How to get Maplex to avoid placing labels under legends, other data frames, etc.

Discussion created by jasonjroberts on May 6, 2013
Latest reply on May 7, 2013 by jasonjroberts
When labeling polygons using Offset Horizontal positioning, it is possible to configure maplex to try to avoid placing polygon labels over other features in the dataframe. But what about other elements visible in Layout view, such as legends, or other data frames representing insets? Maplex seems to have no knowledge of these and is happy to place labels under them, where the labels cannot be seen.

Are there any workarounds to this other than manually configuring the External Zones to try to get maplex to avoid those other elements? I have a situation where I need to produce hundreds of maps via automation, where each map shares a common spatial extent and layout elements such as legends and insets, but the polygons on the map are different. I do not want the labels placed on top of the polygons--the polygons are actually transparent and overlaid on top of rasters that must remain visible--so I must use the Offset Horizontal positioning. And it is not feasible to manually tweak the maplex configuration for each map; there's just too many maps.

Thanks for any advice you can provide,