I am trying to create a legend for properties that are identified on the map with numbers. I'd like the legend symbol to be a yellow circle with the property number inside, with the name of the property to the right of the numbered circle. The properties should be listed in ascending numerical order. I am using ArcMap 10.8.2 (Desktop).

I've created a point layer for the symbols, and for symbology I selected Unique Values and [NAME] for value field. Within the Table of Contents, I changed each individual symbol to a yellow circle.

I selected IDNumber for the feature label. This results in numbered circles in the appropriate locations on the map itself. However, when I try to create a legend for it with the property names as described in the previous paragraph, each property in the list is preceded by a blank symbol, and the properties are in alphabetical order instead of numeric order.

A sample map is attached showing the legend with blank yellow circles.

I tried editing the symbol itself to include text by adding a layer but cannot add more than a single digit (I cannot find any fonts that include numbers greater than 9). The text in other symbols in Symbol Selector cannot be edited.

I looked at the answer/solution posted by Felix P./PolyGeo. Why are field calculations and data frames used for the solution? I am not very experienced here, and as of now, I do not understand the solution proposed.

My last resort is to create symbols with text inside of them in another application, create a text box with the desired information, and add it to the layout, but hope there is a solution within ArcMap!

Sample map in question


2 Answers 2


This can be done by manually updating the symbols adding marker layers to your symbology. Its a faff but would achieve what you want. Firstly don't turn on labels, create your unique symbol rendered and make them all the yellow circles you want, then for each individual unique symbol adjust it as you want (i.e. add the number you want to see). Below is a short video I made for you to understand how to alter symbols with additional layers. I had to make to b&w to get it small enough to upload.

You need to do it this way as ArcMap has no capability to link the symbol design to an attribute value.

Adding character markers to symbols

  • 1
    Sorry @BERA for slow response! I have used the excellent screentogif Windows app
    – Hornbydd
    Jul 22, 2023 at 18:31

Another hack is to use the description field and give the text an offset to place the description over the symbol. enter image description hereenter image description here

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