Ask A Cartographer

centering and locking labels

April 01 2009 | 0 comments
Categories: ArcGIS Methods, Labeling

I am using Arcmap 9.3 and would like to label the PLSS Sections (polygons) on my map. I am having trouble getting the section numbers to stay in the center of the section at all zoom levels. The partial sections that show up on the outer portion of the screen or map have the labels forced off-center. I would like to be able to manually place the labels with my mouse as in earlier versions so that the section numbers for the immediate section is centered while the adjacent sections have the numbers in the corners.I would also like to manually select the polygons that I want labeled. Is this possible in 9.3?

Mapping Center Answer:

First, an explanation of what you're seeing.  When labeling, ArcMap only labels the extent of the data frame, so the Sections you're seeing at the edges are actually labeled in the center of the visible portion of their polygons.  That's as designed, but not what you want.

I'm not sure what you mean by earlier versions?  The Label tool is still on the Draw toolbar (looks like a tag).  And you can still add a label wherever you click (this label is being added to the MXD's active annotation target, i.e., this is not annotation stored in a database).

What I would do is create database annotation (that is stored in a database) with your sections where you have one piece of annotation for each section that is centered. Then for each map you're making use the Label tool to manually add the labels to the adjacent sections.  This way, you won't see the annotation for the adjacent polygons (so you won't have labeling turned on, and need to select which polygons get labeled).

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