Ask A Cartographer

Gradation Outline Label

March 31 2008 | 2 comments
Categories: Labeling

Hi,

I'd like to know if you know a technique to produce gradation on label's outlines? It means the color could start with white and melt to the background color (a bit like the new Dialog Title Boxes in Vista). Is that possible?

Mapping Center Answer:

Yes, you can achieve this effect by setting the text halo properties. This involves moving through a few dialogs, so I'll briefly outline the steps.
1) Once you've labeled the features, open the Symbol Selector for the text, click the text Properties button.
2) On the text Editor, choose the Mask tab, select the Halo radio button, and click the Symbol button.
3) On the Symbol Selector (this is the second one you've opened), click the Properties button.
4) On the Symbol Property Editor, change the Properties Type drop down to Gradient Fill Symbol
5) Change the Gradient Fill Style to Buffered.
6) In the Color Ramp Style window, select one of the ramps. If you need to create a new one, right-click inside the color ramp window and select Properties. This will open the Edit Color Ramp window.
7) As you click OK to start backing out of the many dialogs you've opened, you'll probably want to remove the outline on the mask polygon - set the outline color to "No Color"

This technique works but it is fairly draw-intensive, so if you've got a lot of labels on your map it will take a few noticeable seconds to draw.

Using a layer color for ramps? posted by Vincent Launstorfer on Mar 31 2008 10:18AM
Hi,

Thank you for your help. This is what I did at first instance but didn^t use the "Buffered" option and this made ArcMap to crash!

However, all my labels lie on top of different color background. Using this technique, I need to made a specific ramp for each gradation for the labels! It would be excellent if there was a workaround to use a color of a specific layer for the ramp final color...
Use layer color for halo ramps = annotation posted by Peter Kasianchuk on Mar 31 2008 10:44AM
The work around for this use case would be to convert the labels to annotation. This would allow you to have edit control for each individual text feature for not just color but placement as well - it's possible that a label could cross more than one polygon. By converting the labels to annotation you have the same access to the color ramp, but now can define a unique ramp for each annotation text element.

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