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Introducing Geographic Information Systems with ArcGIS: A Workbook Approach to Learning GIS, 3rd Edition by Michael D. Kennedy

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A Summary of the Graphic Indicators
  • A blue dashed-line rectangle, with or without handles, indicates a selected element or data frame. Multiple elements or data frames can be selected by clicking while holding down the Ctrl key, or by dragging a box.
  • A line of black dashes around a data frame indicates that it is the active data frame.
  • Just for completeness: A hash-mark border around the active data frame indicates that the frame is “in focus,” which means you can edit what is in the data frame in the Layout View. (Normally you can only edit within a data frame when you are in Data View. This is a subject for later.) If you double-click a data frame, you put it in focus.

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