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Distributing Labels

December 28 2010 | 3 comments
Categories: Labeling, Maplex

Hello! Please see the attached. I have a proper attribute field which contains all the elements I need for labeling correctly, but I cannot engineer a more creative distribution of words that will allow longer labels to be placed. In short, I want to place label elements (N, Spring, Mountain, Rd) apart from one another to avoid conflicts with intersecting geometry. Thank you!

Mapping Center Answer:

There are a couple of things to try:

1.  Use the word spacing option (I'm guessing that you're using Street Placement).  In ArcGIS 10, on the Maplex Placement Properties dialog, on the Label Position tab when you have Street Placement selected in the General section at the top, there is an Options button.  In there you can choose to spread the words along the street. 

2.  The other common cause of the situation you sent is that you have a layer in your map with a feature weight that is greater than 0.  Your yellow streets, for instance may have a feature weight.  If that is the case, you might find this Mapping Center Blog entry useful:  Using Feature Weight Rankings to avoid placing labels on major streets.

Spread by word, not letter posted by Marianne Farretta on Jan 3 2011 8:07AM
Thank you for the response. I see that the Spread option distributes the letters, but were I working in Illustrator, I would spread the words, not the letters. Is this feasible? And yes, the yellow roads do have a weight. I don't want labels to conflict with them. Does Maplex have a "SPRING MOUNTAIN RD" option, as opposed to a "S P R I N G..." option?
A-ha! posted by Marianne Farretta on Jan 3 2011 8:47AM
I see now that manipulating the Spread feature's limits does allow the words to distribute themselves further apart without spreading the letters apart too dramatically. Thank you!
Glad you got it! posted by Aileen Buckley on Apr 15 2011 5:18PM
Glad you figured this out!

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