Create and apply a custom map template


A map template can contain a variety of common page layouts or a basemap layer. Creating a map template in ArcMap enables users to reuse and standardize the layouts in multiple map documents.

Upon opening ArcMap, the ‘ArcMap – Getting Started’ dialog box prompts the user to select a template. The Existing Maps section consists of previously saved map documents; while the New Maps section contains Templates provided by Esri and My Templates, which are custom templates created by users. If no custom template had been created before, a Blank Map is available for users to create a map document from scratch.

This is the ArcMap - Getting Started dialog box.


The following workflow describes how to create and apply a custom map template in ArcMap:

  1. Create a layout of choice.
    1. Open ArcMap and select a template from the ArcMap – Getting Started dialog box.
    2. Switch to the Layout view.
    3. Create the layout of choice by selecting features to add from the Insert command in the Main Menu.
      The image below is a sample output of a created layout to be saved as a map template.
This is output created to be saved as a map template.
  1. Save the created layout as an ArcMap Document (.mxd) in the desired location, and close ArcMap.
This is the Save As dialog box.
  1. Create a map template based on the ArcMap Document created in Step 1.
    1. Copy the ArcMap Document created in Step 1.
    2. Locate the Templates folder within the AppData folder. An example of the folder path is as follows:
  1. Paste the copied ArcMap Document in the Templates folder.
The AppData folder is a hidden folder by default. Users can show the hidden folder by selecting the Show hidden files, folders, and drives option in the Folder Options window. 

This is the Folder Options dialog box.
  1. Open ArcMap.
  2. Apply the newly created map template.
    1. Navigate to the New Maps option in the ArcMap - Getting Started dialog box.
    2. Select My Templates and choose the recently created custom map template.
    3. Click OK.
This is ArcMap - Getting Started dialog box showing the recently created custom map template.

Article ID:000018084

  • ArcMap

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