# explain offsetting point labels check boxes

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06-03-2013 08:29 AM
by Anonymous User
Not applicable
Original User: alnesbit

Hello all,

I always wonder what this really means? It's from the help documentation but I can read it 100 times and I still don't understand what these check boxes do. Can anyone explain it in more detail maybe with screen shots?

"The label offset controls the distance a label is placed from its feature. The offset is measured from the boundary of the feature symbol to the outer edge of the label. The boundary for simple geometric symbols is the edge of the symbol; for graphic and font symbols, the bounding rectangle around the symbol is the symbol boundary unless you check the Maplex Label Engine's Measure offset from the exact symbol outline check box. A value of 0 will cause the label to touch the symbol boundary. To measure the offset from the feature geometry instead of the edge of the symbol, check the Measure offset from the feature geometry check box."

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Occasional Contributor II
Hi Andrea,

I think the confusion here is because even though the symbol is a point, it still has a size. The feature geometry is what we call the coordinate at the center of the point symbol, but in most cases, you will want the offset to be measured from the outside edge.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25010[/ATTACH]
Here is a point labeled with offset 0, measuring from the symbol boundary.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25011[/ATTACH]
And here is a point labeled with offset 0, but measuring from the feature geometry. The label now overlaps the symbol.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25012[/ATTACH]
This is a point label with an offset of 2, measuring from the symbol boundary (both checkboxes are unchecked - this is what most users will want).

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25013[/ATTACH]
Some points are symbolized with awkward shapes, and checking measure from exact symbol outline can help bring the label in towards the symbol. This label has an offset of 0, measuring from the symbol outline.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25014[/ATTACH]
I've drawn an approximate bounding box for the symbol here (in red) to show what happens when measure from exact symbol outline is unchecked. The offset of 0 is measured from the bounding box.

In all of these examples, the offset is measured to the nearest point of the bounding box around the label. In other words, the bottom left corner of the 'L' of 'Label'. Another word like 'Table' would not appear be placed as close to the symbol.

Hope this helps.
3 Replies
Occasional Contributor II
Hi Andrea,

I think the confusion here is because even though the symbol is a point, it still has a size. The feature geometry is what we call the coordinate at the center of the point symbol, but in most cases, you will want the offset to be measured from the outside edge.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25010[/ATTACH]
Here is a point labeled with offset 0, measuring from the symbol boundary.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25011[/ATTACH]
And here is a point labeled with offset 0, but measuring from the feature geometry. The label now overlaps the symbol.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25012[/ATTACH]
This is a point label with an offset of 2, measuring from the symbol boundary (both checkboxes are unchecked - this is what most users will want).

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25013[/ATTACH]
Some points are symbolized with awkward shapes, and checking measure from exact symbol outline can help bring the label in towards the symbol. This label has an offset of 0, measuring from the symbol outline.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25014[/ATTACH]
I've drawn an approximate bounding box for the symbol here (in red) to show what happens when measure from exact symbol outline is unchecked. The offset of 0 is measured from the bounding box.

In all of these examples, the offset is measured to the nearest point of the bounding box around the label. In other words, the bottom left corner of the 'L' of 'Label'. Another word like 'Table' would not appear be placed as close to the symbol.

Hope this helps.
by Anonymous User
Not applicable
Original User: jonmorris

One last example: you're only allowed 5 images per post!

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25015[/ATTACH]
This is with offset 0 and exact symbol outline checked on. The offset between the label's bounding box and the symbol is zero, but the letter T does not go all the way to the corner of the bounding box.
by Anonymous User
Not applicable
Original User: alnesbit

Thank you Jon, that did help. I'm working on some data driven pages and struggling with the label parameters to get the best possible labels so this helped a little.