I have 20 polygons and when I tried to label the layer with the ID numbers only 19 appeared. For some reason my first polygons ID number is not being shown and I don't know why.

Am I missing something vitally important?

  • Did you manage to get this working?
    – James S
    Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 7:34

2 Answers 2


Does it work if you label with another data field?

Sometimes Labels are supressed, if there is not enough place for labelling.

  • Ive just tried and that doesn't work either. On another note, I dont suppose you know what a green cross means do you? Its just in a polygon where I had added a ring. Thanks for helping!
    – emily
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 21:23
  • If rings are involved it is likely the ESRI labe engine suppressing it. My alternative workaround is expensive. The maplex extension allows "never remove".
    – Brad Nesom
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 21:32
  • Not entirely sure what any of that means to be quite honest. Really sorry.
    – emily
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 21:42
  • I think that arcmap has "place overlapping" option in the label dialog. Try that
    – Brad Nesom
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 23:01
  • 1
    @emily: I get green crosses in edit mode if a node is used twice in a line or polygon. Can you share a screen copy?
    – AndreJ
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 6:15

I have found that polygons that do not have valid geometry do not label.

The green cross means that you either have 2 nodes in the same place or possibly you have a self intersection. This could be the reason your layer is not labeling.

To test this, run the Check Geometry Validity tool in the Vector > Geometry Tool menu. You should fix any errors that are found.

Once you have fixed this, your layer should label.

If the geometry is fine and the polygon is still not labeling it could be that the label is not shown as its overlapping with other labels. To test this, on the labeling dialog, choose the advanced tab, then click the Engine Settings button. Tick the Show all Labels (i.e. including colliding labels) tickbox.

This will make sure all labels display even if they overlap.

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