Set and save a multi-element symbol with the desired transparency in ArcGIS Pro

Last Published: April 25, 2020


This article describes the steps to set transparency for a multi-element label callout point symbol such as the Shield 1 User-added imagesymbol. Setting transparency on a multi-element symbol in the Symbology pane is a straight-forward process because all of the elements can be displayed and modified individually. However, the transparency setting on the symbol cannot be saved, and the process must be repeated when setting similar symbology in the future. The following image shows transparency settings for multiple elements of a symbol using the Symbology pane.

Image of the Symbology pane

The desired transparency setting for a symbol can be saved when using the Label Class pane, however, only one element can be modified. Hence, when using a multi-element symbol, it is not possible to control transparency for individual elements of the symbol using the Label Class pane, as shown in the image below:

Point symbol used in label class callout

From the Label Class pane, color transparency can be set by navigating to the Color drop-down list > Color Properties > and setting the Transparency in the Color Editor window:

Color Properties

However, performing this on a multi-element symbol in the Label Class pane, only sets transparency on a single element, such as the blue part of the shield as demonstrated in this example:

image showing that transparency can only be set on part of the symbol


To set and save a multi-element symbol with the desired transparency in ArcGIS Pro, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Catalog > Styles, and find the desired callout symbol. 
  2. Right-click the symbol > Add to Favorites.
  3. Navigate to Styles > Favorites, and select the symbol and edit the color properties. This enables same level of control as in the Symbology pane.
Edit symbol properties in Style view
  1. For each element of the symbol, set the transparency as desired. In this example, both of the elements of the callout symbol are set to 50%, and the symbol is saved with the name, Shield 50% Transparency. The option to use the edited symbology with the desired transparency now appears in the Favourites section of the Label Class pane, which allows easy selection of the symbol for future use.
:saved Symbol with transparency

Article ID:000017454

  • ArcGIS Pro

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