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Enable and configure labels


This functionality is available only for ArcGIS feature layers or layers created using Excel data.

Maps can display large amounts of geographic data in layers that typically overlap. The way that you style the layers helps to describe and identify features. Sometimes, however, you need more information than a symbol or color can convey. This is when labeling features can help.

Labels are short pieces of text shown next to a feature in a layer that describe the feature and help your audience understand it. The text for a label is derived from its layer attributes. Select the attribute you want to show—for example, the name or type of feature.

When you enable labels on a layer, ArcGIS for Excel automatically places the label on the map near the feature it describes. You can control label text size, color, and style to differentiate labels from different layers. You can also specify the zoom levels at which labels are visible on the map.

Enable labels

To enable labels on a layer, do the following:

  1. From the map tools, select Layers Layers.

    The layer list appears.

  2. Select the layer to modify from the Active layer drop-down menu.
  3. From the layer options, click Labels Labels.

    The Labels pane appears.

  4. Turn on the Enable labels toggle button.

    The label configuration options become active.

  5. Turn off the Enable labels toggle button to turn off labels for the layer.

    The label configuration options become inactive and labels are removed from the map.

Configure labels

To configure labels, do the following:

  1. Ensure that labels are enabled for the layer you want to modify.

    Once labels are enabled, the label configuration options become active in the Labels pane.

  2. From the Label field drop-down menu, select an attribute to use as the label.
  3. Do any of the following to specify how to display the label:
    • Adjust the font, size, and style of the text.
    • Choose a color for the text from the options, or click Edit Edit and use the color picker. You can also specify a custom color using a hexadecimal value.
    • In the Placement section, choose how to align the label relative to the feature.
    • Set the visible range of the labels. Drag one or both handles on the Visible range slider to set the minimum and maximum visibility. The arrow below the slider indicates the current zoom level. Scale labels such as Country, City, and Building can assist you in choosing the best zoom levels as you use the slider. To set a more precise scale, click the drop-down menu next to the scale labels and choose a zoom level.
    • Turn on the Enable halo toggle button to add a halo outline around the text. Set the width of the halo using the drop-down menu, and use the color picker to choose the color. You can also specify a custom color using a hexadecimal value.
  4. Click Back Back/ Return to return to the layer list.