Change colors for pen symbols that have fixed colors

Last Published: April 25, 2020



Some of the ESRI symbol palettes, such as weather.avp and forestry.avp contain black pen symbols whose colors you cannot change in the Color Palette. How can I enable the Foreground color setting in the Color Palette so I can change the colors of these symbols?

The ColorLock property in the palette file (AVP) is set to 1 (true). Therefore the colors for those symbols are fixed to the colors defined in the palette.

Set the ColorLock property to 0 (false). Here is the simplest way to do this:

1. Open up the AVP file in Wordpad.

2. Choose Find from the Edit menu and type in "colorlock" (without the quotes). Then click on the Find Next button. If you are in weather.avp, you will find this section:

Color: 6
ColorLock: 1
Size: 32.00000000000000
Symbols: 7

3. Click Cancel in the "Find" dialog box, then highlight the entire "colorlock" line with the mouse cursor, then type CTRL-C to copy that line onto your system clipboard.

4. Choose Replace from the Edit menu. Place your mouse cursor in the "Find what:" line and type CTRL-V to paste the colorlock line. It was necessary to copy and paste in order to get the hidden tab characters entered.

5. Place the mouse cursor in the "Replace with:" line and type CTRL-V again. Now replace the "1" at the end with a "0". Click on the Replace All button. Then click OK in the message box and click Cancel in the Replace dialog

6. Choose Save As from the File menu and save your edits with a new file name, such as "weather2.avp".

7. Chances are your system does not recognize AVP files as being associated with any application, so WordPad will then append a TXT extension to the filename. Check this by browsing to the /symbols directory in Windows Explorer
and make sure that the file did not get a TXT extension added to it. If so, delete the TXT extension.

8. Load the new AVP file into the pen palette. You will be able to change the colors of those symbols.


If you cannot tell whether this file has a TXT extension, then Windows Explorer may not be set to show file extensions for known file types. Check this by going to the View menu and making sure first that "Details" rather than "List" is checked. Then choose Options from the View menu and uncheck the box for "Hide file extensions for known file types".

Article ID:000001534

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