As you see on the map below, there are labels in circle coloured symbols. How can I show them in this format in ArcGIS?

example map

If you look at the legend of this map it shows the different categories with different size and color, so my request is a little bit complicated. And there are 3 different labels displaying on the map. How can I do this kind of map?

legend of map

  • 1
    I've updated my answer to this based on your details about how the legend looks -- hopefully it is more useful to you now. (You should edit your original question to include the additional information rather than posting it as an answer.)
    – Erica
    Aug 11, 2014 at 12:28

1 Answer 1


This answer is heavily revised from the original suggestion, based on new Question details.

Since you want to have a legend describing the symbol/color meaning in addition to just labels on the map, the best way to approach this is to edit the symbology of the points, and add simple labels.

  1. Select Quantities / Graduated symbols. Use whatever field has the varying quantities you're interested. Optional, but often useful: Tweak the class breaks so they line up at round numbers, rather than the statistical boundaries ArcMap automatically calculates. So I now have five different sized points depending on the field Area_Acres.

    symbology dialog box, step 1

  2. Click on Template, which defines the basic point marker style. Then, click on Edit Symbol. I set the inner fill to white (it can instead be no color, if you want background roads/etc. to show through), and increased the thickness of the outline to be more obvious.

    (Note that you don't explicitly need to do this step independently of the next step, which adjusts the color of the outline. I find that it keeps things a little more organized, though.)

    symbology dialog box, step 2

  3. Double-click on the dot symbol next to each Range value, and you can edit the color/size/etc. (ArcMap has automatically changed the sizes, but they can be adjusted if desired.) Since we're working with varying outline color, not varying fill color, you have to Edit Symbol for each of the point markers.

    symbology dialog box, step 3

    This produces a sequence of different colored and different sized points.

    final symbology style

  4. Simple labels can be added on top, and they can be forced to the center of the point using Label Placement Properties (Label Position tab).

    label position dialog box

Result looks something like this:

final map with labeled dots of varying size/color

To display multiple labels per feature, the simplest trick I know is to add the data in twice (or more) so it shows up in the table of contents multiple times. Use one for the symbology, the other(s) for different labels -- e.g., the symbolized layer with the different points would be labeled with population, and the unsymbolized layer would be labeled with the city name.

For creating multiple labels per point (e.g. one for population, one for the city name), take a look at this Question: Multiple labels for 1 point. I personally prefer the "multiple instances of the layer" method for maximum flexibility.

  • Thanks! But at the first step in Sympbology tab Fields - Value > only the none appears: kepfeltoltes.hu/140812/symbology_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.png what's the problem?
    – mrbandy
    Aug 12, 2014 at 8:12
  • I think that the field to categorize needs to be numerical for any of the "Quantities" methods -- check whether it is. If it's storing numbers but the type is set to text, create a new field (type long for no decimals, double for decimals) and copy the data over; it automatically converts to the correct type then, and the new field should show in the list.
    – Erica
    Aug 12, 2014 at 11:20
  • Thanks! It's working. There are some points very near together that's why the small covers the bigger as you see in this picture: kepfeltoltes.hu/140812/hide_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.png how can i solve this problem?
    – mrbandy
    Aug 12, 2014 at 14:23
  • Hmm, not sure. Maybe check the "May shift label on fixed position" box in the Label Placement Properties?
    – Erica
    Aug 12, 2014 at 14:26
  • I added the data twice so the city name and the capacity shown at once but you see on this picture the capacity not in the circle and the city name is too near. How can i set the distance? kepfeltoltes.hu/140813/jump_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.png
    – mrbandy
    Aug 13, 2014 at 9:07

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