Colors chosen in view are different than in printed layout

Last Published: April 25, 2020

Solution or Workaround


The colors in a printed layout appear different than the colors selected in the view on screen.


ArcView is a color intensive application and requires a considerable number of colors to display each color in the default color palette. When insufficient colors are available for screen display, ArcView selects the closest colors but sends the correct colors to the printer.

This occurs on systems with 8-bit graphics cards, or on systems with the video display set to display only 8-bit color. 8-bit color is capable of displaying 256 colors for all applications.


Most PCs and UNIX workstations are capable of displaying additional colors. To increase the color depth, do the following:


Navigate to the Control Panel and open the Display icon. Select the Settings tab and use the Color Palette dropdown menu to increase the color depth.

Any color option greater than 256, or any option greater than 8-bit color allows ArcView to display the intended color of each color in the color palette.


Execute xdpyinfo at the system prompt. This reports the color depth in the number of colors available and in bits. If the system is running in 8-bit color depth, consult your system documentation or system administrator to determine if the system is capable of greater color depth.

Article ID:000001521

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