Maps can display large amounts of geographic data in layers that generally overlap. The way you draw your layers helps to describe and identify features, but sometimes you need more than just a particular symbol or color to convey what you want to say with your map. This is when labeling features can help. Labels are short pieces of text that describe features in a layer and help your audience understand the features they see. The text for a label is usually derived from the layer attributes. Select one or more attributes you want to show—for example, the name or type of feature.
Beginning with 10.5.1, you can also create a custom expression written in the Arcade scripting language to label a feature layer. For example, an Arcade expression might be created to derive a yearly sales figure for individual sales territories by summing the value of monthly sales fields. If an expression is already available for the layer, you can use it for labeling. You can also edit your Arcade expression directly in the map viewer.
The map viewer automatically places labels on the map on or near the features they describe. You can control the text size, color, and style to help differentiate labels from different layers.
You can create labels for features in the following types of layers:
- Feature layer (hosted and ArcGIS Server)
- ArcGIS Server map image layer that supports dynamic layers
- Individual layers from an ArcGIS Server map image layer
- OGC WFS layer
- CSV on the web
- Layers from files
- Verify that you are signed in and have privileges to create content.
- Open the map in the map viewer, click Details, and click Contents.
- Browse to the sublayer that contains the features you want to label, click More Options , and click Create Labels.
- Check the Label Features box if it is not already checked.
- Do one of the following to specify the label text:
- From the Text drop-down menu, select a field value to use as your label. You can also type static text instead of or in addition to the field value.
- To use a custom Arcade expression that has been created for the layer, select it at the bottom of the Text drop-down menu. If you want to edit the expression or its name, click the Edit Expression button and use the editor window to edit it.
- If you want to create a new Arcade expression, select New Expression from the Text drop-down menu and use the editor window to create your expression, including giving it a name.
- Do any of the following to specify how the labels should be displayed:
- Make any adjustments to the size, style, and color of the text.
- Check the box to add a halo outline around the text and choose the width and color of the halo.
- Choose how to align the label relative to the feature.
- Click OK when you are finished creating your labels.
- Browse to the layer that you want to save, click More Options , and click Save Layer to save the configuration as a property of the item. You can only save item properties if you own the layer or if you save it as a new item.
- If you have more than one layer with labels, you can organize the layers to affect how the labels are displayed. The layer at the top of your map contents is labeled first and has the most labels. The layer under your map contents is labeled next and has fewer labels, and so on.
- Click Save from the top of the map viewer to save the labels to the map.
- To remove or change the labels, click More Options , click Manage Labels, apply the change, and click OK.
- The map viewer places as many labels on the map as possible without overlapping them. Thus, in areas where features are tightly clustered, some features may not get labeled. As you zoom in to an area, more labels will dynamically appear.
- Labeling priority follows the layer order in your map from top to bottom. Layers at the top are labeled first and will have the most labels. There is no guarantee that the labels will be positioned exactly where you want them. Thus, dynamic labeling is best suited for maps where you don’t need precise control and only want to label a few layers.
- The map viewer can display feature layers published from ArcGIS Pro that include labels derived from an Arcade expression. While these labels can be viewed in the map, the expression cannot be edited in the map viewer at this time.