Turning a layer on or off

  1. Check the box Display next to the layer's name in the table of contents.

  • If you check the box next to a layer and the layer isn't drawing, it may be hidden by another layer (you can rearrange the layers in the table of contents to change the drawing order), or it may display only at a particular scale.
  • If the layer isn't drawing, it may be scale dependent. Look for a gray scale bar underneath the layer's check box in the table of contents.Learn more about displaying layers at certain scales
  • If you see a red exclamation point, the link to the layer's data source is broken. Learn how to repair broken data links
  • You can quickly change the color of a particular feature by right-clicking the color in the table of contents.
  • Double-click a layer in the table of contents to see its properties. From there, you can change how you draw the layer.
  • To turn all the layers on or off, hold down the CTRL key and click the box next to any layer in the table of contents. This will toggle all the layers on or off.
  • You can also use the SPACEBAR to toggle a selected layer's visibility. You may need to press the F3 key to make the table of contents active.
  • You can use the Swipe tool Swipe Layer on the Effects toolbar in ArcMap to interactively reveal what is underneath a particular layer without having to turn it off in the table of contents. To use the Swipe tool, choose the layer you want to swipe from the Layer list on the Effects toolbar. Then move the pointer over the map. You'll notice that the pointer changes based on whether you are pausing on the top, bottom, left, or right of the map. This allows you to choose the direction you'd like to swipe the layer. Now, click and drag. This will swipe the layer in the direction you were pausing on. You can also hold down either the CTRL or SHIFT key and click to swipe without having to drag left/right or up/down.

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Published 6/8/2010