labels disappear when printing data driven maps

09-16-2013 02:06 PM
New Contributor II
I created a set of layouts using data driven pages. There are 5 pages and I have multiple layers set to label. If you look at any layout page on the screen, the contour/street lines and area polygons are all labeled but when I print the maps (either to pdf or a printer) all of the line labels disappear. Except the second to last page has limited contour labels and the very last page has all of the street/contour labels. The area polygons are labeled on every page.

I have changed label/feature weights, but like I said it will show correctly on the screen in layout view it just won't print the labels.

Occasionally, if I print each page individually, the labels will appear but not every time.

I'd appreciate any help fixing my labeling issue. I'll have to add more pages and more labeled layers to the data driven set so printing one at a time is very time costing.

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3 Replies
Occasional Contributor II
I've noticed similar behavior, where dynamic labels look fine in ArcMap but shift around when the map exported. Are you using Maplex?

Some things to check/mess with (most of these are Maplex-specific):

  • Check the label display scale for the layers and make sure they aren't too close to the scale the layout uses. Could be getting a subtle shift in the scale that's turning them off.

  • Reduce the label buffer value

  • Check that Repeat Labels and Remove Duplicates don't have excessive overlap

  • See if 'Never Remove' helps or hinders

Converting at least some labels to annotation is probably your best bet. That's really the only way to guarantee that they'll show up AND placed well. If you decide to do this, I have a basic process to follow that helps minimize having to manually move annotation. The concepts come from an article I read on an Esri cartography blog a few years back, which of course I can't seem to locate now.

  • Of the layers with labels you want to convert, start with the one with the most important labels.

  • Leave labels for all the other labels off.

  • Fiddle with the settings until the labels for this layer display how you like.

  • Convert them to annotation.

  • Leave the newly created annotation on and turn on dynamic labeling for the next most important layer and repeat the process.

The dynamic labels generally avoid overlapping with annotation, so iterating through the above process results in much more optimized placement than trying to do all the layers at once.
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New Contributor II

I already went through all the weights/rankings as possible. When I set up the layouts everything is great on the screen. But printing removes ALL the labels. It's not really an issue of conflicting labels, but rather the labels are not exported when I print.

The only "fix" I have come up with is to print each page one at a time rather than print the whole set at once. The labels won't disappear if I print that way. I would be nicer if I can hit print once and all my sheets come perfect. 

This is my first time using Data Driven Pages to set up a series of sheets, so far it has its benefits. Just not familiar with all the quirks yet.
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Occasional Contributor II
Ok, so you're thinking it's more of a render issue than label settings? Do you get the same results if you export to pdf?
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