To apply base symbology to color code objects with attributes in base layers, follow the steps below. Prefer a video? Watch Surfer's Base Symbology Training Video.
- Create a base map by clicking Home | New Map | Base or Home | New Map | Base from Data, selecting a vector or text file and clicking Open.
- Be sure the objects in the base layer have attributes associated with them. Attributes can either be imported with the file, or you can manually enter them. To check, add or edit attribute values, select the Base(vector) layer in the Contents window and click Map Tools | Layer Tools | Open Attribute Table.
- To apply the symbology, select the Base(vector) layer in the Contents window.
- In the Properties window, on the General tab, click the Edit Symbology button. The Symbology dialog opens.
- Edit the symbology options:
- None: No symbology is applied. The properties for the objects are based on the drawing properties specified in the Properties window.
- Unique Values (text or numeric attributes): This allows you to set specific colors/properties to objects that have specific attribute values (e.g. assign all lines to brown if they have an attribute named “road type” and the value is “highway”). To use Unique Values:
- Select the desired attribute column in the Attribute field.
- Click Add all (). If needed, remove values () from the table, change the colors scheme () for the values, or load () or save () a symbology scheme.
- Change individual symbol, line, or fill properties by selecting each in the table and changing the properties on the right pane.
- Unclassed Colors or Unclassed Symbols (numeric attributes only): This allows you to set gradational colors or symbol sizes based on a numeric range of attribute values. Select a numeric attribute field, and then select the colormap or the symbol properties.
- Classed Colors or Classed Symbols (numeric attributes only): This allows you to divide your objects into classes based on a numeric attribute value, and each class can have its own color or symbol. Select a numeric attribute field, and then class objects based on that attribute value.
- When you are satisfied, click OK or Apply and the changes are made to the map.
- To create a legend, click Map Tools | Add to Map | Legend.
Custom formatting you have created for Unique Values when using Base Symbology for a base layer can now be saved for re-use at a later time. To do so:
- Select your Base(vector) layer in the Contents window.
- In the Properties window, select the General tab.
- Click the Edit Symbology button. The Symbology dialog opens.
- Assign Unique Values using your preferred Attribute field. More detail on how to do this is available in this article: How can I color code objects in my base layer by attribute value?
- Once you are happy with your formatting, click the Save Values icon
- In the Save As dialog, give your formatting file a name and choose a location for it.
- Click OK to save the .SSUV file.
When you want to re-use these values in the future, simply click the Load Values button in the Symbology dialog to load in the .SSUV file.
The new Save Values and Load Values commands for Unique Values in the base layer Symbology dialog
Updated November 10, 2021