Fun With Legends

*Note, I wrote a whole long post on this and it got lost on the way to the presses. Here is the shortened version.

Yucky default legend, good only for maps that you don’t care about:

Here’s a really nice way to present a color ramp. Yes, this was done in ArcMap. You just have to convert the legend to graphics, ungroup them, then fool around with all the settings and move things around until it looks decent:

What if you want to go nuts and turn a color ramp onto its side? (A very easy way to give a more professional/unique look to a legend.) Use a screen shot program – I use MWSnap – to take a screen shot of that portion of the layer properties dialog that shows the color ramp horizontally. Then just insert that image into the map. You have to keep the size small since the resolution may be low, but that hasn’t been a problem for me so far. Here’s where you clip it from the layer properties dialog:

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