Programmatically select and place a marker in the GraphicsContainer

Last Published: April 25, 2020


This article pertains to ArcGIS versions 8.x. Later versions of ArcGIS may contain different functionality, as well as different names and locations for menus, commands and geoprocessing tools.

Users interested in programmatically selecting a marker from the StyleGallery can use this code sample. The code shows how to select a marker, set its size and color, and place the marker in the PageLayout.

Support for Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) for ArcMap and ArcCatalog ended with the ArcGIS 10.2.2 release, and Esri has not included VBA compatibility setups since version 10.5. See: ArcGIS Desktop and VBA Moving Forward


  1. Start ArcMap.
  2. Create a new UIButtonControl: How To: Create a new UIButtonControl
For more information on creating a UIControl, see the ArcGIS Desktop Help topic: 'Creating custom commands with VBA and UI Controls'
  1. Right-click the UIButtonControl and select View Source.
  2. Copy this code into the UIButtonControl's click event.
  3. Click AddData to load a layer of sample data.
  4. From the View Menu, select Layout View.
'''This subroutine retrieves a Marker from the Stylegallery without popping up any dialog boxes.
'''The For/Next loop selects the 39th marker and displays it on the pagelayout.

Private Sub UIButtonControl1_Click()
    Dim pStyleGallery As IStyleGallery
    Dim pEnum As IEnumStyleGalleryItem
    Dim pStyleGalleryItem As IStyleGalleryItem

    Dim pMxDoc As IMxDocument
    Set pMxDoc = ThisDocument
    Set pStyleGallery = pMxDoc.StyleGallery
    Set pEnum = pStyleGallery.Items("Marker Symbols", "ESRI.Style", "Default")
    ' Based on its index position, this code selects amarker from the StyleGallery.
    ' To see the marker you want:
    '   Click on the Draw ToolBar and select Drawing.
    '   Select DefaultSymbolProperties then click Marker.
    '***** Change the number 39 (below) to the NorthArrow's position in the StyleSelector...
    Dim intX As Integer
    For intX = 1 To 39
        Set pStyleGalleryItem = pEnum.Next
    Dim pMarker As IMarkerSymbol
    Set pMarker = pStyleGalleryItem.Item

    ''This controls the SIZE and COLOR.
    Dim pRGBColor As IRgbColor
    Set pRGBColor = New RgbColor
    pRGBColor.Blue = 255
    pMarker.Color = pRGBColor
    pMarker.Size = 48
    Call DrawSymbol(pMarker)
End Sub

Public Function TheGeometry() As IGeometry
'''This function creates a geometry that is used by the PageLayout as the
'''position to display the north arrow.
    Dim pPoint As IPoint
    Set pPoint = New Point
    ' The X and Y values represent inches.
    pPoint.X = 2
    pPoint.Y = 2
    Set TheGeometry = pPoint

End Function
Public Sub DrawSymbol(pMarker As IMarkerSymbol)
''This subroutine places the element in the PageLayout.

    Dim pMxDoc As IMxDocument
    Set pMxDoc = ThisDocument
    Dim pAV As IActiveView
    Set pAV = pMxDoc.ActiveView
    Dim pGC As IGraphicsContainer
    Set pGC = pAV
    Dim pMarkerElem As IMarkerElement
    Set pMarkerElem = New MarkerElement
    pMarkerElem.Symbol = pMarker
    Dim pElem As IElement
    Set pElem = pMarkerElem
    '''This calls the function to create a location for placing the marker..
     pElem.Geometry = TheGeometry
     pGC.AddElement pElem, 0
End Sub
  1. Click the button to run the code.

Article ID:000005712

  • ArcMap 8 x

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