Tips & Tricks: Plot Studio - Work with several data frames

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Operational Services
February 26, 2020

Tips & Tricks: Plot Studio – Work with several data frames

How to adjust the form of a data frame and add further data frames to a layout. In this article of our series “Monthly Tips & Tricks”, you will learn how to work with several data frames on a layout and how you can adapt the shape of these data frames to your specific needs.

How to change the shape of a data frame

A GEONIS expert data frame is usually rectangular. Plot Studio offers a function for changing the shape of the data frame in order to cut a corner for a legend, a photo, a logo, etc. The adapted map shape is shown in the layout View. Any coordinate belt is automatically adapted to the modified shape.

  • In the Coordinate belt tab click the Create recess… button. The dialog Create new map shape opens:

You can select whether the cut should be created automatically or manually. If you want an automatically generated cut, you can determine the length and width of the cut, as well as the position in the data frame. If these automatic modification options are not sufficient, you can use the Position shape button to determine the size and position of the cut by using your cursor.

A rectangle is displayed in the data frame at the selected corner, which can be enlarged, reduced or moved with the cursor.

  • Click the Cut with mold button to adjust the data frame. Click Cancel to end the action without making any changes.

For special circumstances the new map shape can be created with a freely selectable polygon.

  • Create a rectangle on any corner and display it via Position shape.
  • Delete the selected rectangle manually by using DEL.
  • In the Draw toolbar in ArcGIS select Polygon.

  • Draw a polygon that overlaps the map frame on at least one side.
  • In the dialog box, click Cut with mold.

The created cut must be of a polygonal type. Ellipses or circles are not yet supported. While the polygon is being drawn, the Cut with mold button has to be selected. It is not possible to edit the shape of the cut once created. If changes have to be made, the Reset map frame button can be used to restore the original state and then you can create a new shape. Of course it is possible to cut out several areas and thus to edit the map shape further.

How to add another data frame

While creating a layout you are not limited to a single data frame. You can add one or several additional data frames at any time. You can use the added data frames as a detailed view or as an overview of your main data frame or for different aspects of the same area.

  • Click on the Esri menu Insert and then go to Data Frames.
  • Right click the new data frame and go to Properties. There you can edit all the necessary properties of the newly added data frame.
  • Use the Add Data… button to add any data, e.g. LYR files, to the data frame. You can also use Copy & Paste to add layers from the main data frame.
  • If your data frames show different scales, you can link them together so that the position of one data frame is displayed in the other one (Extent Indicators). Right-click the data frame in which the position of the other data frame is to be displayed and choose Properties. Go to Extent Indicator. By using the arrow function you can define which data frame has to show the extent indicator. On the Frame… button you can design the frame symbol according to your requirements.

You can add as many data frames and extent indicators to your layout as you wish.

Have fun trying it out!


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