How To: Change the size of point symbols in the legend without changing the size on the map


In some instances, when maps have many different layers, users may opt to display map symbology in a smaller size than usual to ensure all symbology is visible when the map is viewed. Since the size of symbology on the map is carried over in the legend when a legend is added to the map in the Layout view, the information provided in the legend may not be clear due to the size of the symbols appearing too small.

The instructions provided describe how to change the size of point symbols in the legend but maintaining the size on the map without converting the legend to graphics.


  1. In ArcMap, make a copy of the layer, and turn off the map visibility for the copied layer in the Table Of Contents.
  2. In the Layout view, go to Insert > Legend to add a legend to the map using the Legend Wizard.
  3. In the Legend Wizard, insert the copied layer in the Legend Items list box, and remove the original layer. Click Finish to close the Legend Wizard after setting the legend title properties, customizing the legend frame, and specifying the spacing between legend elements.
  4. Double-click the legend in the Layout view to open the Legend Properties dialog box.
  5. In the General tab, uncheck the Only display layers that are checked on in the Table Of Contents option, and click ApplyOK.
Screenshot of the Legend Properties dialog box
  1. In the Table Of Contents, click the point symbol under the name of the copied layer to open the Symbol Selector dialog.
  2. Adjust the point size in the Symbol Selector dialog accordingly to display the point symbol size as desired in the legend. For more information, refer to ArcGIS Desktop Help: ArcMap - A quick tour of symbol and styles. As shown in the sample map below, the size of the point symbol in the legend appears larger than the points on the map.
Screenshot of the difference in size of the point symbol in the legend and on the map

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