Working with symbols and colors

Symbols are a class of objects that use Windows GDI to render text and shapes. Most customized drawing can be handled by creating new kinds of symbols. There are several standard symbol objects that can be used to render points, lines, polygons, and text. These basic symbols are used to draw graphic elements, such as neatlines and North arrows, on a Map or PageLayout. The TextSymbol, is used to draw labels and other textual items. In the case of a graphic element, a symbol is set as a property of each element. Layers, however, are drawn with a renderer, which has one or more symbols associated with it. The size of a symbol is always specified in points (such as the width of a line), but the size of their geometry (such as the path of a line) is determined by the item they are used to draw. Most items, when created, have a default symbol, so instead of creating a new symbol for every item, you can modify the existing one.
Color is used in many places in ArcGIS applications—in feature and graphics symbols, as properties set in renderers, and as properties of a raster image. The type of color model used in each of these circumstances will vary. For example, a window background would be defined in terms of an RGB color because display monitors are based on the RGB model. A map made ready for offset-press publication could have CMYK colors to match printer's inks.
Color can be represented using a number of different models, which often reflect the ways in which colors can be created in the real world. You may be familiar with the RGB color model, which is based on the primary colors of light—red, green, and blue. Another common way to represent color, the CMYK model, is modeled on the creation of colors by spot printing. Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks are mingled on paper to create new colors.
In this section you will find 'How to' and conceptual documents, as well as, sample applications that will guide you through using standard symbols and colors. There are also documents and samples that describe various methods for creating custom symbols.

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