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Problem: The color of a raster image in ArcMap does not match the original raster image

Description

When adding a raster to ArcMap, the image color in ArcMap does not match the original raster image viewed through other programs like Windows Photo Viewer.

Comparison between the raster image viewed in Windows Photo Viewer and ArcMap.

Cause

This is often due to the default stretch type symbology that is applied to the raster layer before displaying in the data frame. Stretch types display the image using the full color spectrum, even if the raster cell values are limited to a smaller range.

Solution or Workaround

There are three ways to do this:

  • Set the Stretch Type to None in the Layer Properties dialog box
  • Set the Source Type to Processed in the Raster Dataset Properties dialog box
  • Set the Stretch Type to None in the ArcMap Options dialog box
Select one of three options below to remove the stretch type applied to the raster image and display the image with the same specifications that are embedded into the header of the original image.
Layer Properties method
This option removes the stretch type for selected raster layers or datasets individually after being added to the map frame.
  1. In the Table Of Contents, right-click the raster layer, and click Properties.
  2. In the Layer Properties dialog box, click the Symbology tab, and change the Stretch Type to None.
  3. Click Apply and OK.
An image of the Layer Properties dialog box.
Raster Dataset Properties method
This option removes the stretch type from raster layers individually before being added to the map frame.
  1. Remove the raster layer from the data frame.
  2. Right-click the raster dataset in the Catalog window, and click Properties.
  3. On the General tab, expand Raster Information, and change the Source Type to Processed.
  4. Click Apply and OK. ArcMap does not apply stretch on a raster dataset when the Source Type is set to processed. For more information on the Source Type property, refer to Raster rendering behavior.
An image of the Raster Dataset Properties dialog box.

ArcMap Options method
This option removes the stretch type by default for all raster datasets before being added to the map frame.
  1. Click the Customize menu > ArcMap Options to open the ArcMap Options dialog.
  2. Under the Raster tab, click the Raster Layer tab.
  3. Check the Enable Custom Rendering Defaults check box.
  4. Click the drop-down list for Stretch Type, and select None.
  5. Click Apply and OK.
An image of the ArcMap Options dialog box.
The raster image in ArcMap now matches the image in Windows Photo Viewer.
An image showing the raster image in ArcMap matches Windows Photo Viewer.

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