16 Replies Latest reply on Apr 21, 2015 8:10 AM by CarmellaBurdi

    Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export

    discoduck
      I have several overlapping data frames in a layout; the foreground frames are all clipped to a shape.

      Yet when I "export map" the result always shows these foreground frame's extents as white boxes - even if their background is made transparent (hollow) or "none" - obscuring large areas of the frame behind all of them.

      What gives?

      Cheers
        • Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export
          MKennedy-esristaff
          I have several overlapping data frames in a layout; the foreground frames are all clipped to a shape.

          Yet when I "export map" the result always shows these foreground frame's extents as white boxes - even if their background is made transparent (hollow) or "none" - obscuring large areas of the frame behind all of them.

          What gives?

          Cheers


          Known limit, I'm afraid:

          http://resources.arcgis.com/content/kbase?fa=articleShow&d=17336

          Melita
          • Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export
            discoduck
            Nine years later - should we assume ESRI has given up on this one then?
            • Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export
              cassandra
              The known limit is actually in the graphics engine which was built by Microsoft. We are working on replacing the graphics engine which unfortunately it is not a simple task.
              • Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export
                discoduck
                For anyone reading this post and until ArcMap becomes mapping software, a solution that Disco Duck uses to remedy this quacked up situation is:

                1) separate the foreground from the background data frames after building them all in one .mxd.  This is probably best done by then preparing three .mxd's - one with just the background data frames and the other with the foreground data frames - by alternatively deleting all backs/fores (careful with dependent scale bars, north arrows, etc).
                2) export the background and foreground as separate "maps".
                3) Open both in Photoshop. 
                4) Using the selection tools, isolate the desired area(s) of each foreground data frame. 
                5) Copy/paste the foreground frames into the background as separate "Photoshop layers" (you will have to move the relic data frames into the original ArcMap position).
                6) You should probably merge all layers, then save as desired file format.

                Love live Freedonia,
                Rufus T. Firefly
                • Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export
                  zapper
                  An only slightly less tedious means to this end is to export your output in .ai Adobe Illustrator format and then reform the layer clipping mask that is created for the data frame that sits on top of your lower data frames. Another possibility is to have your clipping mask/shape as a simple layer in your mxd and then after the .ai export convert that for use as the upper data frame's clipping mask (high in the mxd layer stack above any transparent layers).  Cassandra, did ArcGIS Desktop 10 move us any closer to a fix for this?
                  • Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export
                    dukehunter
                    Export as PNG seems to work up to a point. I can export an 8 1/2 x 11 map at 149 dpi and my overlapping data frames are transparent. When I bump it to 150 dpi the same overlapping data frames are now opaque outside the shape I am clipping to. 149 dpi is not great, but will fly if the end user is not too picky - saved me from having to re-do what was already a very attractive layout

                    From the PNG you can bring into XNView or CorelDraw and export to other more common bitmap formats.
                    • Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export
                      jeffhoward
                      Oh this would be a great problem to remedy. Triple bonus points and the day off for  whoever fixes this one.
                      • Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export
                        mahabal
                        Adobe Acrobat has layers that you could work around with.

                        -Export your map into PDF.
                        -Open it with Adobe Acrobat.
                        -Click on the navigation tab "Layers" on the left hand side.
                        -Expand that layer's folder by clicking the plus sign.
                        -Click on the 'eye' next to "Image". This would get rid of the white solid raster that was created in your map.
                        -Print this map into another PDF and rename.

                        Hope this helps! :D
                        • Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export
                          kass3
                          Since this issue may not be fixed for a while, here's another quick fix:

                          - Convert the rasters to polygon.
                          - Save the color ramp you used for your rasters to a new style.
                          - Remove the rasters and replace with the polygon, then symbolize with the style.
                          - Remove boundaries on the polygon.

                          This approach gives you a map that looks nearly identical without the rasters. Although the scale is identical, the way features are attributed between rasters and polygons causes the symbolization to vary, I've found. But aside from a slight color change (that can be fiddled with in the styles manager, which can be maddening), this is a nice clean fix that doesn't require a software change.

                          Please note: floating rasters will need to be converted to integer, and large rasters will produce enormous polygons. To get around losing floating values, multiply the raster by a large number (1000), convert to integer, convert to polygon, then field calculate the values back by dividing by that number.
                          • Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export
                            maplex
                            What a nightmare, first time I have used clip data frame and it looks great on screen but hold up, what's these white area's on print and export. Looks like I will have rethink my whole layout.
                            • Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export
                              Bpauls
                              Anyone have any luck with this one (other than using 3rd party software from Adobe)?  This seems like a pretty major issue to me and can't believe ESRI hasn't moved on this in years.  Not acceptable.
                              • Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export
                                mpal33
                                Hi,

                                I am not sure if this solution i came accross is acceptable to all but here it is what i've done without using much of a 3rd party software.

                                1. Use any creen capture software you have and save the part of the background you would like in the second data frame as a graphic file.
                                2. Go to the properties of the overlapping data frame and click the little icon next to the frame background called style selector.
                                3. Click Properties button.
                                4. Click Change Symbol
                                5. Click Edit Symbol
                                6. in Type pull down menu select Picture Fill Symbol and click the picture button to load the background you've saved.
                                7. The picture will appear in preview window.
                                8. Click all the applied and OK button you have to click at this point.
                                9. Now your overlapping data frame has the background you want - it is almost perfect and only somebody who actually knows can see a faint difference at the border. (I saved my background without a border.).
                                10. Export your map any format you want - i did it jpeg 500 dpi without any problem.

                                I hope this will help at least some of you,

                                Monica
                                • Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export
                                  srgwalsh
                                  I have been working on a couple of projects where I needed to have a picture behind a map.  One of them worked flawlessly, so I knew it was possible, but the other I was having major issues with.  I think I figured it out.  If you have any transparent layers, the program is actually changing them to rasters on the fly and that raster has a white background.  Here is the source of my information:

                                  http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#//00sm00000007000000

                                  There is a bubble that explains transparency causes rasterization when converting to pdf.

                                  Solution: Take out all transparency, then set background to hollow or none and add your picture.

                                  I know it is not always possible to take out all of the transparency, but in cases where you can, this may help!
                                  • Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export
                                    CarmellaBurdi

                                    I just ran into this issue today. I will admit I have 6 data frames in my map, but it looks so beautiful in arc and so awful when I attempt an export.

                                     

                                    This is very frustrating. I wish a fix would have arrived by now. (I'm on 10.1)

                                     

                                    Carmie

                                      • Re: Overlapping Data Frames Not Transparent on Export
                                        evtguy

                                        I harped on this in pre-conference surveys every year and always questioned their developers while at the conference about a status update for the GDI conversion. The take home message is this: there is no fix for Arcmap and there never will be one. ESRI worked on this issue for years (hence the age of this thread) and they finally concluded that it was not (economically) possible for them to get it to work within Arcmap. They would have to completely rewrite the underlying source code for Arcmap. Rather than doing that, they decided to create ArcGIS Pro instead.

                                         

                                        Not much comfort for those of us who's bread & butter lies within the confines of Arcmap.

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