I am making a bedrock geologic map and I would like to use a road and contour layer as a base. Currently, the contour interval and road labels show on top of the overlaying bedrock polygons, and the only solution I have found to sovle this inconvenience is to export the layers to an image manipulation program and adjust transparency there. The problem is that I would like this project to be fully contained within ArcMap for easy access by other users. In maplex, the only option I have come across is the prioritize labels based upon labels from other features, but not by layer display order. I have also tried to export a TIFF of just the contours and roads with labels to be reimported and georefernced, but I am also using a hillshade raster image on the base, and it is a hassle to continue exporting and importing to try to get transparency setting correct.

Is there any option to just display labels based upon their drawing order in the table of contents, or manually select where to place them in the order?

1 Answer 1


Try converting them to annotation and then you should be able to set the drawing order for the labels as well. http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/map/working-with-text/converting-labels-to-annotation.htm

  • Great! Feel free to mark it as the answer so other people with the same problem will be able to find it.
    – cbunn
    Jun 19, 2017 at 13:14

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