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How To: Place a grid or graticule below data layers in a map composition


By default, grids and graticules appear above all layers of a data frame in the layout. Users can place a grid or graticule below all layers by converting it to a graphic element and using the Order commands on the Draw toolbar's Drawing menu.

The content of this article pertains to ArcGIS versions 8.x and 9.x only. Later versions of ArcGIS may contain different functionality, as well as different names and locations for menus, commands and geoprocessing tools.


  1. Click View > Data Frame Properties > Grids and select the grid or graticule to reposition.
  2. Click Convert To Graphics. A status dialog box informs that the grid or graticule is successfully converted into a grouped graphic element.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Click OK to dismiss the Data Frame Properties dialog box.
  5. Select the converted grid or graticule in the layout.
  6. In the Draw toolbar, click Drawing > Order > Send to Back.
Graphic grids that are sent back do not appear behind rasters. There is an ongoing idea for a function to allow grids to be sent behind selected layers including rasters. To vote for the idea, refer to the GeoNet link provided in the Related Links section below.

Related Information

Last Published: 7/24/2019

Article ID: 000002791