Symbolize a set of polygon boundaries using a different data source in ArcMap

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Instructions provided describe how to apply a different symbol for the area between the boundaries between world nations and for borders that are coastlines.
[O-Image] [O-image] Example of multiple symbology for a polygon


Follow the steps below:

  1. Open ArcMap with a new, empty map.
  2. Add the cntry00.shp, lakes.shp, and continent.shp shapefiles to ArcMap from C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Bin\TemplateData\World. If the shapefile 'continent.shp' does not exist, create it by following the steps below:

    A. In ArcToolbox, open the Dissolve tool under Data Management Tools > Generalization.
    B. Specify the 'input features' parameters as “C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Bin\TemplateData\World\Cntry00.shp”. The 'output features' can be a desired file name.
    C. Click OK. The results are polygon features of all the contents in the world.
    D. If the 'output features' of the Dissolve is not added to ArcMap, add it manually by clicking Add Data and browse to the file.
  3. Right-click the continent layer in the Table of Contents > Properties.
  4. Click the Symbology tab.
  5. Click the button with the colored rectangle representing the polygon fill symbol to open the Symbol Selector.
  6. Change Fill Color to No Color.
  7. Change Outline Color to one of the blue colors.
  8. Change Outline Width to at least 1.00.
  9. Click OK to Symbol Selector and OK to Layer Properties.
  10. Repeat the last seven steps for the lakes layer, but change the Fill Color to the same blue color as the Outline Color to represent the lakes in the world.
  11. Optionally, add the shapefile Rivers.shp to ArcMap and change the Outline Color to the same blue color as the lakes.

Article ID:000008227

  • ArcMap 9 x

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