Background Screening, Titles

Integrating a title into a map can be hard if it doesn’t have enough “pop” in contrast with the underlying data. Making a halo around the text doesn’t usually look very nice but you can set it apart subtly by making a masking box underneath it.

In ArcMap the steps are to go into data view and make a graphic box (can be difficult when your title text is in Layout view, but just go back and forth a few times to get it right), then right-click “Layers” –> convert graphics to features, then make the newly created feature layer transparent by a certain amount. This pic shows a small snipet of a map that I’m doing this on right now. The 2010 – 2011 is part of a title that needed a bit of masking underneath in order for it to compete with the ocean and dark gray land mass colors.

  1. #1 by JRigs on November 30, 2011 - 3:02 pm

    Ability to change graphic opacity – one of a long list of overdue features for ArcMap.

  2. #2 by Gretchen on December 1, 2011 - 12:36 pm

    Yes, I think it’s been on their to-do list since at least 9.3.

  3. #3 by DaveB on December 5, 2011 - 7:20 am

    You don’t have to switch to data view to draw the graphic box. You could focus the data frame and then draw it inside that focused data frame. That makes it easier to make sure it matches up with the layout text.

  4. #4 by Gretchen on December 5, 2011 - 7:58 am

    Great tip! Thanks.

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