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FAQ: Is it possible to use Data Driven Pages for multiple data frames with different extents simultaneously?

Question

Is it possible to use Data Driven Pages for multiple data frames with different extents simultaneously?

Answer

Yes, it is possible to use Data Driven Pages for multiple data frames with different extents simultaneously. Data Driven Pages require the use of an index layer that determines the extent of the data frame for each page. The index layer can be any layer on the map used to drive the extent of the data frame based on the features in the layer.

Note:
Setting up multiple data frames with different extents cannot be achieved directly using the Data Driven Pages user interface provided in ArcMap because by design, only one index layer can be used at a time to drive the extent.

ArcGIS for Desktop allows additional customization of Data Driven Pages through the use of arcpy.mapping Python scripts. Using Data Driven Pages to create a series of pages using two data frames with different extents in a single layout requires the creation of two index layers to drive each extent. To do so, use Data Driven Pages to drive the first extent, and use an arcpy.mapping script to drive the second extent or both extents. For more information, refer to ArcGIS Help: ArcMap - DataDrivenPages.

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