The ArcGIS software has many uses but most activities can be classified as cartography, geoprocessing or database development. Each of the three categories requires its own unique configuration. The recommended configuration for cartography is based on creating a separate workspace folder and map document for each map or map series. This approach allows a map to be tweaked periodically without upsetting other aspects of a project that are going on in parallel
- A dedicated folder has been created in the project’s on-disk workspace. The folder holds a dedicated map document (.mxd file).
- The View property of the data frame has been set to “Layout”
- Before any layers have been added to the table of contents, the box titled “Use relative pathnames” (Data frame properties dropdown) has been checked.
- The map’s scale and extent have been figured out. This is a time-consuming and frustrating process. Even experienced cartographpers seldom get it right on the first try