Creating a layer symbology file

Creating a layer symbology file

In ModelBuilder, datasets and layer variables have a Layer Symbology property that can contain the name of a layer file (.lyr) that defines the symbology used to draw the data when it is added to the display. This layer file is called a Layer Symbology file.

  1. Start ArcMap and edit your model in ModelBuilder.
  2. Run your model in ModelBuilder.
  3. Add the desired variable to the display by right-clicking the variable and clicking Add To Display. This creates a new layer in the ArcMap table of contents.
  4. In ArcMap, double-click the new layer to open its properties, then click the Symbology tab. Change the symbology to how you want the model output to be displayed.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Right-click the layer and click Save As Layer File. (Alternatively, you could run the Save To Layer File tool.)
  7. NoteNote:

    If you are using a classification (such as unique values) to symbolize your data, you can choose to have the output data reclassified, causing the legend to change depending on your output.

Setting layer symbology using unique value category

When you are symbolizing data in categories, the state of the <all other values> check box, illustrated in the table below, determines how the data will be symbolized.

All Other Values checked

Checked—The data will be symbolized as specified. The legend is unchanged. No new categories are created. This is referred to as static symbology.

All Other Values unchecked

Unchecked—The data will be read, and new categories will be created based on the data. The legend will change. This is referred to as dynamic symbology.

Following are details about how data in categories is drawn when using a layer symbology file or the Apply Layer From Symbology tool.

Unique Value symbology

If your symbology layer file defines unique categories like the above illustration, there are rules that determine how the output is drawn.

Setting layer symbology using quantities

You can also symbolize output data by quantities. The screen shot below shows the properties of a graduated color quantity. The value field is Score, and the number of classes is five.

Symbology using Quantities

Learn more about classifying data using graduated colors

If your symbology layer file defines quantities like the above illustration, there are a few rules that apply.

You can force the same classification to be used regardless of the values found on the output data:

  1. Select Graduated colors and a field value and click Classify.
  2. From the classification method, choose Manual.
  3. Enter the break values to set the classification.
    Changing classification

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