MPS-Atlas to Data Driven Pages functionality matrix

The following table details key MPS-Atlas workflows and functions and how they relate to Data Driven Pages starting at ArcGIS Desktop 10.0.


ArcGIS Desktop

Production Mapping


Creating a map series

Creating Data Driven Pages

Both MPS-Atlas and Data Driven Pages provide functionality to create an index layer to drive page extents. Both provide the ability to calculate rotation angles and coordinate systems. The difference is MPS-Atlas does these calculations on the fly as you switch from map sheet to map sheet, while Data Driven Pages provides geoprocessing tools to both generate the index layer and calculate these properties prior to enabling your Data Driven Pages map document.

Adding a map sheet to an existing series

Refreshing Data Driven Pages

Single map sheets

Inserting nonmap pages into your map book

There is no concept in Data Driven Pages for making a map sheet single or “unlinking” it. Single, stand-alone map sheets are created and managed as a traditional MXD that shows only one map in the layout. For example, using Data Driven Pages, set the MXD to the desired page, disable Data Driven Pages, and use Save As to allow custom MXD edits. These individual pages can then be inserted into the final map book using arcpy.mapping.

Data Frame Manager

Creating Data Driven Pages

Working with dynamic text

Both MPS-Atlas and Data Driven Pages have dynamic text. However, MPS-Atlas has its own text element, while dynamic text in ArcGIS for Desktop is an extension of the existing text element, incorporating dynamic tags for the various map, data frame, and attribute properties.

Both forms of dynamic text support many information types and formatting options. However, the dynamic text in MPS-Atlas supports the use of attributes from feature layers in addition to the index layer, while the dynamic text element tags only support the use of attributes from the index layer.

Dynamic definition queries

Using Page Definition Queries

Index or gazetteer

Create Index Table

Graphic table

What are reports in ArcGIS

Adding a table to a layout

What is a graphic table element?

Element rule manager


If you are using Production Mapping Layout rules, they will not be reapplied automatically when moving between pages and must be applied manually.

Individual element information for data frames, graphic elements, legends, map surrounds, pictures, and text elements such as size and position can be read and updated using a custom Python script.

Exporting and printing

Exporting Data Driven Pages

At ArcGIS 10, ArcGIS for Desktop includes the ability to export directly from Data Driven Pages to a multipage PDF file. This functionality is not directly available in a map book created with MPS-Atlas.

MPS-Atlas to data driven pages functional map