Creating a Whole Page Legend in ArcMap

You might want to create a full page legend if you have a map (or preplan) that has a lot of layers. To create a full page legend do the following

  1. Open an existing map that has the layers you want to create the legend of
  2. Save the map document as another file name. This is so you don’t mess up the map that you already created
  3. Click View>Layout View on the Menu Bar
  4. Take the existing Data Frame (the map graphic) and resize it to a small size. The purpose of this piece of paper isn’t to show a map but to show the legend.

  5. Click on Insert>legend on the menu bar
  6. This wizard will activate. It take some playing around add the layers from the left side to the list on the right side. Usually if you haven’t add a legend it will default to adding all the layers. Select the layers on the right side that you don’t want and select the “<” button. For a lot of layers I would recommend increasing the number of columns on you legend to around 4
  7. Click next in this option but this option allows you to modify the title of the legend
  8. Hit next again but these options are for the frame of the legend
  9. Hit next again. The explanation at the top of the form is self explanatory
  10. Click Finish
  11. There is a lot of playing around to get your legend looking right. To modify the legend double click on the legend on the page and the above forms will activate.


Hope this helps. Drop me a line if you have any questions.