I have been doing a tutorial in ArcGIS and I'm trying to label cities in California but I can't seem to locate the right setting to bring all the city labels to the edge of the study area. I am using the offset feature in Maplex but I can't get the result I'm looking for. The example in the tutorial shows all cities on the edge of the study area. I'm thinking perhaps this was done manually, but I'm not sure.

Or would there be another alternative to labelling in a somewhat messy map. enter image description here

2 Answers 2


There is an alternative method for making sure leaders are outside of polygon layer boundary without converting to annotations with the existing mapplex settings:

  1. Make sure your point layer label style is set to Bullet Leader
  2. Enable mapplex and in the polygon layer Properties>Labels>Placement Properties>Conflict Resolution, set the Interior feature weight to 1000
  3. On the labeling toolbar, click on the Label Manager button and set the Point layer Default offset value to a larger number (eg. 40 or 50... you will have to play around with this until all leaders ends are outside of the polygon boundary)
  4. Finally in the point layer Properties>Labels>Placement Properties>Conflict Resolution, check the Never remove (place overlaps) check box

Through investigation, I found the solution to this problem and its surprisingly simple, and would be good to share for anyone else with the same problem.

  1. The first step is to firstly right click the layer and make sure placement properties enables place overlapping labels

  2. convert labels to annotations and store in the map

  3. on the drawing toolbar select the elements to move.

I guess this is handy when no amount of label sorting will work.

enter image description here

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