Label weights and leaders

Discussion created by bfirmsto on Aug 31, 2010

I am labeling a 1:100,000 geological map that is extremely detailed (i.e. thousands of polygons). Every polygon will need to be labeled with a short code of 2-6 characters. There are also other layers that cannot be covered by labels: the contacts between the polygons, geological line features (faults etc), and some point features. Basically, the expectation is that every label doesn't obsruct any feature beneath (with the exception of the polygon features within which each label resides).

I have set up the Maplex conflict detection to allow the labels to be placed outside of the polygons with a leader line when they can't fit inside the polygon. I have also set it up so that the labels are reduced from 12 to 6 points when there is trouble fitting.

About 70% of the labels are placed in reasonable space. The remainders are obstrucing other features (lines etc) or placed with a leader in very odd places. For example, a leader may place a given label on top of the line layer even though there is empty space much closer to the feature. Strange.

It appears that the label is only given a leader when it conflicts with the boundaries of the polygon within which it should reside. Even though I have set the line layers to have a feature weight of 1000, the polygon labels are still being placed over the line features, if the label fits in the boundaries of its polygon. I would like to have the labels move to a better location if they obstruct the line layers. I have attached a small screen capture of the issue. If you look at the image, you will see that the label "fO.Tp" has been given a leader and placed over top of the line layer instead of moving it to the unoccupied green polygon just to the east. This is particularly strange, considering that the line layer has a weight of 1000 (nothing should be placed over a 1000 weight feature).

I would also like to know if it is possible to have a label retain the reduced font size when it is placed on a leader line outside the polygon. In cases where the label must be relocated with the leader, it makes sense to have it remain small, so that it may take up less space in unoccupied areas.

Any ideas to help me solve this problem are greatly appreciated.