Raster enhancement: The horizontal legend


If a vertical legend is not the proper fit for your layout, perhaps you should try a horizontal legend.

Inserting a Legend

1. Make sure you are in the Layout View.
2. In the Insert Menu, click Legend.
3. Follow the Legend Wizard to choose the map layers, map title, legend frame, symbol patch, and spacing. You can choose all defaults setting if you want. When you are done, a vertical legend will appear.

Making It Horizontal

1. Right-click on the legend, and click Properties.
2. Click on the Items tab.
3. Highlight/select the layers you want to display with a horizontal legend, and then click Style.

4. Choose which horizontal style you want to use. The first option (Horizontal Bar with  Heading, Labels, and Description) usually fits the stretched renderer well.

5. Optionally, click on the Properties button to customize the text. My preference are as follows:
a. On the General tab, check on Show Layer Name and check off Show Heading.

b. Under the Bar tab, choose 0 degrees for Angle of Text below the bar.

6. Click OK three times (to exit all the windows). Now your legend should display horizontally.  Note that the legend will always have the high value on the left, and the low value on the right.

Furthermore, make sure you customize you color ramp and labels in your raster symbology so that you get that you can make a truly legendary horizontal legend.

Written By: Simon Woo

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  2. gallysam says:

    Does anyone knows how to get a similar result but on a vertical scale bar? What I mean is a vertical bar showing the color ramp with corresponding labels on the right of the bar. Similar to the one on step 3 bit showing all labels.

  3. Simon Woo says:

    The vertical bar with the labels to the right should be the default legend that you insert when using the Label option in the Stretched renderer. http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2011/04/13/advanced-labeling-for-the-stretch-renderer/

    I see you have already looked at this link. I am not sure off-hand why it is not working for you.

  4. sagbayani says:

    Thanks Simon! Is there a way to show the high values (red) on the right and the low values (blue) on the left? It would be more intuitive that way.

    • Simon Woo says:

      If you simply want to “flip” or “invert an existing color ramp, there is am “Invert” check box within the Symbology tab (within the Raster Properties window). Check box box if you want the reverse color ramp to be used.

      • sagbayani says:

        I did try this, but it only flips the colors, not the values. High then becomes blue, but is still on the left side as opposed to the right side. I’m trying to get the High Values (red) onto the right side.

  5. Jared Smith says:

    Hi Simon, these steps worked fine for me in 10.2, but I updated to 10.3.1 yesterday and these steps no longer are valid, and my previous maps from 10.2 now have legends that are incorrect. I also have these problems if I create a new map from scratch. The problems are:

    1) In step 4, only the first legend style option creates a horizontal bar. All other options create vertical bars, even though some say horizontal.
    2) In step 5 part b, using 0 degree rotation is no longer an option.
    3) I usually override the default width of the horizontal bar because the default is too compressed for my maps. When I increase the width (to 120 pt), the labels for high and low are not in the correct place anymore. They are shifted right of where they should be, and I have not figured out how to get them in their correct spots. This was not an issue when overriding the default width for a horizontal stretched color bar in 10.2.

    I’m wondering if any of these problems are bugs in 10.3.1, and if there are ways to overcome the difficulties.


    • Simon Woo says:

      Perhaps it is best to contact Esri Support since you are finding so many issues. Also, I am not a Legend or Layout expert, so they will have more expertise in that area. Here are some more detailed comments I have for each of the issues.

      1) I agree the first option created a horizontal bar. Support can check if there are any bugs logged on this issue, or perhaps a work around.

      2) You can manually type in the number 0. I did that and it seemed to work.

      3) I am not familiar with chanting the width. Once again, best to check with support if any bugs have been logged on this issue.