Apply the same symbology to multiple rasters in ArcMap


Layer files (.lyr) allow users to apply the same symbology to multiple rasters without having to set the symbology for each file individually. The instructions provided describe how to apply Classified symbology from a layer file to multiple rasters, while retaining the information on class ranges.


  1. In the Table Of Contents, select the raster layer with the highest maximum and the lowest minimum values of all the rasters.
  2. Right-click the raster name, and click Properties.
  3. In the Layer Properties window, click the Symbology tab, and change the Show: selection from Stretched to Classified.
  4. Click the Classify button to manually set the number of classes and class ranges. Click OK to close the Classification window, and display the Symbology tab.
Image of Classify button in the Layer Properties window.
Image of selecting the Manual classification method in the Classisfication window.
  1. Select a new color ramp to emphasize the differences. Click Apply and OK.
  2. Save the raster as a layer file. To save, right-click the raster name in the Table Of Contents, and click Save as Layer File. The new file has a .lyr extension. Note the location of the layer file.
  3. For all the other rasters, right-click and select Properties.
  4. Click the Symbology tab, and select the Classified symbology.
  5. Click Import Import symbology icon to import the layer file. For more information, refer to the following Help page: Importing layer symbology.
  6. Select the Show class breaks using cell values check box to retain the class ranges.
Image showing the Show class breaks using cell values check ox in the Layer Properties window
  1. Click Apply and OK to close the Layer Properties window. The symbology is applied to other rasters.

Article ID:000014408

  • ArcMap

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