Within ArcMap, is there a way to indicate what features to label via a "select by location" method instead of a SQL query?

I would normally approach the issue by adding an additional field in the feature class' attribute table, then populate it with something like a "Y" or "N" based on the features' location, indicating whether or not the feature should be labeled. However, in this instance, the feature class' attribute table is not editable and a new feature class cannot be exported.


2 Answers 2


Not that I know of, but one workaround would be to select the features you want to label in your current layer, create a new layer from them (right-click the original layer, click Selection > Create Layer From Selected Features), and then label the features in that new layer.

  • This could work if he has privileges to create new layers. If he can't edit the current layer it may be a permissions issue
    – NULL.Dude
    Nov 30, 2016 at 21:55

I advise importing arcpy into the label expression builder and go crazy with it. My guess is you could do just about anything then. Maybe use the available OBJECTID to query the current record, get the shape, do whatever labeling logic needs to be done against the shape.

import arcpy
def FindLabel ( [Loop_Name] ):
  #any code using arcpy here
  return [Loop_Name]

I haven't gone to this extent but I did import arcpy and played around, so I feel comfortable you could do this

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.