Update layers

Layers are the contents of a map. They include a wide range of information about people, the earth, and so on. Layers can be composed of imagery, features, and more. To get started adding layers, sign in to the extension, open the Compilation window, and click the Add Content button.

Organize layers

The Contents pane displays all layers added to the map. You can expand and collapse the pane as needed by clicking the Show/Hide layers button. Once you add a layer to the Compilation window, you can organize your layers in any of the following ways:

  • Order—To change the order of a layer, drag it to the desired position.

    The layer order that is set in the table of contents will be preserved in the exported map.

  • Rename—Double-click the name directly and type a new layer name.
  • Visibility—To change a layer's visibility, click the Toggles visibility button Toggles visibility.

    Layers that are set as not visible in the Contents pane at the time of sync will be included in the downloaded layers in the Illustrator file and will be set to be invisible in the Illustrator Layers panel.

  • Sort layer list—At the bottom of the Contents pane, click the Sort layers by geometry type button Sort layers by geometry type to reorganize the list of layers in the table of contents and change how they render in the map. The resulting order (from the top down) is points, lines, and polygons. This layer order ensures that polygon features don't cover line and point features in the map and that lines don't cross over points. If the button is disabled, your layers are already sorted or all your layers have the same geometry type. (Basemap layers always remain at the bottom.)
  • Hide non-drawing layers—By default, all non-drawing layers appear in the layer list. You can click the Show non-drawing layers button Show non-drawing layers to turn off this feature and hide the disabled layers, if preferred.
  • Delete—Remove a layer from the Contents pane.

View feature attributes and add labels

To learn more about the features in your map, you can view pop-ups with associated data attributes and optionally label features of interest.

  1. In the Compilation window, on the navigation bar, click the Select features to show attributes button Select features to show attributes.
  2. Click a feature on the map to view its data values in a pop-up.

    If multiple features overlap at the same location, you're prompted to choose a feature from a list of values grouped by layer. You can move the pop-up if it covers the relevant portion of the map.

  3. Point to each value in the feature list to highlight the corresponding feature on the map and identify the one you want.

    Feature list pop-up with map feature highlighted

  4. Click a value for the respective feature to display a list of all its data values. Resize the pop-up window to see longer field values, if necessary.

    You'll see field aliases instead of the field names from the data if the layer has field aliases defined.

    If your map has a lot of overlapping features, click the flashlight button Flash selected feature in the map to flash the selected feature in the map to help you confirm your selection. You can click the back arrow to return to the list of other features.

    You can also label the feature with its attributes. The label will be added as a new text layer in your map.

  5. Optionally rename the text layer or choose from an existing one if you've already labeled other features.

    Attributes pop-up with new text layer name selected to edit

  6. Click the Add button Add next to a field value to label the feature on the map.
  7. To change the label style, in the Contents pane, point to the options button for the new text layer and click Manage Labels.

    Manage Labels selected in the text layer's options menu

Change map detail and resolution

Key Requires an ArcGIS Online or Plus account.

  1. In the Compilation window, on the navigation bar, you'll see the PPI option (pixels per inch).

    You will download cleaner, more accurate vectors in Illustrator if you increase the 96 PPI default. It will also affect resolution of any image layers that are downloaded. This may result in longer sync times.

    PPI setting

  2. Change the value for the compilation display resolution when synced. The valid range of values for PPI is from 96 to 600.

    Some cases can lead to no data to be displayed at a higher PPI. In such cases, it is recommended to lower the PPI so that the required image layers display.

  3. Press Enter on your keyboard.

Change map projection

Key Requires an ArcGIS Online or Plus account.

When you add layers in the Compilation window, the map uses the same projection as the layers. In the Current Map Settings window, you can customize your projection by searching for or choosing a projection from the Projection menu.

You can use a different projection in the map as long as it's compatible with the original projection. If a layer is not compatible, it will not be included in the map; instead, an error message appears letting you know the layer is not compatible.


If you specified bounding coordinates in your mapboard properties, they will be adjusted accordingly when you change your map's projection.

To change the projection, complete the following steps:

  1. In the Compilation window, click the Current map settings button Current mapboard settings.
  2. Choose a map projection from the menu, or type in the Search box to filter the projection list. You can search using the full or partial name of the projection or its well-known ID (WKID).

    Current Map Settings window showing the Projection setting

  3. Optionally click Customize to modify your projection's coordinate system.

    You can edit information such as the linear unit, the geographic coordinate system, and the datum.

  4. Click OK to apply the change.

    The change takes effect immediately on the active mapboard and is also applied to the map in the downloaded output.


Once a mapboard is synced with a projection, its projection cannot be changed back for any subsequent sync operations.

Feature layers, raster data (including raster basemaps), and tiled image layers cannot be reprojected from the original projection. If you reproject a map that includes these data types, it will be removed from the Compilation window.

To restore a projection to its original state, click Reset.

For a complete list of supported projections, see Coordinate system IDs in the ArcGIS API for JavaScript documentation.