Problem: Data frame outline or graphic boxes/lines disappear when printed or exported


Data frame outline or graphic boxes/lines disappear when printed or exported if placed close to or on top of the minimum required printer margin.

For example, the map displays correctly when viewed in Layout:

Map displays correctly in Layout

But is clipped in Print Preview and most likely prints clipped as well:

Map is clipped.


This is a known issue due to rounding problems based on the graphics display pipeline that ArcGIS uses, which is the Microsoft Graphics Device Interface (GDI).

Solution or Workaround

Do not place graphics right on or very close to the minimum required printer margin. If graphics are placed too close to or right on the minimum required printer margin, one or more pixels may be cut off.

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.