use masking functionalities with labels in ArcGIS Pro

11-03-2020 06:54 AM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
New Contributor II

Hello everybody ! The masking tools with ArcGIS Pro are wonderful, but when we use labels with a masked layer, they remain displayed on the map. And we have to export them as annotations to get the result we need (and it doesn't facilitate our work).

So it could be useful to integrate the labels into the masking functions. Even if it's possible...


Adding my support for this functionality. A lot of the mapping I find myself doing these days is building templates for less GIS capable staff to use. One of the features I've been looking forward to using is the layer Masking in ArcGIS Pro. In itself, it works great for features. I have another issue (will post separately) about the settings resetting each time a layer is moved, but hiding labels seems like an obvious exclusion. I struggle to think of a scenario where you would want to hide features by still show the labels.

I understand that we can convert labels to annotation and mask them that way, but that is not desirable when the map products we make will vary in location and scale and we want the labeling to be dynamic. 


I agree that if you're masking a feature the corresponding labels should also be masked by default. Would love to see this functionality added in an upcoming release.


These seems like pretty basic/expected functionality that is a pain to work around


I support this user story. Dynamic Label Masking is a very basic cartographic tool that can really speed up workflows.

Status changed to: Closed


To do this you need to set the weight of the masking layer.

On the Labeling ribbon, click More and select Weights

set the feature weight of the mask layer to 1000 to block all labels from placing on top of it.



@WendyHarrison - I could have swore I already tried that and it didn't work, but I must be mistaken. That did exactly what I needed. Thank you!


@WendyHarrison what if you only want to mask a single layer or subset of layers, but the mask layer covers other layers that still require labelling?

From my understanding this workaround would be an all or nothing approach.



@TaylorCarnell1 - Thats'a great point. Regular layer masking allows you to block specific individual layers, but labeling weights on a layer blocks labels from all layers. These are diametrically opposed solutions.

@WendyHarrison - While the solution you proposed worked for my narrow case, the proposed solution for labeling doesn't allow for blocking of labels by specific layers. The idea proposed is to go to the layer being labeled and designate specific layers that will mask the labels, just like how layer masking works under the Appearance ribbon. This idea should be re-opened.



annotation masks are a separate polygon that is created from the annotation feature and then set as a mask on the appearance ribbon.  so this doesn't apply to labels which are dynamic.

are you requesting to have layers weighted differently to different layer labels?  so polygon layer A would be a block to point layer C labels, but allow point layer D labels to place on top of it?

could you provide a simple example of what you're looking for?


@WendyHarrison - You're understanding of it is perfect, no example needed. You got it.