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We recently updated most of our users to ArcGIS10. One of my users is having an issue with incredibly slow labeling in ArcMap. The shapefile geometry displays right away, but the labels take minutes to show up at all. The shapefile is of all the parcels in a county and it seems like maybe ArcMap is labeling all the parcels, not just the ones in the current extent. It works just fine in ArcMap with an ArcInfo license. I don't have access to an ArcView 10 license to troubleshoot myself.

Are there any significant changes between ArcMap 9 and 10 for ArcView licenses that might cause this and is there's any way to fix it?

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strange question but are the pdfs larger than they should be? –  Matthew Snape Apr 6 '11 at 16:31
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Just a thought. Are all your documents updated to version 10? There seem to be some issues with opening a legacy map document in version 10. Try creating a new document in version 10, add layer and label all from "scratch". See if that fixes it. –  Jakub Apr 6 '11 at 18:01
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2 Answers

Check to see if the shapefile has a spatial index. Slow shapefile performance is often caused by a lack of a spatial index.

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One of the major changes at ArcGIS 10 is the Hardware Acceleration. This enables the display to be refreshed faster as it is using the Graphics Card to render features. The issue with Labelling is that it is dynamic, hence when panning or zooming the display needs to be redrawn and the label engine then needs to identify the placement of each label before rendering. Craiig is correct that if the shapefile does not have a spatial reference then the application will need to interrogate the spatial information to see if the feature is intersecting the extent, so this is a good first pass. This can be done by opening Arccatalog and right clicking the shapefile and selecting Properties from the context menu

If you see and image like below, just client the Add button and it will improve. If you are still experiencing slowness issues another easy solution is to change the source data to a File geodatabase which is considerable quicker and more scalable that the older shapefile format.

Shapefile Properties with no spatial reference

Hope this helps.

Have Fun, CDB

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