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I have some points overlaying a raster. These points have some quite complicated labels which block out the raster so I would like them to sit outside the edge of the raster and point at the point to which they refer. Is it possible (with or without maplex) to set the labels no not touch an area such as a raster or a feature in another layer? (I have the outline of the raster as a polygon)

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I don't think the label rules will take into account the raster but you should be able to use features (such as a polygon for the raster extents) to block labeling. Maplex is probably better for this but might not be needed.

On the labeling toolbar use weight ranking by setting your polygon (areas to be avoided) to 1000 (max). This should stop labels appearing in this feature. This will probably just make your label not appear, you then need to set up your labels with leader lines with and an appropriate leader tolerance and enough offset to be allowed as far away as the edge of the no-labelled area from the point. You will need to work out this yourself. What you are trying to get around is the labels not appearing because the rules don't allow them to be far enough away to avoid the high weighted feature which is not allowing them to be drawn.

I don't have ArcMap in front of me so can't provide more detailed descriptions/images.

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