Leader lines should have anchor points at horizontal centre of top and bottom of text bounding box

04-09-2013 09:17 PM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
New Contributor III

In the attached image you can see that leader lines have 2 possible anchor points, the vertical centre of the left and right of the text bounding box. Unfortunately, it is not possible for the anchor point to be the horizontal centre of the top or bottom of the bounding box.

Try it yourself by dragging the end of a leader line in a circle around the text it will snap between the left and right only.

This makes for awkwardly placed leader lines in cramped conditions.


For example, if the text is directly above the item to which the leader line is pointing, it will have to go at an angle down from the vertical centre of the text across to a point below the horizontal centre, see next image.

In the above image you can see the results of my suggestion (a line I have had to draw in using the Draw toolbar) where the line has an anchor point at the horizontal centre of the top of the text bounding box.

Can ESRI add one at the top and the bottom to accompany the ones on the left and right?

Microsoft Word and Excel have something like this functionality when you insert a shape:


Their leader line version, however, is a line where you can adjust the position of the anchor and the destination point. This might be optimal for ArcMap too.



Saw this cross referenced from the Mining User Group.  I'm just a mining user... but Leader Line labeling looks fairly robust and if the exact cartographic effect can not be fine tuned with all properties, perhaps you want to convert labels to annotation and take full control of specific properties?
... and maybe this help topic will show you how to do what your are trying to do?

Hi Willy,

Agreed, it looks like there is plenty of control over leader lines although unfortunately not over their anchor points as far as I can tell. ArcMap thinks it can only choose between the right vertical centre or the left vertical centre of the bounding box (presumably) of the text. It does not get to choose also between the top or bottom horizontal centre. This can make for awkward leader lines as I have shown in the second image above.

Converting to annotation does not provide extra anchor points. None of the leader line editor options provide extra anchor points. The only way to overcome it so far as I can see is to remove the leader line and using the Drawing toolbar to add one using, effectively, a different anchor point. This is what I did to produce the line in the second image.

It's a really simple issue and I'm only raising it because it seems so straightforward and it's surprising it was overlooked.

If they do choose to fix it, why not allow for 8 anchor points at corners and centres of the bounding box edges?

This would be a nice addition.
I too echo the frustration of not having more flexibility in changing the leader anchor point on the annotation text. If we can move the destination anchor point, why can’t we have the ability to move the origin point?
Tom W.
Agree.  Clunky leaders do not reflect favorably on the quality of a map.
Instead of having multiple anchors around the label, I would be pleased if the anchor was simply to the center of the label.  With some adjustable offset, so that the leader did not actually run over the text or background, the leader would always look good -- like it was pointing to the label, not slap-dashed on.  This same anchor point should give a nice, uniform, radial look to all leadered labels despite their orientation to the object -- above or below or to one side.  There should be no need to fuss with any individual label's leader anchor -- automation!

I agree that more control over the leader line "departure" location would be very helpful.


Yeah, we really need some attention to the details and some customization here. It seems there are more possible anchor points in Pro than ArcMap, but you still can't set which one your leader connects with and it often just looks confusing at best. In some cases, it doesn't even point your leader line at the label.




In addition to user overrides, it would be great if it could do a better job at whatever it's trying to auto-do here and in cases like this.




I agree with what rburke said on 6/5/23. It's clear that the leader line is automatically snapping to a point on the text bounding box (see below), but either the way the system decides which point the line snaps to needs to be improved or users should be able to specify which anchor point it goes to (I prefer the latter). In its current state, sometimes I would have to place the text in a weird location far away from the feature to get the line to point to the text in the way I want. 

Wild that this idea has been "open" for over a decade!

hidalgo cemetery.PNG  hidalgo cemetery selected.PNG