Transparent vector layer drops out when printed or exported


A map layer is made transparent but disappears when printed or exported.


There are two methods of making a layer transparent. If the transparency is set using the Layer Properties > Symbology tab > Advanced button > Transparency setting based on unique values and the layer has many unique values, that layer disappears on output.


  • For disproportionate transparency based unique values:
    A. Leave Categories symbology on the Layer Properties > Symbology tab and set transparency based on a field from the Advanced button.
    1. Right-click on the Layer in the Table of Contents and select Properties.
    2. Select the Symbology tab.
    3. Set the Symbology type to Categories.
    4. Click on the Advanced button in the lower right hand corner of the dialog and select Transparency.
    5. Click the Field dropdown list and select the attribute field to base the transparency on in percent.

    [O-image] Setting transparency by unique values
    B. Click the Display tab and set the Display transparency to 1%. Since Display transparency takes effect after symbology transparency, it forces the layer to be drawn.
  • For a homogenous percentage of transparency for the entire layer:
    A. Set the percentage from the Effects toolbar or from the Layer Properties > Display tab.

    B. Enter the desired transparency percentage in the 'Transparency' box.
    1. Right-click on the Layer in the Table of Contents and select Properties.
    2. Select the Display tab.
    3. Enter the percentage transparency in the Transparent box.

    [O-image]Layer transparency set on Display tab

Article ID:000007648

  • ArcMap 9 x

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