I've been using gis.stackexchange for some time already and time has come for me to ask my first question here.

I have point feature class with habitat types. There are two important attribute fields. One with the name of the habitat and second with a corresponding number.

I've placed labels inside the point symbology to represent the number on the map but I have trouble showing them in the legend. I need the legend to include both description and the number of the habitat.

Any suggestions?

enter image description here


You can't easily display label information in the legend, so the best solution is to have unique symbology for each of your points. The simplest way to do this is to open the properties for your layer and and select the Categories option on the left hand side (see below). You can then select the field to create a different symbology for each point.

Categorising features

Assuming you want to have show the point with the text inside rather than just using different colours I would start by creating a point for each feature as above. The next step is to select each point by double clicking it to open the symbol selector, and then going to the Edit Symbol button.

Edit symbol

In this menu you can build a symbol by adding layers - including characters. The text can be accessed in the Character Marker Symbol menu from in the Type drop-down.

Type drop-down

(I would start be editing the symbol so that the symbology is consistent for all of your points then you will just need to manually change the number for each one.)

This should allow you to put a different number in each point on the map and legend whilst also being able to display your description in the legend.

  • with over 50 categories I wanted to avoid this approach, but that seams like the correct way to do it – Karol H. Nov 25 '14 at 12:30
  • That's why using a colour scheme rather than individual numbers in the points may be more suitable as the colours would be applied automatically. – MAJ742 Nov 25 '14 at 12:33
  • 50 colors isn't that easy to distinguish from each other. An even more "cheating" approach would be to add text boxes on top of your legend with numbers, but it'll require more checking that all is correct. – Martin Nov 25 '14 at 12:45
  • True. However hacking a legend is one of my big pet peeves. I avoid this sort of thing at all costs because it invariably leads to errors further down the line if you need to make changes to the layer as it won't update the legend automatically. Especially in this case where it appears Data Driven Pages are involved - and therefore the change would need to be made multiple times. – MAJ742 Nov 25 '14 at 12:53

Perhaps you could use the "Unique Values, Many Fields" symbology option and choose the number field then the description field: enter image description here

Then when you insert the legend it will show the number and the description: enter image description here

Its not perfect because it doesn't show the number inside the symbol but it might do the trick and I bet if you convert the legent to graphic then do some ungrouping/grouping you could move the symbol underneath the number: enter image description here

  • While a good work around of getting the info into the legend I would still advocate not converting the legend to graphics just to match the point, especially with DDP (see comment above!) – MAJ742 Nov 25 '14 at 13:51
  • 1
    I agree just figured I would add it as an option. – landocalrissian Nov 25 '14 at 13:54
  • That would probably be a fast solution for one map but as @MAJ742 mentioned, unfortunately DDP is the case here.. I will probably just spend some time creating the categories as mentioned above :) – Karol H. Nov 25 '14 at 13:57

You can create a column field (data type integer) in the attribute table and fill them with the desired numbers. Then label features using this column field. Change the location of the labels to fit inside the point feature symbology

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