Prioritizing labels

Label priority controls the order that labels will be placed on the map. Labels with a higher priority will generally be placed before labels with a lower priority. Also, lower-priority labels that conflict with higher-priority labels might be placed at alternative positions or dropped from the map.

Label priority can work on a layer-by-layer basis, or you can specify label priority within layers by further dividing a layer's labels into label classes. For example, you could divide your city labels into two label classes, major cities and secondary cities. Then you could give the major city labels a higher priority and a higher label weight than the secondary labels.

To increase the chance that more important features are labeled first, assign these features a higher label priority.

  1. Click the Label Priority Ranking button Label Priority Ranking on the Labeling toolbar.
  2. Click the label class or classes for which you want to change the label priority.
  3. Hold down SHIFT or CTRL to select multiple label classes.

  4. Click the arrow buttons to move a label class up or down in the list.
  5. Clicking the Up arrow gives the class a higher priority, while clicking the Down arrow gives the class a lower priority.

  6. Click OK.
To ensure that all labels in a layer or label class are placed on your map, confirm that the layer or label class is at the top of the Label Priority list, has a label weight of high, and has Place Overlapping Labels checked.

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