What is Maplex?
Well-placed labels can make a map more understandable and useful. Maplex for ArcGIS provides a special set of tools that allows you to improve the quality of the labels on your map. With Maplex for ArcGIS, you can define parameters to control the positioning and size of your labels; Maplex for ArcGIS then uses these parameters to calculate the best placement for all the labels on your map. You can also assign different levels of importance to features to ensure that more important features are labeled before less important ones.
Maplex for ArcGIS lets you control how labels should be placed relative to features, how labels can be modified or reduced to allow more label placement when the available space is constrained, and how conflicts between labels are resolved.
Maplex for ArcGIS provides the following:
- Advanced placement styles for polygons including styles that represent land parcels, rivers, and boundaries
- Special placement for lines that represent street, river, and contour features
- Ability to offset labels from features
- Repetition of labels at a specified distance along a line and within a polygon
- Control of word and character spacing
- Alignment of labels to projection graticules
- Control of label placement zones
- Flexible placement to allow more labels to fit in an area
- Fine control of label stacking
- Label abbreviation and truncation
- Font reduction parameters for congested areas
- Control of whether a label may extend beyond a feature
- Enhanced weighting of features to determine label placement
- Control over the minimum feature size that will be labeled
- Placement of labels as background text
- Search tolerance to remove duplicate labels
- Ability to control the order in which the label fitting strategies are applied
Maplex for ArcGIS seamlessly integrates into the labeling and annotation tools in ArcGIS. Simply selecting the ESRI Maplex Label Engine as the active label engine for your data frame enables Maplex for ArcGIS functionality. Labeling dialog boxes, such as the Label Manager, show Maplex properties for active data frames, and the Labeling toolbar activates the Maplex tools and options. The labels you create using Maplex for ArcGIS can be shared and displayed without a Maplex license or converted to annotation and shared and edited in a geodatabase. Generating annotation from labels placed with Maplex for ArcGIS cuts the time to manually edit annotation on maps, increasing your productivity.
Before learning more about Maplex for ArcGIS, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the labeling and annotation in ArcGIS.