Add a Map Legend (Map Key)

Legends, also called map a “key,” define the meaning of symbols and styles used on a map. The choice to include a legend depends on your map’s purpose and your audience. Maps do not need legends if the symbology is so common or simple as to be easily understood by the reader. However, it must be clear what the symbols represent.

Legends are created by laying out symbols, styles and text. When creating a legend, use guidelines to keep your layout tidy.

To Add a Pre-designed Legend from the Styles & Symbols Palette:

  1. Select the layer that will hold the map legend.
  2. Open the Styles & Symbols palette and type “legend” in the search bar to find a pre-defined legend.
  3. Use the Symbol Stamp [y] tool, or drag the symbol from the palette onto your map.
  4. The legend is a special symbol that is detached from its master automatically when placed.
  5. Ungroup the legend.
  6. Edit the symbols and text as appropriate.