GIS Cookbook: Cartographic Design - Adding Individual Labels to your Map  
Keywords: Presentation, map, labels, place names, identification, objects
Category: Cartographic Design
Software: ArcView 3.2

Problem: How do I add individual labels to my map?

Description: You would like to add text labels to one or more objects within one or more of your data layers. In this recipe, you will be adding labels on one at a time. To see alternatives to adding labels to your map, please refer to recipe Automatically Labeling your Map.

1) Make sure your map is the set to the zoom of your liking before proceeding. Changing the zoom on your map after you add labels may change the size and placement of the labels.

2) Click on the theme to which you would like to add labels. In the following image, the theme called "Ocean" has been selected. To highlight the theme "US States," we clicked on it with the mouse.

U.S. States theme legend NOT selected

Notice below the "US States" theme has been highlighted.

U.S. States theme legend selected

3) Click on the label tool menu (button with a tag on it). A drop down menu of all the label shapes and styles will appear. Click on the one that best suites your map style. The cursor will take the shape of a plus (+) sign after you select a label style.

4) Select the place on the map which you would like to label. Click on that area with the plus (+) sign cursor.

5) Use your arrow to move the labels around one by one. Click once on the label to select it. Four black dots will appear around it signifying that you can edit the label. To change the style of the text such as the font, size, or color press Control P while the text you wish to alter is highlighted and then choose your new text properties.

6) You can also change the angle at which the label is displayed and the actual label text content after labeling. To do this double click on the label and the Text Properties will appear. Follow the menu options to change the elements.

Authored by: Benjamin N. Sprague Modified: 9/4/03

Copyright © 2002-2015 by Regents of University of California, Santa Barbara
Cookbook: Ben Sprague, Ethan Sundilson, Carlin Wong, Sam Ying