How To: Temporarily disable the automatic refresh of ArcMap's display with the Pause Drawing tool


In ArcMap 9.0, it is possible to add a custom tool to the interface - the Pause Drawing tool. This is useful in making changes to a map, for example, changing the symbology for a number of layers or making changes to any query definitions without having the map redraw.

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


Follow the steps below to add it to an ArcMap session.

  1. Click Tools > Customize.
  2. Click the Commands tab.
  3. Navigate to the Pan/Zoom category and find the Pause Drawing tool.
  4. Drag this tool onto a new or existing toolbar.

When clicking this tool, it suspends drawing of the display area until it is clicked again. This command works in both Data View and Layout View.

This does not work for editing data. Features cannot be added, edited, or deleted using this tool because at this point the data cannot be seen.

Related Information