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Set label rotation using a numeric field

Using the Maplex Label Engine to rotate labels by an attribute value turns each label on the map by a specified angle. The rotation angle is taken from an attribute value you've associated with the feature. You can also specify a rotation value to be added to this angle. The alignment type options allow you to orient your label to the angle in either a straight, horizontal, or perpendicular fashion. To prevent the labels from flipping upside down when rotating around the feature, use the Keep label upright (may flip) option.

If the center placement option is selected, the label is placed at the center of the symbol and rotated by the specified angle. If any of the offset placement options are selected, the label is placed at the offset distance and rotated to the specified angle. The selected placement position will be overridden, and the placement will be determined by the angle when you choose to rotate labels by an attribute value. The angle represents either geographic or arithmetic coordinates. Geographic rotates labels from north in a clockwise direction, while Arithmetic rotates labels from east in a counterclockwise direction.

The image below shows points with their labels rotated with an attribute value. The values are 0, 90, 180, and 270.

Label rotation set with numeric field
  1. Ensure the Maplex Label Engine is enabled.
  2. Ensure Labeling is the active way of displaying the Contents pane.
  3. Select a label class in the Contents pane and click the Labeling tab.
  4. On the Labeling tab, in the Label Placement group, click Label Placement Properties Launcher.
  5. On the Labeling pane, click Position and click Position.
  6. Expand Rotation.
  7. Choose a Rotation field from the drop-down list.
  8. Optionally specify an Additional rotation value to be added to the angle.

    If a Rotation field is not specified, the label will be rotated by the Additional rotation value.

    The selected offset placement position is overridden by the angle specified by the field and the additional rotation.

  9. Choose a value for Rotation type.
  10. Geographic rotates labels from north in a clockwise direction, while Arithmetic rotates labels from east in a counterclockwise direction.

  11. Choose a value for Alignment type: Straight, Horizontal, or Perpendicular.
  12. If the Keep label upright (may flip) option is checked, the label may be flipped to remain upright. Otherwise, the label may be placed upside down.