Using ArcMap 10.0, I am working on a map that shows many villages. Each village has a name attribute that I want to use for a label, but in some areas there are so many villages that not all can be labeled. I am using the Maplex label engine and have not checked the "Never Remove (allow overlap)" box.

I am quite happy that not all village names are displayed as this would be way too much. And it is ok that Maplex chooses which labels to display, as I have no way to know which village is more important than another one. This also means that I can't base the labeling on a field such as population or something else, even though that would be less random.

However, I would also like the village points that are not labeled to similarly not be displayed. I think it unlikely that someone would want to see the point without knowing the name of the village. If all points are shown, it is also difficult to tell which point a name label goes with in crowded areas. So instead of choosing just labels not to be shown, I also want the computer to chose features not to be shown.

To give you a better idea on what I mean:

To give you an idea

Is there a way to make these features/points not draw if their label is not shown?

  • 1
    Do you really need to show the points at all? Why not just write out the names (and maybe chose that they will be on top of the point). Then you change the symbology of your points to "no color" so that they don't show up, only the names.
    – Martin
    Apr 29, 2014 at 12:43
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    I don't know of an easy way to do what you are asking. What seems to be happening is that only some of your points are being labeled, based on your labeling properties. The other labels are not shown because they do not fit based on your settings. The points are the layer that the labels are based upon, not the other way around- so even if all of the labels are not shown, all of the points are still there. You could manually select which villages and labels you want shown using a Definition Query, but I don't know of an easy way to do what you are asking. Apr 29, 2014 at 18:53

2 Answers 2


Don't think I've ever tried it, but perhaps if you converted your labels to geodatabase annotation you could join the villages to the annotation layer and filter out villages associated with unplaced annotation with a definition query (or just omit unplaced labels in the convert to annotation step and keep matching records only in the join step).

  • Thanks blah238. That sounds like a possible work-around. I'll try it!
    – oddpodm
    Apr 30, 2014 at 12:07

For a dynamic solution (work when zooming in/out) I would try this approach:

Do not display the cities (points) as symbols of a feature. Use the label engine to display the cities (points) as a label. Your label is composed of two parts: the point (city) and the text.

You have to adjust the offsets and label placements settings make sure the point falls where the city is.

  • This is a great workaround - it's clever since it uses all the rules you've already set in the ArcMap/Maplex labelling engine Jun 30, 2014 at 22:48

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