Orient point labels to graticules

Using the Maplex Label Engine to align horizontal labels to a graticule rotates all horizontal labels for a particular label class to a tangential line along the graticule for the data frame. To align labels with the graticule lines, the data frame must be set to a projected coordinate system. You can choose from the following four graticule alignment type options:

  • Straight
  • Straight (no flip)
  • Curved
  • Curved (no flip)

The Straight and Curved options align the label with the graticule and orient it to the page. The Straight (no flip) and Curved (no flip) options allow the label to be drawn upside down to align with the graticule.


If the data is not in projected coordinates, the labels will not align. They will remain in their original position.

Learn more about map projections

The following image shows point labels oriented to graticules:

City point labels oriented to the graticule
  1. Ensure that the Maplex Label Engine is enabled.
  2. Ensure that List By Labeling is the active method of displaying the Contents pane. Click the List By Labeling tab List By Labeling.
  3. Choose 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. In the Labeling pane, click Position and click the Position tab Position.
  6. Expand Orientation.
  7. Choose the graticule alignment type: Straight, Straight (no flip), Curved, or Curved (no flip).