mask out contour lines behind contour label

09-09-2013 08:59 PM
Status: Under Consideration
Labels (1)
Occasional Contributor III

When labelling a contour layer (or any line layer using the contour placement method) with labels ON the line, the line is visible behind the numbering (for example through the hole in a zero). When this is applied on a plain background, a halo matching the background colour can be used to block the line out, however this isn't suitable when an image or other non-plain background is used. To overcome this, there should be an option when using the contour placement for labels, which removes the contour line from behind and immediately around the labels. This also shouldn't require the use of annotation for the labels...

No Masking 😞

Plain halo 😞

Line feature erased from behind numbers 😄

I do believe there is an option to do this, but I think it does require annotation as you mention. I agree that it should be possible without having to convert to annotation!
It would be best if the contour line labels, by default, would overlay and obscure the line beneath them without the need to specify halo.
The user should not be forced to erase line segments just to be ablet to make the labels clear and distinguishable. It is a pity that the lines were digitized in the first place to locate data but will ultimately be removed to make way for the labels).
Besides if you truncate a line to accomodate a specific label size, then when you increase the size of the label, you then again have to re-work and delete more from the lines.

emaglanque:-  Yes, my suggestion is to make the 'masking' of the line behind the label to be dynamic, and change when text size, font etc are changed.

F.Kafka:-  The link you provided requires annotation to be in place to effect the masking - that's exactly what I'm suggesting should NOT be required.

This would be awesome. Halo/ Mask should allow you to select what overlaying features you want to become transparent and what background/baselayer will be used.

When labeling roads in a dense area it can be hard to distinguish the label from the roads without making the label a color that stands out too much or the halo a solid color. It would be nice to set up your labeling with a 1pt halo that all selected layers would become transparent within the 1pt halo so that the changing baselayer colors are always matched making the halo subtle but effective.

(continuing from previous comment) And to do this without the need for converting to annotation and creating a masking layer which can be time consuming for road labels in large data drive datasets and more difficult to modify afterwards.

don't make your contour colors the same color as your contours.

by Anonymous User

This was an option with ArcInfo workstation version 5 and 6. It was a good idea then and it is overdue for Pro.


28 years and they still can't duplicate the workstation command ARCTEXT [LINE FEATURE] [LABEL ITEM] BLANK


Dynamic label masking in ArcGIS Pro would be an awesome feature. Currently, you can convert labels to annotations and use the Feature Outline Masks tool to create masks for your labels. For example, you may want to do this to labeled contour lines. This is a tedious process and it would be much better if you could do it with one or two clicks, within the labeling symbology, as if you were adding a halo to your labels only the halo is transparent and it hides the layers that you specify.