I'm using data driven pages to produce a number of maps. I'm using Maplex to have a callout bubble labeling my features. The problem is that for about 5% of the features, the callout bubble is not touching the feature. I want the tip of the bubble to either touch the boundary or be within the polygon.

In the image below, the labels on the right and left (59 and 63) are correct, while the one in the middle is incorrect because it isn't touching the feature. Note, these labels are coming from the blue polygons, not the yellow line in the middle.

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The relevant settings are shown in the images below: enter image description here

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I would think that having the anchor point set as the eroded centre would do the trick. However, it looks like it may be placing the label in the centroid instead.

Any thoughts?

  • I think there is one more option on the anchor point dialog. With always within. That is what I use in this case.
    – Brad Nesom
    Nov 19, 2013 at 4:16
  • @Brad, Eroded Centre says always within. That's what I'm using. However, I have used all the other options to no avail.
    – Fezter
    Nov 19, 2013 at 4:18
  • I presume you are using Maplex's "Best" setting. In my experience a lot of complex labels can overwhelm Maplex's rules and I've had to convert to annotation and edit the errors if I couldn't live with them.
    – John
    Nov 19, 2013 at 21:23
  • Agree with @johns. Where I have had Maplex issues with about 10% of my labels, I would either use 2 classes with SQL queries to include/exclude the problematic labels, or if there were few enough (less than 30), I would convert to annotation and position them manually. I would then use definition queries to turn them on/off as needed through Python. Nov 20, 2013 at 5:12
  • 1
    Have you run "check geometry" on these polygons to see if they are closed etc? If not, this is a bug with eroded center that we would like to look at with your data (I work at Esri) Jan 26, 2014 at 6:05

1 Answer 1


To summarise the Comments, and in light of no dataset being available to reproduce this problem, I recommend the following steps be taken if anyone sees it occur again:

  1. Test using the latest version (and service pack) of ArcGIS for Desktop which is available to you.
  2. Run Check Geometry and, if geometry error are present, then Repair Geometry too. My understanding is that it is not just unclosed polygons that this will pick up.
  3. If the problem persists, even after Repair Geometry, then try to get your dataset to @CraigWilliams at Esri for further testing and, if reproduced, then bug fixing.

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