If a label does not fit within a polygon or is longer than a line, the label is not placed. You can use the label overrun parameters to allow the Maplex Label Engine to use free space beyond the feature to place labels.
Polygon feature overrun
For most polygon label placement styles, the Maplex Label Engine attempts to place the label inside a polygon. If the label is larger than the polygon, the label is not placed on the map. Checking the Overrun Feature check box allows the Maplex Label Engine to utilize free space outside the boundary of the polygon to place the label. You can limit the distance that a label can extend beyond a polygon by setting a maximum label overrun limit, measured in map units or in page units (millimeters, inches, or points).
Asymmetric overrun—You can set the overrun placement to look for neighboring polygons with lower feature weights to place labels over by checking the Allow asymmetric overrun check box. This is useful when labeling small countries on a coastline. The water polygon has a lower weight; therefore, the country label runs over the water polygon instead of the neighboring countries.
The images below show the London Eye labeled with the Overrun Feature parameter set. In the image to the left, the Maximum label overrun option is used and the label is placed near the center of the polygon and evenly over the polygon boundary. The image to the right shows the Allow asymmetric overrun option being used. The buildings, land use, and street features have had feature weights set, so the label is placed over the water, which has no weight.
Line feature overrun
When the Maplex Label Engine places labels for lines, it always attempts to place the label between the start and end points of the line. If the label is longer than the line feature, the label may not be placed on the map. Checking the Overrun Feature check box allows the label to extend beyond the ends of the line. You can limit the distance a label can extend beyond a line by setting a maximum label overrun limit, measured in map units or in page units (millimeters, inches, or points).
In the image below, you can see that the Whispering Pines Lane label does not fit within its feature. Because the Overrun Feature parameter is set, the Maplex Label Engine allows the label to extend beyond the length of the feature.
- Enable the Maplex Label Engine.
- Click the Label Manager button on the Labeling toolbar.
- Check the box next to the layer you want to label.
- Choose a label class under the layer.
- Click the Properties button.
- Click the Fitting Strategy tab.
- Check the Overrun Feature check box.
- Click Options.
- Type the distance you want to allow the label to extend beyond the length or perimeter of the feature.
- Click OK to close all dialog boxes.
Although the steps are the same, the dialog boxes for line and polygon layers differ.
This distance is measured in map units or in page units (millimeters, inches, or points).