Contour labeling

When labeling contour features, you may want to label only certain contour intervals in a laddered placement and place a halo around those labels so that they are easily read on top of the contour features. Use the Maplex Label Engine to place these labels.

The image below shows contours labeled in an uphill laddered placement at every hundredth interval with a halo around each label.

Index contours labeled using a label expression and the Contour Placement option
  1. Ensure that the Maplex Label Engine is enabled.
  2. Set up the Contour Placement style.
  3. Create a halo behind the feature.
  4. Create a label expression that only labels every hundredth interval.

    Use one of the ArcGIS Arcade label expressions below, depending on your data. If you want to label only index contours, and your contour data contains an index field that specifies which contours are index contours, you can use the label expression below:

    if ($feature.INDEX==1) {
    	return $feature.ELEVATION;
    else {
    	return "";

    If you want to label specified contour intervals, you can use the label expression below, replacing 100 with the interval you prefer:

    if ($feature.ELEVATION % 100 == 0) {
    	return $feature.ELEVATION;