In ArcGIS 10.3 is there a way to automatically label symbols based on a field in my feature class table?

I matched species observations with marker symbols in a style using species abbreviations. Anyway, for the legend I need to display full scientific names.

I am able to manually update each symbol label with the full scientific name, but this is time consuming. Also I have a whole lot of different species varying between feature classes.

Is there a way to automatically assign the field with the full scientific name as symbol label?

1 Answer 1


I believe you will want to create a separate table with your scientific names and your abbreviated names. Here, you will just need to create your shortened labels one time.

Species   |   Label
Species1  |   Spe1  
Species2  |   Spe2  
Species3  |   Spe3  

Once the labels table is populated, create a join between the tables on Species Name and label off of the joined field.

ArcGIS Desktop Help - Creating Tables in ArcCatalog

ArcGIS Desktop Help - Joining and Relating Tables

  • 1
    The abbreviations and full scientific names are already all in one table. The custom style I used for symbol matching only works with the abbreviations though. So once the symbols are matched with the symbols in the style, the abbreviations are used for labeling in the legend. I found no way to assign another field for labeling of the symbols (not the individuals points! I know these can be labeled based on another field pretty easy). So I don't think this is working, but please correct me if I'm wrong?
    – Flo Krau
    Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 15:12
  • Sorry--I misunderstood! Sometimes when dealing with legends, it's easiest to just create another copy of the feature in the table of contents and manipulating it's labels to show exactly what you want in the legend, but turning it off so it doesn't show up that way in the map.
    – MaryBeth
    Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 15:26

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