Bug: Raster layers using the 'Current Display Extent' statistics option will show strips of shifting color when the map is printed or exported


The 'current display extent' statistics option can be used to show better contrast stretching within a raster dataset.

Maps that are printed or exported with this option often have a striped or banded pattern of the data in the output. The stripes can be characterized by actual data that is banded with different saturations or intensities.


When displaying the 'current display extent' statistics on a monitor, it looks fine because the algorithm that calculates the statistics performs the calculation using the entire dataset.

When a map is printed or exported, it is processed as long rectangular strips of data. Each strip of data has slightly different statistics and therefore, because of the current display extent stretching, a slightly different rendering contrast stretch is calculated.

This can result in a striping or banding pattern on output.


There is no easy workaround for this issue at ArcGIS 9.0. The only true work around is to not print or export a raster while using the 'current display extent' statistics option. Instead, clip the raster dataset to the area desired, and then print or export it.

In ArcGIS versions 9.1 and later, there is a possible work around using some of the Symbology parameters. This workaround is to save the 'current display extent' statistics as an XML file. This XML file can then be loaded into the Custom Setting for statistics. Maps then properly export or print using the Custom Statistics option.

  • For ArcGIS 9.0:
    1. Zoom to the desired display area in the layout.
    2. Right-click on the raster dataset, point to Data, and click Export Data.
    3. Set the extent to the data frame.
    4. Specify the output location, file name, and format.
    5. Click Save.
    6. When the raster data has been exported/clipped, add it to the layout, and print it.

    This raster dataset only uses the statistics that are contained in the raster dataset, which is the same as the statistics of the current display extent.

  • For ArcGIS 9.1 or later:
    1. Zoom to the desired display area in the layout.
    2. In the Raster Dataset Properties dialog box, click on the Symbology tab.
    3. Scroll to the Statistics dropdown arrow, and select From the current display extent and click Apply.
    4. Click OK. Make sure you are satisfied with the way the raster dataset is rendered.
    5. Go back to the symbology tab and click Save as XML. Set the path and file name for the XML file, and click Save.
    6. In the Statistics dropdown arrow, select From Custom Settings (below).
    7. Click the Load XML button. Navigate to the XML file saved in step 5, and click Open.
    8. Click OK, to view the display.