Bug: Chunks or cut-outs missing from line symbology when printed or exported from ArcMap


Maps containing line symbology, usually thicker lines, may display incorrectly when printed or exported. These anomalies may appear as gaps, chunks, and/or cut-outs missing along arcs or lines.

In the example below, the image on the left shows a thick dashed line symbol as seen on-screen in ArcMap. The image to the right shows chunks missing (highlighted in the red boxes) when displayed as an exported PDF file.
[O-image] Chunks missing from line symbol


This is a known issue with thick line symbols that become rasterized on output. This anomaly occurs when the layer symbolized by the thick line symbol is:

  • Displayed with transparency
  • Symbolized with a picture line symbol
  • Drawn below another layer displayed with transparency or symbolized with a picture line, fill or marker symbol
Raster data, transparency, and picture symbology forces the data frame to become a single bitmap on output. This occurs from the highest layer in the drawing order that contains raster data, transparency or picture symbology.


Remove the transparency or picture line symbology from the line layer, or reorder the line layer so that it is above all other raster layers and layers symbolized with transparency or picture symbology.

Please note:

It is highly recommended to use ArcGIS Pro for printing and exporting, especially when experiencing issues caused by the limitations of the ArcMap display engine. More specifically, ArcGIS Pro is not restricted by the graphical device interface (GDI) limitations that some users experience in ArcMap. For example, transparency is natively supported in ArcGIS Pro, preventing the rasterization of layers. Additionally, ArcGIS Pro supports transparency in layout elements.
ArcGIS Pro does not support exporting Adobe Illustrator files; it is recommended to export using PDF or SVG instead. Also, because ArcGIS Pro does not use the Windows GDI, font substitution or fallback does not occur in ArcGIS Pro. Boxes may appear if using characters unsupported by the chosen font.

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