I am using ArcMap 10.3 and labeling parcel features by using the Key Numbering option. The key numbering list items appear too close together and overlap. I want to have more vertical space between each of the numbered items.

Here's what I get: enter image description here

What I have tried:

  • Leading: I tried increasing the font leading from 0 to 3 (in the Label tab, Text Symbol dialog). enter image description here This causes the labels that are not using Key Numbering to have a greater leading distance, but it has no effect on the items in the Key Numbering list.

  • Offset: I tried increasing the offset of the text from 0 to 3 (in the Label tab, Text Symbol dialog). enter image description here This causes the labels to shift down but not increase the spacing, like this: enter image description here

How can I increase the vertical distance between the Key Numbering items?

Edited to add:

Per an answer, I tried using a label expression to add additional spaces after each label. The label expression seems to only have affected the individual labels, and not the key numbering labels.

This is the expression I used (the "a" is added just so I could see the space that is actually being added):

[OWNER] & vbnewline & vbnewline & " a"

And here's the result I got (Notice how the "regular labels" have two lines and an "a" added, while the key numbering labels only add two spaces and then an "a"):

enter image description here

  • I found a post where this same issue is described: geonet.esri.com/thread/36299 It seems like ESRI was aware of the issue in 2012 and said they were going to fix it. However it does not seem like it has been addressed yet. Feb 1, 2016 at 13:33

2 Answers 2


I am not sure if this will work in ArcGIS 10.3 But usually, if you go to the labels tab ( or the appropriate equivalent if using label manager) and click Expression you will be able to manually add space. if for example the field name you are labeling is called [Name] you can

[Name] & vbnewline & vbnewline &[Name]

That should add two new lines giving you the space you need. I haven't upgraded to 10.3 yet, but hopefully you can use similar syntax in the key numbering option

  • 1
    Good idea. I'm familiar with how to do expressions in 10.3. I'll give it a try when I'm back at my desk on Monday. Jan 29, 2016 at 23:43
  • I tested using a label expression for the Key Labeling and anything I change in the label seems to only affect the regular labels, not the key numbering labels. See the screenshot I added to my question above. Feb 1, 2016 at 13:18

It seems this is a bug in ArcMap, at least up to 10.3. I have not found any solutions or workarounds. See discussion here: https://geonet.esri.com/thread/36299

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