I am using ArcGIS Desktop 10.3.

I often have a problem where my leader lines are overlapping other leader lines in the same layer. I do not want to convert to graphics. I understand how to stop labels overlapping other features, it is the leader lines that are the problem. I use Maplex a lot and have altered all the settings I can think of. Sometimes changing the leader tolerance makes a slight improvement but not all the time.

Example below.

enter image description here

Here I have a long offset because some areas are very busy. All the external zones are allowed. These are currently advanced callouts but I'm having the same problem with simple ones.

Is there a setting I'm missing somewhere?

  • Are you using the standard label engine? If so, try the maplex label engine. There are more options for setting rules using maplex.
    – GBG
    Mar 30, 2017 at 17:03
  • No, I am using Maplex. As stated in the post I have altered a lot of settings with no luck.
    – Emma White
    Mar 31, 2017 at 8:16

1 Answer 1


Maplex tries to avoid overlapping leader lines, but it still does happen occasionally. You could convert to annotation and manually move the problem labels, but as you stated, you don't want to do that.

Are you using the maximum offset option? You may get better results with a smaller initial offset (say 5 points), but a large maximum (say 1000%). This will give you labels with an offset between 5 and 50 points, but will greatly increase labeling time, however.

  • Thank you, I shall make a note of this as I am not currently in a position to recreate the problem. I appreciate your response and will report back when I can.
    – Emma White
    Jun 22, 2017 at 8:31
  • This worked, thank you. Still a bit hit and miss but way better than what i had before. Inconsistent leader lengths are not ideal but you have to take what you can get. Thanks
    – Emma White
    Jul 21, 2017 at 7:11

Your Answer

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

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