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Text being rasterized using Maplex (10.1)

08-28-2012 06:15 AM
New Contributor
Hi Everyone,

I found something interesting this morning while labeling one of my maps.  I have been using the now free Maplex engine in Arc 10.1 since 10.1 came out, and when I export a map, with labels turned on, to PDF format, (and I have been adjusting the PDF export parameters to try to solve this issue, but without any luck) the labels within the data frame(s) are not being preserved as pure text, and are being rasterized.  I then switched back to the basic label engine and exported the map again, and the text was preserved.

Note:  The instance above happened while using one of my custom map templates and I had a Bing Aerials map already loaded onto the document.  I created a new map from scratch (not to long after I created this thread) and added a few polygon layers and labeled them using the Maplex Engine, and the text did not rasterize, so that issue might be just a continuation of my second problem below.

I then added the Bing Hybrid imagery background while keeping the basic label engine activated, and I then exported the map again (without changing any of the export settings), and the data frame(s) text was again rasterized.  I then removed the Bing Hybrid imagery layer and added a WMS layer from the MnGeo (Minnesota Geospatial Information Office) server and used the 2010 NAIP imagery as my background and then exported my map to PDF again, and the text was preserved.

My overall issues:

1:  Some third party base maps cause text to become rasterized in ArcGIS 10.1

I checked the ArcGIS 10.1 service pack 1 updates, and I did not come across this issue / patch.  I also used Maplex in 10.0 when Maplex was its own extension, and I did not have this issue.  Is this something that other people are experiencing / grappling with, or am I just an unlucky GISer?  I am also using ArcGIS 10.1 Basic.  Any help or insight would be very appreciated.  Thanks 🙂
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Esri Frequent Contributor

The following technical article explains basically what is happening:

FAQ:  Why do vector layers appear blurry when exported with a Bing map service?

At 10.1, there is a Bing logo that is contractually required to be included with the map service by Microsoft. This logo draws on top of all layers in the map, which will cause all layers underneath (including text) to be rasterized. This will not happen at 10.0 because there is no Bing logo at 10.0. The other basemaps should be fine, unless there is a service layer that contains labels in it. An example of this would the "Imagery with Labels" basemap. If you use one of these and do not want the rasterizing to occur, turn off the service layer at the top which contains the labels.

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New Contributor
Hi Luke,

I should have done a bit more searching first.  Thank you very much for the answer 🙂

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