How To: Modify the temporary metafile size limit in Advanced ArcMap Settings


Instructions provided describe how to modify the temporary output metafile, Enhanced Windows Metafile Format (EMF), that is generated using the ArcMap Advanced Settings utility. Formerly, this functionality was only available by directly editing the OutputSizeLimit registry key.

The ArcMap Advanced Settings utility is a companion settings utility for ArcMap designed to give users safe access to customization settings for ArcMap that cannot be changed within the software itself. While administrative privileges are required to make many changes in the ArcMap Advanced Settings utility, those privileges are not required for the procedure described below, which operates on the user's registry settings only.


Modifying the temporary metafile size limit to make smaller temporary metafile sizes can alleviate "Cannot map metafile into memory. Not enough memory" errors experienced during printing or exporting in ArcGIS. 32 MB is a good alternative to the default value of 104 MB.

  1. Start Windows Explorer and navigate to the AdvancedArcMapSettings.exe file. Double-click this file to start the Advanced ArcMap Settings. Depending on the version of ArcGIS and the operating system, this file is found in one of the following locations:

    • ArcGIS 9.3.x on Windows 7, 32-bit:
    C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Utilities

    • ArcGIS 9.3.x on Windows 7, 64-bit:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Utilities

    • ArcGIS 10.0 on Windows 7, 32-bit:
    C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Desktop10.0\Utilities

    • ArcGIS 10.0 on Windows 7, 64-bit:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.0\Utilities

  2. Click the Print\Export tab.
  3. To modify the temporary metafile size limit, delete the value, by default set to 100, and enter a new value. ESRI recommends using 32, but values 4 to 200 are valid.
    [O-Image] Temporary metafile size limit
  4. Click Apply and click Close.

    The utility never writes anything to the registry unless the Apply button is pressed, and then, it only writes settings for those values that have changed.

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