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How To: Emulate the Overview window in Layout View

Summary

In ArcMap Data View you can display an Overview window. Although you cannot add an Overview window to a layout, you can emulate a similar effect. This article assumes you already have a map document built and open in ArcMap.

Procedure

  1. Select Data Frame from the Insert menu.
  2. Change the new data frame's name to Overview.

    A. Right-click on the data frame in the ArcMap Table of Contents.
    B. Select Properties.
    C. Switch to the General tab.
    D. Type the new name in the Name field.
    E. Click Apply and click OK.

  3. Create an extent rectangle for the Overview data frame.

    A. Right-click on the data frame and select Properties.
    B. Switch to the Extent Rectangles tab.
    C. Select a data frame from the Other data frames list.
    D. Click the right arrow button.
    E. Click Apply and click OK.

  4. Click Tools > Styles > Style Manager.
  5. Expand the ESRI.Styles folder and select the Backgrounds subfolder.
  6. Right-click in the right-hand window and select New > Normal Background.
  7. Click the Change Symbol button on the Background dialog box.
  8. Click the Properties button on the Symbol Selector dialog box.
  9. Select Line Fill Symbol from the Type dropdown list.
  10. Change the angle field to 45.
  11. Select Red from the Color dropdown list.
  12. Click the Outline button.
  13. Select Red from the Color dropdown list and click OK.
  14. Click Apply and OK on all dialog boxes.
  15. Change the name of the new style to Overview and close the Style Manager.
  16. Right-click the Overview data frame and select Properties.
  17. Switch to the Frame tab.
  18. Switch the Border to None and switch the Background to the new Overview background.
  19. Click Apply and OK on all dialog boxes. Once you add data to the Overview data frame and arrange the data frames on your Layout View, you should see something like the following image.
    [O-Image] Extent Rectangles - Overview