I have a dataframe in ArcMap with contour lines and a vector layer.

Now I want to place contour line labels only at places beside the polygons of the vector layer. How is that possible?

I already tried several combinations for the feature/lable weights but either the lable conflict with the polygons or they disappear behind them. The situation is the following:

enter image description here

The "1400" is placed nicely, but I want also the "1500" to appear besides the hatched polygon...can anyone help?

  • Clip contours by polygons and label them
    – FelixIP
    Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 19:19
  • This is a good idea if the polygon I displayed was not hatched - the only way I see this working is to display both the clipped contours (labeled) and the unclipped contours (unlabeled).
    – countryman
    Commented Oct 1, 2015 at 6:03
  • This is exactly what i said. Hatching has no business here
    – FelixIP
    Commented Oct 1, 2015 at 6:07
  • Sorry, but it would be nice to have it, as it is my test site and one should be able to roughly identify the vegetation there...
    – countryman
    Commented Oct 1, 2015 at 6:18
  • Move your clipped layer at the bottom of everything in your table of content. Leave the rest as it is. Unlabel long contours, label clipped. Labels float above layers symbology
    – FelixIP
    Commented Oct 1, 2015 at 6:23

1 Answer 1


I do not know of a way to get in and manhandle the placement of labels. Someone with more knowledge might be able to speak to that.

However, here is an answer to a similar question and it is along the lines of what I was thinking to do. Basically, they recommend trying to convert the labels to annotations and then moving the annotations to where you want them to show up.

Perhaps another hacky way to get your result:

Run the Intersect Analysis Tool and output points and then label the points (the output should keep the attributes of the intersection). This should generate points at every intersection of the lines and polygons. To help reduce the number of points generated select only the lines you want to label. The downside of this is that you will have points on both sides of the polygon.


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