I am using Maplex label engine to achieve horizontal lines from label to feature as illustrated by below example;

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What I want is for the labels to alternate in direction as per the below example;

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How can I achieve this?

  • I don't know of any way to force such a specific setting, but you could try setting label buffers on the label density tab: desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/map/working-with-text/…
    – Tom
    Mar 16, 2016 at 16:05
  • Are your point feature linear or ordered, as in the example above? If so this can be by simply having 2 label classes. Alternating one for left of point and one for right of point. You could then just adjust your label positions for each label class in Maplex. If the are not linear or orderly, classes would probably have to be created on a case by case basis or converted to annotation and adjusted.
    – cl3
    Mar 16, 2016 at 16:50

1 Answer 1


A way to do this is by using two different label classes within Maplex Lable Engine for labels pointing East and Labels pointing West.

  1. Open the labelling toolbar.
  2. Turn off default and enter create two label classes for the feature you wish to label.
  3. Apply two different SQL queries to these two different classes. In the case above, assuming the field of the label is called LABEL you would do WHERE LABEL IN ('Feature One', Feature Three') for the first class and WHERE LABEL IN ('Feature Two') for the second class.
  4. For the first class set position to "East" and for the second class set position to "West".

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