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Specify a point label position

The label placement position is the first placement property you set for a label class. There are 10 predefined Maplex Label Engine placement positions for point labels: Top left of point, Top of point, Top right of point, Left of point, Centered on point, Right of point, Bottom left of point, Bottom of point, Bottom right of point, and Best position. The default placement position, Best position, finds the best placement location for labels in most situations.

Sometimes, even when you have specified that labels should be placed at a fixed position, you might want to allow a label to shift slightly from that position. For example, if a label cannot be placed due to an obstacle, allowing it to shift a small amount may allow the label to be placed on the map.

You can choose the May shift label upon fixed position option to give the Maplex Label Engine the flexibility to slightly move labels to avoid label or feature conflicts. When you use this option, the shift can be up to one-half the height of the label in the vertical direction and up to one-half the label's length in the horizontal direction.

The direction the label can be shifted depends on the placement position you select for the label.

Placement positionDirection of shift

Top of point

Allows horizontal shift

Top right of point

Allows both vertical and horizontal shift

Right of point

Allows vertical shift

Bottom right of point

Allows both vertical and horizontal shift

Bottom of point

Allows horizontal shift

Bottom left of point

Allows both vertical and horizontal shift

Left of point

Allows vertical shift

Top left of point

Allows both vertical and horizontal shift

Centered on point

Allows both vertical and horizontal shift

Available shifts

A label with a placement position of Top of point or Bottom of point can only shift in the horizontal direction, since any shift in the vertical direction would violate the label offset distance. Likewise, a label with the position style of Right of point or Left of point can only shift in the vertical direction, since any shift in the horizontal direction would violate the offset distance.

  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 Placement.
  7. Choose a position from the Placement drop-down list.
  8. Optionally, check the May shift label upon fixed position check box.