Remove duplicate labels within a given radius

Some locations on a map may contain several labels with the same content. For clarity and to allow space for other labels, you can use the Maplex Label Engine to remove the redundant labels within a given search area from the map.

After you label the features, you can identify the clusters having the same labels. The next step is to measure the radius of the identified cluster. You will use this distance as the search radius for removing redundant labels.

The search radius is applied to the label classes of the same feature type (point, line, or polygon) that have the Remove all or Remove within fixed distance option specified. The symbology of the label class does not affect its consideration in the search. When a choice is to be made between two labels, the label with the higher priority order is placed.

Only labels from label classes in which it is specified to remove duplicate labels are eligible to be removed. Possibly none of them will be placed if the same label exists in another label class that doesn't specify to remove duplicates.

Label classes that have the Never remove (place overlapping) option checked keep one representative label.

The image below shows how Bayshore Boulevard is labeled after the duplicate labels have been removed. Originally, both parts of the dual-line feature were labeled in this image. The Remove within fixed distance option was set with a limit of 150 map units, so the second label for Bayshore Boulevard was removed.

Labels set to remove duplicates

  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 Conflict resolution tab Conflict resolution.
  6. Expand Remove duplicate labels.
  7. On the Map tab, in the Inquiry group, click the Measure tool Measure Tool to measure the size of the label cluster.

    Click near the center of the cluster of labels and drag the Measure tool line to an area outside the congested area of labels. Note the distance in map units.

  8. Choose the remove duplicate labels type: Remove within fixed distance or Remove all.

    If using the Remove within fixed distance option, specify the Search radius value and the units that will be used to measure (map units or page units—millimeters, inches, or points).

    This value is the distance that was determined in step 7 above..