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Processes are actions that run on the map in Adobe Illustrator to organize the downloaded artwork. You have the option of setting these processes to be automatic upon each sync, or you can run them manually.

Automatically run the processes

You can set up the Processes window so that certain actions occur each time you download a map in Illustrator through the extension. To do this, go to the Processes window, and select those actions that you want to run upon syncing (Image 5). Processes that are checked will remain on for subsequent sessions. To prevent any of these processes from running automatically, uncheck them in the Processes window.

Manually run the processes

To run a process manually on a map that has already been downloaded, make sure the map on which you want to run the processes is the active tab in Illustrator. Then check the processes you want to perform and click Run (see Image 5).


You must have an Illustrator file open to run these processes manually.

Processes window
Image 5—The Processes window in ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud

Processes for streamlining map design

Processes provide you with a design ready layers and structure, allowing you to more efficiently design your maps. The Processes window can be accessed from the Compilation window.

Processes window in the Compilation window.

Propagate layer colors

This process applies a unique Illustrator layer color to each first-level Illustrator layer and then applies that color to all of the layer’s sublayers for easy organization and selection.

Use custom Illustrator libraries

The following three processes rely on the user to set directory paths that link to Adobe Illustrator libraries in the Settings window under the Libraries tab. Each of these three processes (Use Custom Symbols, Use Custom Brushes, and Use Custom Swatches) replaces the downloaded artwork’s appearance with any one of your custom library appearances that you set in the Processes window. Each process is designed to work with a particular type of Adobe Illustrator library:

  • Use Custom Symbols—Use this process for point symbology. This replaces the symbolization of point data on your map with a specified symbol from the symbol library that you set the directory path to. After this process is run on a particular layer, all relevant paths under that layer are replaced with symbol items, and the layer containing these items is renamed to the name of the symbol from the Adobe Illustrator library.
  • Use Custom Brushes—Use this process for linear symbology, such as roads. This replaces the symbolization of linear data on your map with a specified symbology from the brushes library that you set the directory path to. After this process is run on a particular layer, the layer is renamed to the name of the brush from the Adobe Illustrator library.
  • Use Custom Swatches—Use this process for closed path polygon symbology. This replaces the fill color of your polygon data on your map with the pattern from your swatch library that you set the directory path to. After this process is run on a particular layer, the layer is renamed to the name of the swatch from the AI library.

ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud provides a number of additional symbols, brushes, and swatch libraries with mapping focused designs. They are located under Illustrator's libraries menu under ArcGIS Maps.

Run the custom Illustrator library's processes

To replace the map’s symbology with an appearance from an Adobe Illustrator library, you must already have an Adobe Illustrator library saved that you can link to. The second criterion for running these processes is that you must have already added content to the mapboard in the Compilation window. If these things are done, follow these steps to run the processes:

  1. Open the Mapboards window and click Settings.
  2. On the dialog box, choose Libraries (Image 6).

    Library settings

    Image 6 – Provide the library that you want to use to replace your symbology.

    You will see three options. Based on the type of content you are updating, choose the type of library by clicking the option’s browse button. Browse to the location of the library and select it.


    This extension allows you to select one of each type of library during a single synchronization, so you may set the sync process to replace a brush, swatch, and symbol library during the sync.

  3. In the Contents pane of the Compilation window, rename the layer that contains the content you want to replace the appearance of with the identical name of the symbol, brush, or swatch in the Illustrator library.

    This name is case sensitive. For example, if you have linked to an AI symbols library in step 1 (above) that contains a symbol named Traffic Signal (Image 7), you will need to rename the top layer (Image 8) in the image below Traffic Signal, which will allow all the points in this layer to be replaced with the custom traffic signal symbol that you already have. Symbols library

    Image 7—The name of symbol in the symbol library that replaces the original point is Traffic Signal.

    Rename layer

    Image 8—To replace this simple point in the Compilation window TrafficSignals layer, you will click the name of that layer to rename it Traffic Signal so that it is identically named as the symbol from the .AI library in Image 7.

  4. In the Processes window of the ArcGIS Maps for Adobe Creative Cloud extension, select the processes that match the type of library you have linked to for symbolization replacement:
    • Use Custom Symbols—Use for points (see Image 5 to see this choice selected).
    • Use Custom Swatches—Use for polygons.
    • Use Custom Brushes—Use for lines.
  5. When you click the Sync map into artwork layers button to download the map, your artwork will be symbolized by the Adobe Illustrator library appearance you linked to in steps 1 and 2 above. Since the original paths that made up the simple symbol are replaced by an .AI symbol, the names of these symbols will appear in the Layers panel (see Image 9).

    Illustrator Symbol Replacement process

    Image 9—The Illustrator Layers panel after syncing with the Symbol Replacement process set to the specifications described above.