Legend Mode

Legend modes in the Layers  pane for a map window allow us to specify which layers from the map will be included in a dynamic, automatically generated legend, and how those layers will be represented within the legend.   Legend modes are especially handy when we have many layers in a map but we only want some of those layers to be included in a legend.


To set Legend Mode for layers in a map window:


  1. With the focus on the map window, click the filter button in the Layers pane.
  2. Choose Show Legend Mode.
  3. Double-click the legend mode to change it from the default of auto full, if desired.
  4. Choose none to exclude that layer from the legend.


An existing legend in the Map window will instantly update to the new settings.


 In the Layers pane, press the filter button and choose Show Legend Mode.  



Legend mode options provide four combinations of always legending the layer, legending it only when it is visible, providing a full multiple legend entries of thematic values, or providing a short single legend entry for the layer.



Always legend the layer.  Provide multiple legend entries if it is thematically formatted.


Always legend the layer.  Provide a single legend entry for the layer, using only a single sample if it is thematically formatted.

auto full

Legend the layer if it is visible and do not legend the layer if it is not visible.  Provide multiple legend entries if it is thematically formatted.  This is the default setting.

auto short

Legend the layer if it is visible and do not legend the layer if it is not visible. Provide a single legend entry for the layer.


Never legend the layer.


The auto settings automatically legend the layer if it is visible, and do not legend the layer if it is not currently visible.  A legend is visible if it is not turned off in the Layers pane, if it is not in a folder that is turned off in the Layers pane, or if it is not hidden due to the current scale as a result of Min / Max Scale settings in the Layers pane.    Note that means that a legend can dynamically change as we zoom in and out of a map, as layers dynamically turn off and on as a result of Min / Max Scale settings.


The full or short settings specify how thematic formatting in layers is legended, with full resulting in multiple legend entries to show all interval values in a thematic format, and short resulting in a single sample for a layer.


We use a map that has five layers: a background image server layer plus four drawing layers that show places, railways, buildings, and roads.   



The buildings and roads layers are thematically formatted while the other two drawing layers use a single, static format for points in the places layer and for lines in the railways layer.



The default setting for legend mode of auto full has been applied to all of the legendable layers.    The image server layer is not turned on, so no legend entry will appear for that layer.  Even if it was turned on, a legend for that layer still would not appear, because the image server layer has not been formatted.   Dynamic legends do not create legend entries for image server layers that have not had any changes in style made.


The other legend entries will automatically turn off and on as their layers are turned off and on.



For example, suppose we turn off the railways and buildings layers, either by clicking off their boxes in the Layers pane or by double-clicking their tabs in the map window.



The auto option in their legend modes ensures that the legend entries for those layers automatically disappear from the legend.  When the layer is turned off, the legend entries for it in the layer also disappear.  


Note that more entries have appeared for the roads layer as space frees up in the legend.  The small illustrations used in this topic do not provide room for lengthy legends, so there is not enough room in the legend for the all of the intervals used in thematic formatting for both buildings and roads to appear in the legend.  The dynamic legend shows only those lines that fit.

Changing Legend Modes

Change a legend mode by double-clicking into the mode to be changed and then choosing the new setting.



For example, we turn on all of the drawing layers in the map, and then we double-click the buildings layer and choose auto short from the menu.  The short setting tells the legend to include that layer using a single sample line.



Instead of eight sample lines appearing in the legend for the buildings layer, only a single sample line now appears.



We can set the legend mode for the roads layer to auto short as well.



Using auto short as the legend mode for the roads layer also condenses to a single sample line the legend entries for that layer as well.



Changing the legend mode to none results in a blank entry for the layer.  That indicates it will not be legended.   With the legend mode set to none, the buildings layer will not be legended.



The result in the map is no legend entry for the buildings layer, even those the layer is visible.



Style overrides excluded - Legends will capture formatting in the Style pane, but will not capture style overrides used to style objects individually if such have been applied.


More than just maps - Legends can be created for any visual display window that can host multiple layers, such as drawing windows, image windows, or labels windows in addition to map windows. When this documentation refers to a "map window" in the context of creating legends for map windows or for map window frames in layouts, it also intends to refer to all such visual display windows as well.


See Also



Layers Pane


Info Pane




Layouts: Info Pane


Layouts: Create Commands


Layouts: Legends




Legend Dialog


Legends: Tutorial Example - A step by step, illustrated tutorial showing how to create a legend for a map.


Legends: Raster Images - All about creating legends for images (rasters).


Style: Thematic Formatting