Print an ArcView layout to exact scale

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Print a layout at an exact scale.


1. Set the scale of the view:

a. Determine the units (decimal degrees, kilometers, or feet) that your coverage is stored in. Specify these units in the "Map Units" field of thee "View Properties Menu." If you project the view in ArcView, the "Map Units" are automatically set to projected meters.

b. Set the "Distance Units" to the units you wish ArcView to use when displaying your data. There should now be a value in the Scale box on the view Toolbar.

c. Edit the Scale box on the view Toolbar and type in the exact scale you want. For example, if you want 1:25,000, type 25000, so 1 page unit will be the equivalent of 25,000 ground units. The view will zoom to this scale.

You may need to convert the value in the scale window. For example, should you want to create a layout to scale, such as 1" = 200', multiply 200 times 12 since there are 12 inches in a foot, the units on either side of the scale must be the same. Enter 2400 (i.e., 200 x 12) in the scale window.

2. You must preserve the scale of the view in the layout:

a. When you create the layout, go into the "Layout Page Setup Menu" and set the "Page Size" to the same size as the final printout you wish to produce.

b. Add a view frame to the layout. When the "View Properties" box comes up, select the view and check the "Preserve View Scale" box. This way, the layout will always keep the view frame locked to the scale of the view. If you make the view frame smaller, the objects in the view frame will not get smaller because the scale is locked, you will just see a smaller portion of the view in the view frame.

If your printer has scaling capabilities, make sure it is set to 1:1 or 100% so that the scale in ArcView and on the printer is the same.

Article ID:000001780

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