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How To: Create a custom page size based on extent and scale for multiple page map print tiles

Summary

Instructions provided describe how to create a custom page size for multiple page print tiles, based on the the extent and scale of the map.

ArcMap does not have the capability to adjust a page size to accommodate a specific extent/scale that is set. The following is a workflow to find an appropriate page size to fit a specific extent and scale set for the purpose of printing tiles for a multiple page display.

Procedure

The steps are to collect extent measurements, divide them by the scale, set the page size, and adjust the map layout.

  1. Make Length and Width measurements of the custom extent of your data using the Measure Tool. Be sure to note what units the measurements are in (meters, feet, etc.). The length will be the east-to-west extent and the width will be the north-to-south extent. Add an additional 5-10% to the length and width to prevent objects from being displayed right on the margin.

    Note:
    Alternatively, the Minimum Bounding Geometry tool can be used to generate an envelope with the length and width measurements. Use the Envelope option and check the box to 'Add geometry characteristics...'. If this method is used, be sure to round the resulting value measurements up.
    Minimum Bounding Geometry tool

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    Example:
    Measured length = 572 ft.
    Rounded length = 600 ft.

    Measured width = 381 ft.
    Rounded width = 400 ft.

  2. Divide the rounded length and width by the desired scale. This is the page size needed to accomodate this area at this scale.

    Example:
    desired scale = 1:60
    600 / 60 = 10 ft.
    400 / 60 = 6.67 ft.

  3. Convert the divided measurements to inches (if in feet) or centimeters (if in meters).

    Example:
    Scaled length: 10 * 12 = 120 inches
    Scaled width: 6.67 * 12 = 80 inches

    Also consider adding a couple of inches to each measurement to compensate for the margins.
  4. Open the Page and Print Setup window. Set the Paper Size to a standard size that can be handled by the printer (e.g., letter), and the Map Page Size to the measurements determined in the previous step.
    Page and Print Setup Window

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  5. Adjust the size of the Data Frame to take up the entire page, and set the appropriate scale.

    Note:
    It is highly recommended to turn off all unnecessary layers, imagery, and services while modifying the map elements to improve drawing performance while making these adjustments.

  6. Go to File > Print > Tiling and use the option to 'Tile Map to Printer Paper'.
    Print Window

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