If ArcMap is configured to show Grids and Graticules Wizard, this must be disabled before creating a custom overlay grid. If Wizard Mode is not disabled, you will not be able to select the grids you want in Reference System Selector. See Disabling wizards in ArcMap.

You might also need to set up ArcMap before creating custom overlay reference grids. See Setting up ArcMap to use custom overlay reference grids.

  1. Click View > Data Frame Properties.
  2. Click the Grids tab.
  3. Click New Grid.
  4. Click the custom overlay you want to use from the list of grids. This list now contains any new custom overlay grids you may have created. It also contains the reference systems in the ESRI style and any other styles you may have referenced.
  5. Click Properties.
  6. Click the Custom Overlay tab. Here you can change the reference grid that you are using. Click the System drop-down arrow and click the data source that will define the grid lines.
  7. If you change the source of the reference grid, you will also likely want to change the name of the reference grid, which you can set on the Grids tab of the Data Frame Properties dialog box.

  8. If you want to change the label field used for display of the axis text, click the Label field drop-down arrow and click the field that will specify the values for the grid labels.
  9. Click the other tabs to adjust properties for the axes, labels, and lines as appropriate.
  10. Making modifications to these properties of the reference grid will not change the custom overlay grid in the style. If you want to save the changes in a new style, click the Style button, click Save, then specify the name for your new custom overlay grid.

  11. Click OK to close all dialog boxes.

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