When I use label features with halos in ArcMap, whether using the standard or Maplex labeling engine, the halos in the exported map (PDF) are always shifted vertically, so that instead of the halo being evenly spaced around the text it is flush with the bottom and excessive on the top.

I know others have had this issue: Export Map to PDF Halo Labels shifts Halo to latter width at the end of Label Problem, but the proposed fix doesn't work, because the option to change vertical text alignment is grayed out. Has anyone else found a way to add halos to maps?

  • 1
    Hmm.. I imagine this would be quite frustrating! Are you rotating your data frame at all, or using data driven pages?
    – GISHuman
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 19:39
  • I just ran a test and the halos I added looked good both on the map and in the exported PDF file so there must be a difference between your procedure and mine. If you would like to edit your question and list out the steps in your procedure (starting from when you fire up ArcMap 10.1) then we should be able to hone in on what causes the issue to appear for you (and some others).
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 23:27
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    Got it! Depends on the font you use. I had switched to Gill Sans, which for some reason resulted in halo offsets. Switched back to Arial, now no problem. Also - no data frame rotation or data driven pages.
    – Nat
    Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 20:05

2 Answers 2


As determined through Comments, this seems to have been the result of you using Gill Sans font.

To see that this is not an every font problem I ran a test using Arial, and the halos I added looked good both on the map and in the exported PDF file.


I've found this to be a dpi issue, not a font issue. Even using Arial font, the halos are shifted when exported at 300 dpi or less. I bumped the resolution up to 600 dpi using Franklin Gothic Medium Cond font, and the halos print perfectly. This is unfortunate since it greatly increases processing time and triples the file size (in my case), which is especially bad if you're batch exporting.

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