I have a dataset of roads I am displaying in Arcgis Pro. I would like to label the roads, however, obviously there are large numbers of them so they do not display clearly and often overlap. I would like to create a buffer around the labels to reduce the amount being shown, something you could easily do in Arcmap.

I have found the buffer option in ArcGIS Pro however it is now limited to a 50% of the size of the label.

Is there anyway to increase the buffer of labels beyond this size?

Ultimately, I am trying to only display some road names (I'm not fussed on which ones get displayed) in a neat and legible manner for a map.

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    Do you have the maplex label engine available? It has an option to remove labels within a distance etc.. read more pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/help/mapping/text/… Aug 17, 2017 at 4:23
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    @MichaelStimson Maplex has not been an extra cost extension for quite a while and can be considered always an option for both Desktop and Pro.
    – PolyGeo
    Aug 17, 2017 at 4:25
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    Last I remember dealing with the financial side of licensing Maplex was available with an advanced license @PolyGeo, admittedly that was a long time ago.. prior to that Maplex was an extension which needed to be purchased separately (like spatial analyst, network analyst etc..). Is Maplex now available at no extra cost with any level of license? Aug 17, 2017 at 4:29
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    Starting with the release of ArcGIS 10.1, the functionality of Maplex is included in the core ArcGIS Desktop software. There was that interim step which you described - probably at 10.0 I think.
    – PolyGeo
    Aug 17, 2017 at 4:35
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    Thanks all, using the 'specify a minimum feature size' allowed me to space out the labels a bit more.
    – John
    Aug 17, 2017 at 4:52

1 Answer 1


As the comments for the question mention and to provide an answer for this question. You can use the "specify a minimum feature size" via the Maplex Label Engine approach which can satisfy the spacing that you are looking for when viewing/placing labels in ArcGIS Pro.

A way to control label density in an area is to reduce the number of small features that are being labeled. If your layer contains many small insignificant features that do not require a label, you can use the Maplex Label Engine to remove the features from the list of features to be labeled.

The Minimum feature size property is only available for line and polygon features. For line labeling, the value is specified as the length of the line in the current map units or in page units—millimeters, inches, or points. For polygon labeling, the value is specified as the length of the polygon perimeter or the area in map units or in page units—millimeters, inches, or points.

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Specify a minimum feature size for labeling

Ensure the Maplex Label Engine is enabled.

Ensure Labeling is the active way of displaying the Contents pane.

Select a label class in the Contents pane and click the Labeling tab.

On the Labeling tab, in the Label Placement group, click Label Placement Properties Launcher.

On the Labeling pane, click Position and click Conflict resolution.

Expand Minimum feature size.

Specify the Minimum for labeling size and the units to measure in (map units or page units—millimeters, inches, or points).

When labeling polygon features, specify whether minimum feature size is for Perimeter or Area.

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