A given street is often represented by many individual line features, which can result in more labels being placed than necessary. To avoid this problem, line features that represent streets can be treated as special types of line features. The Maplex Label Engine groups the segments of street features, if the symbology and label match and the features are connected, and treats them as single, long features. This allows labels to be placed for the street as a whole rather than for each segment. When labeling streets, the Maplex Label Engine places labels to avoid street junctions.
There are four placement positions for street features: Centered curved, Offset curved, Centered straight, and Offset straight. You can also set the word and letter spacing for street features and determine a value for End of street clearance to avoid placing labels in or near street junctions. The maximum number of lines for stacking text is set internally, and it is not possible to specify stacking characters, as the Maplex Label Engine only uses spaces for street placement and can't be overridden. For centered placement styles, it is set to a value of 3, and for offset styles, it is set to 2. When labeling with Street placement style, labels have a limit of six words. If there are more than six, the label will go unplaced. Because the purpose of a street map is to clearly and completely identify street features, the Maplex Label Engine places street labels before any other labels.
Street labels will not be split to other parts of the feature, as Kensington Square is in the following image, if the label contains text formatting tags; subscript or superscript symbols; characters that combine, such as diacritics; or right-to-left characters.
- Ensure the Maplex Label Engine is enabled.
- Ensure Labeling is the active way of displaying the Contents pane.
- Choose a label class in the Contents pane and click the Labeling tab.
- On the Labeling tab, in the Label Placement group, click Label Placement Properties .
- In the Labeling pane, click Position and click .
- Expand Placement.
- Choose Street placement from the line label placement style drop-down list.
The label position can change when you choose the Street placement style. This is because there are four placement positions for street features: Centered curved, Offset curved, Centered straight, and Offset straight.
- Optionally choose a different label placement position for your street features.
General street placement parameters
The Street placement style provides you with the following options for fitting your street labels in tight areas.
May place label horizontal and centered on the street
When a label is too large to fit on its feature, you can select this option to allow it to be placed horizontally and centered on the street. This option also allows the label to overrun the street at sharp bends, placing the label straight and stacked across the street rather than curved tightly.
In the following image, Duncan Ct is placed horizontally and centered on the street, as it will not fit along the feature:
Reduce the leading of stacked labels that overrun the end of the street
This option allows the stacked label to have its line spacing reduced, bringing the second line closer to the main label for tighter placement when the label overruns its feature.
In the image below, the street endings are stacked at the ends of the features and have had their leading reduced:
May place primary name under street ending when label is stacked
This option allows the stacked label to reverse the word order, so the primary name appears under the street end when the label overruns its feature.
In the image below, the label for Elm Park Gardens has been flipped due to space constraints:
End of street clearance
This option places the label at an offset distance from the end of the street feature. If the preferred placement for the label is obstructed, the minimum End of street clearance is used instead.
- Preferred—The preferred distance between a label and the end of a street. Setting an End of street clearance is useful to keep labels from competing with other street labels at intersections. This is measured as a percentage of the average width of a character in the font. A value of 500 places five character spaces between the end of the street feature and the edge of the label text.
- Minimum—The minimum distance between a label and the end of a street. This is measured as a percentage of the average width of a character in the font. A value of 200 places two character spaces between the end of the street feature and the edge of the label text.
Spread words in a street label
When you are placing street labels, you can control the spacing between words within a label by using the Spread words up to a fixed limit option. When you do so, you can specify a maximum distance that words in the label can be spread apart. The word spacing of the label's text symbol is used as the minimum spacing. The default spacing is one letter width. You can alter these default values on the text symbol tab by following the steps used for setting the base letter spacing and entering a new value for word spacing. When you use the Spread words to fill feature option, the Maplex Label Engine automatically stretches the words proportionately to fit along the entire length of the street feature.
- Maximum—The maximum distance allowed between words. This distance must be larger than the text symbol word spacing.
- Default—The minimum distance between words. This is set using the label's text symbol properties.
The following image shows the street labels using the Spread words to fill feature option. This allows the label to spread out using the entire length of the feature.
Change maximum word spacing
- In the Labeling pane, click Position and click .
- Expand Spread labels.
- Specify the type of word spacing to use: Use default word spacing, Spread words to fill feature or Spread words up to a fixed limit. When using the Spread words up to a fixed limit option, set the Maximum value. This is measured as a percentage of the average width of a letter in the font and must be greater than the default letter spacing. A value of 600 places six letter spaces between the words in the label.
Change default value
- In the Labeling pane, click Symbol and click .
- Expand Formatting.
- Type a value for Word spacing.
This will be the minimum word spacing when you choose to spread the words in your labels.