I have a lot of recreation location points, and most of them are labeled. Sometimes there are many points close together which really only need one label. For example, the recreation location below has a campground, picnic area, and boat ramp.

I don't need/want each of these points to say "Woods Ferry" by them, so using the Maplex labeling, I can turn on "Remove duplicates" and get only one label for the set of points. (Yay.)

But, I would prefer it if the label were put on the boat ramp or picnic table instead, since then it would be covering up a river instead of some roads. In this case, the campground point has the lowest OBJECTID, and apparently that is how priority is determined.

Is there any way I can change how the label priority is chosen?

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  • You can reduce the spacing and font sizes if important features using the same map space.
    – Mapperz
    Jul 22, 2014 at 15:18
  • 1
    Having just completed a overview map of our Town's roads where they ALL needed to be visible. I tried using maplex...probably got the labels at about 70% of where I wanted them. In the end I converted to annotation, that way you can place them exactly where you want.
    – GISHuman
    Jul 22, 2014 at 15:22
  • I am stuck with Maplex for a few reasons (not all good reasons)... annotation sounds like the way to go, once I've gotten everything formatted properly.
    – Erica
    Jul 22, 2014 at 15:45
  • I found creating multiple groups defined by sql queries can help out a lot, although it slows down the drawing time considerably. For example I did a sql querie for roads that ended in "Ridge" because they were part of a subdivision and made their font size smaller than the other groups. Definitely play with label weights, duplicates, and label density. Then when you're mostly happy convert to annotation!
    – GISHuman
    Jul 22, 2014 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


You can use 'Weighting labels and features' which is different to Priority in Maplex

"This weight is to be used only when there is a conflict, that is, an overlap between a label and a feature."

Forces ArcMap to consider alternate positions for labels. Do this by increasing feature weight to a higher number.


There is also a strategy order list that can be applied http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.2/index.html#/Using_strategy_order/00s800000076000000/

  • Just FYI: when using Maplex labeling engine, the label and feature weights menu (on the labeling toolbar) uses numeric rankings from 0-1000, with 1000 representing a label absolutely can not cover these features (hides label if necessary) and 0 representing basically don't consider these features at all when placing labels. The Low Medium High feature ranking is just used with the standard label engine.
    – John
    Jul 22, 2014 at 15:14

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