"Bounding box" for graphic elements (north arrow, scale, etc)

12-01-2021 08:42 AM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
Occasional Contributor III

I have a lot of maps with cadastre labels in them, which can amount to a lot of labels. One of the recurring problems is that if the north arrow and scale is inside the bounds of the map, very often it will overlap with multiple labels, creating a messy and confusing impression:




This is not only a problem with cadastre labels, though it does happen with them a lot.

It would be nice if we could give graphic elements a sort of "bounding box" (not sure what else to call it), which - for example - could then be weighted similar to "Label Weight". The only idea I have to do it at the moment would be to draw a polygon on each page, which can be quite time-consuming with lots of pages in data driven pages.

1 Comment

Here's an idea that admittedly requires a bit of extra setup, but might be worth it if you have a lot of pages in your Map Series. The steps below apply to Pro.

  1. Copy and paste the map in the  project to make a duplicate and name them "Base Map" and "Labels Map."
  2. Insert a new map frame to the layout and using the "base" map and call it "Labels Frame."
  3. Re-order the Labels Frame in the Table of Contents so it is below the legend and north arrow and other graphics. 
  4. Set the Labels Frame to the same size and position as the Map Frame. 
  5. Right-click the Labels Frame and choose Edit Vertices. Edit the shape of the frame so it doesn't cover the area beneath your legend and north arrow. 
  6. Synchronize the 2 map extents:
    • View the Properties of the Labels Frame and click the Display Options tab. 
    • Under Constraint, choose 'Linked map frame extent.'
    • Under Map Frame, choose 'Map Frame.'
  7. In the Base Map, turn off labeling for all the layers.
  8. In the Labels Map, remove or turn off any layers that do not have labels or feature weights.
  9. In the Labels Map, change the symbology to no stroke, no fill so it's not visible.