Show Navigation | Hide Navigation
You are here:
Mapping and visualization > Navigating and interacting with maps > Navigating maps and layout pages

Opening magnifier, viewer, and overview windows

Release 9.3
Last modified September 11, 2008
E-mail This Topic Printable Version Give Us Feedback

Print all topics in : "Navigating maps and layout pages"


Related Topics

About magnifier, viewer, and overview windows

ArcMap provides three additional ways to explore the spatial data on your map: through a magnifier window, a viewer window, and an overview window. When you don't want to adjust your map display, yet you want to see more detail, retain a particular view of an area, or get an overview of an area, open another window.

All these windows operate only in data view; you can't use them in layout view. You can also open more than one of these windows at the same time.

Magnifier window


The magnifier window works like a magnifying glass: as you pass the window over the data, you see a magnified view of the location under the window. Moving the window does not affect the current map display.

What does a magnifier window look like?

Viewer window


A viewer window behaves like an independent view onto the map, and you can use any of the ArcMap interactive tools inside the window. For example, you can zoom and pan to a different part of the map to compare it with what is shown in the main ArcMap window. You can also identify and select features, perform editing, and so on. When you right-click the window, you'll get a menu of useful shortcuts. You can also use the toolbar at the top of the window to navigate your map.

What does a viewer window look like?

You can easily switch a magnifier window into a viewer window, and vice versa, by clicking the arrow button Open menu on the toolbar at the top of the window. You can also use this menu to set properties and synchronize the viewer window's display with the location and spatial extent shown in the main ArcMap window.

A viewer window can be used to work with inactive data frames side by side with the active data frame shown in the main ArcMap window. This is especially useful if you are using the ArcGIS Schematics extension, because it lets you work with geographic features and schematic diagrams representing these features together on screen. It can also be useful for analysis if you want to compare different datasets for the same area or view data representing different time periods. You can right-click inside the viewer window to access additional commands such as Zoom To Selected Features. If you are using dual monitors, you can put a viewer window showing an inactive data frame onto your second monitor to maximize your display area. The functionality provided in a viewer window showing an inactive data frame is restricted, though. The main limitation is that you can't perform editing of features or graphics. If you hover the mouse pointer over a viewer window showing an inactive data frame with a tool that is not supported, the cursor will change to show you that it is not supported.

Overview window


The overview window shows you the full extent of the data. A box in the overview window represents the currently displayed area on the map. You can move this box to pan the map and shrink or enlarge it to zoom in or out.

You can set options for an overview window by right-clicking its title bar and clicking Properties. For example, you can choose the box's fill symbol and the window's background color. In addition, you can choose which layer is shown in the overview window. By default, the layer at the bottom of the ArcMap table of contents is the one drawn in the overview window and is used to set the extent of the overview window. You can modify the reference layer's properties from the Overview Properties dialog box; any changes you make here are also applied in the map and vice versa.

What does an overview window look like?


How to open a magnifier, viewer, and overview window

Opening a magnifier window

  1. Click the Window menu and click Magnifier.
  2. You must be viewing the map in data view to display a magnifier window.
  3. Drag the magnifier window over the data.
  4. Click the list or type a value in the box at the top of the window to change the percentage of magnification.
  5. Click the arrow button Open menu to switch to a viewer window, flash or pan to the location, or set additional properties.

Tip

  • The percent magnification is persisted as a registry setting, so it will be used next time you open the window in any map. (If you use a scale to set the magnification, it is not persisted.)


Opening a viewer window

  1. Click the Window menu and click Viewer.
  2. You must be viewing the map in data view to display a viewer window.
    Now you have a separate view of your data, and you can use interactive tools in the window to pan, zoom, edit, select, identify, and so on.

  3. Click the list or type a value in the box at the top of the window to change the scale of the window.
  4. Click the arrow button Open menu to switch to a magnifier window, flash or pan to the location, synchronize the viewer window's display with the location and spatial extent shown in the main ArcMap window, or set additional properties.

Tips

  • You can use viewer windows with any data frame in your map including inactive ones. (The data frame needs to be active when you open the viewer window.) The functionality provided in a viewer window showing an inactive data frame is limited and you can't perform editing of features or graphics. If you hover the mouse pointer over a viewer window showing an inactive data frame with a tool that is not supported, the cursor will change to show you that it is not supported.
  • With the Create Viewer Window tool Create Viewer Window tool on the Tools toolbar, you can open a viewer window containing the extent of a box you draw on the map.
  • With a viewer window, you can use any of the ArcMap interactive tools to work with the contents of the window.
  • To zoom to the full extent in a viewer window, click the Full Extent button on the toolbar. You can also right-click the window to open a menu of useful shortcuts.
  • To specify the scale for the viewer window, type a number into the scale box at the top of the window.
  • Double-click the title bar to maximize the viewer window.
  • You can use viewer windows on computers with dual monitors, which is especially useful when editing. For example, you can open and maximize the viewer window on the second monitor to provide a large-scale view of the area currently being edited. Editing can be performed in both displays and graphic feedback shown while your edit appears simultaneously on both displays.

  • Opening a viewer window on a second monitor


  • Using the Pan Map To Viewer Location, Pan Viewer To Map Location, and Flash Location commands on the menu launched from the arrow button Open menu on the toolbar, you can center the main ArcMap window on the current viewer (and vice versa) or flash on the map the area covered in the viewer window.


Opening an overview window to pan and zoom the map

  1. Click the Window menu and click Overview.
  2. You must be viewing the map in data view to display an overview window.
  3. Drag, shrink, or expand the box in the overview window to change the map display in the active data frame.

Tips

  • Right-click the title bar and click Properties to set the window's options.
  • You can use transparent symbols or layers with uncomplicated symbology when working with overview windows.

Please visit the Feedback page to comment or give suggestions on ArcGIS Desktop Help.
Copyright © Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.