English

How To: Export a shapefile with its symbology in ArcGIS Pro

Summary

It is sometimes necessary to export a shapefile with its symbology in ArcGIS Pro to share its geographic and attribute information. However, this is a known limitation, as shapefiles do not store attribute data such as annotation, attribute relationships, and attribute domains. An exported shapefile does not retain its symbology, as shown in the image below. Refer to ArcGIS Pro: Geoprocessing considerations for shapefile output for more information.

Image of an exported shapefile without its symbology

This article describes how to add symbology to an exported shapefile.

Procedure

Import the symbology as a layer file after exporting the shapefile.

Export the shapefile as a new shapefile

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click the desired shapefile and navigate to Data > Export Features.
  2. Configure the Feature Class to Feature Class pane as follows:
    1. For Input Features, select the shapefile to be exported. In this example, it is LandOwnership.
    2. For Output Location, select the location of the output feature layer. In this example, it is Symbology.gdb.
    3. For Output Feature Class, specify a name for the exported shapefile. In this example, it is SkiLandOwnership.
    4. Click Run.
Image of the Feature Class to Feature Class pane

Export the shapefile symbology as a layer file

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click the desired feature layer and navigate to Sharing > Save as Layer File.
  2. Specify a name for the layer file. In this example, the name of the saved layer file is LandOwnership.
  3. Click Save.

Apply the layer file to the newly created shapefile

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click the newly created shapefile and navigate to Symbology.
  2. In the Symbology pane, click the Menu icon and click Import Symbology.
  3. Configure the Apply Symbology From Layer pane as follows:
    1. For Input Layer, select the desired layer to apply the symbology. In this example, it is SkiLandOwnership.
    2. For Symbology Layer, select the desired layer file to apply to the input layer. In this example, it is LandOwnership.lyrx.
    3. Click Run.
Geoprocessing pane

The symbology from the input shapefile is applied to the exported shapefile as shown in the image below.

Image of an exported shapefile with its symbology

Related Information