Using Map Text Labels

Labels go hand-in-hand with the map’s styles and symbols, so of course we’ve designed them to work together. Unlike ordinary text placed with the Text tools, labels are attached to map features. If the feature moves, the label moves with it. Labels make naming map features easy with intelligent naming, advanced styling, and just-right positioning.

Ortelius’ labeling system opens a new chapter in WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) feature labeling. No more going through multi-level menus and dialogs to turn on labels and change settings, only to have to repeat the process multiple times to get the right look. Direct feature labeling provides a revolutionary way to add and edit labels – directly on your map.

About Labels with Style:

About_Labels_with_Style.png

Ortelius is loaded with hundreds of styles and symbols. Styles not only define the look of lines and areas, they can also define the initial style for labels. So, when you place a river using a river style, the river’s label style is already designed for you. As always, label styles are fully editable directly on the map, and you can easily create and share your own custom styles using the Style Inspector.

Changing a label directly will not over-write the Library style, rather these changed labels will be saved as “ad-hoc” styles unless they are created using the Style Inspector and added to the Library. Use ad-hoc styles when their use will be occasional. Use Library styles and symbols when they will be used repeatedly or need to be used later in other maps.

Changing label text styles is similar to changing them on simple text objects. Select the label(s) and edit the font in the Fonts palette. This method can be used with multiple labels at one time.

To Select Labels:

To_Select_Labels.png

Selected labels are shown using bubble-shaped highlights to distinguish the label selection from other kinds of selections in your drawing.

  1. Choose the Select [s] tool.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Click onto an object label to select it.
  • To select multiple labels, hold the Shift-key and click additional labels, or hold the Command-key and click to select or deselect labels.
  • Double-click to make the label active for editing.

To Show (or Hide) Labels:

To_Show__or_Hide__Labels.png

Labels can be turned on or off (visible or hidden) on your map.

Do one of the following:

  • Selecting the labeled feature(s) and choosing Edit > Labels & Text > Hide(Show) Labels from the main menu.
  • Choose Edit > Select All and then Hide Labels to turn off all labels on a layer.

About Labels for Symbols, Tracks, and Shapes:

About_Labels_for_Symbols__Tracks__and_Shapes.png

Each feature type – lines, points, and areas – has context-sensitive positioning for labels. For example, symbol labels for point features can be placed in one of nine standard positions around and at the center point (the upper-right position is the default). Track labels follow linear features and are positioned above, on, or below the line. Area feature labels are placed at the visual center of the shape.

Labels can also be moved into any position around the symbol by simply holding the Shift-key on the keyboard while moving it into the perfect position. Optional leader-lines can be added by right-clicking the label and choosing “Show Leader Line.” Of course, if it is ever needed, you can always right-click the label and choose “Detach Label” to move it anywhere (the label will be completely detached from the feature and its attributes, and become an ordinary text object).

Free-text labels may be added to any point symbol, track, or shape object. Simple shapes, connectable tracks, symbols, and shapes from imported shapefiles support labeling. If you have an area object created with another drawing tool, for instance an irregular polygon, select the object and choose Graphic > Convert To > Shape from the main menu, or right-click the object and choose Convert To Shape.

To Add Free-Text Labels:

To_Add_Free-Text_Labels.png
  1. Do one of the following:
  • Select the symbol(s) or shape(s) and choose Edit > Labels & Text > New Label from the main menu. If the feature has attribute information behind it that includes the feature’s name, the label may automatically detect and label the feature with its name. Otherwise, the word “Label” will be inserted for editing.
  • For a single object, right-click and choose ‘New Label’ from the context menu.

2. With the Select [s] tool, double-click the label to select it. You may see a code starting with “%%” highlighted – ignore this tag and type a free-text label with the text you want. As with simple text objects, double-click the label to edit it any time.

HINT: Special shapes, such as stars, arcs, and rounded-rectangles must be converted to regular shapes before a label can be added. Select the special shape and choose Graphic > Convert To > Shape from the main menu, or right-click and choose ‘Convert To Shape’ from the contextual menu.

To Label Multiple Features:

The power of Ortelius’ labeling system includes swift labeling of the features you want – all features or just a select few. Manually adding a label to each feature is not necessary.

  1. Choose the Select [s] tool.
  2. Select the features you want to label and choose Edit > Labels & Text > New Label from the main menu.

HINT: To select the features you want labeled hold down the SHIFT key and click each object with the Select tool, or use Edit > Select All to select all features on a layer, or use Ortelius’ advanced search to select specific features (for example, to select and label cities with populations over 100,000). Then choose Edit > Labels & Text > Paste Label from the main menu.

To Create an Ad-Hoc Label to Apply to Multiple Objects:

  1. Add a label to a feature and use the Fonts palette to style the label; type the label text as desired (note, you can use the ‘%%’ intelligent label tag here).
  2. Right-click your new label and choose ‘Copy Label’ from the contextual menu.
  3. Select the feature(s) you want to label and choose Edit > Labels & Text > Paste Label from the main menu. The label and its properties will be applied to all the features you have selected.

To Edit the Style of Multiple Labels:

Properties applied to labels, such as Fonts, apply to all labels in the selection.

  1. Choose the Select [s] tool.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Hold the Shift-key and click multiple labels, or hold the Command-key and click to select or deselect labels.
  • Choose Edit > Select All, then choose Edit > Labels & Text > Select All Labels.

3. Open the Fonts palette and change text styling. Properties applied to labels, such as Fonts, apply to all labels in the selection.

To Copy and Paste Labels:

To_Copy_and_Paste_Labels.png
  1. Choose the Select [s] tool.
  2. Right-click onto a label and choose ‘Copy Label’ from the context menu.
  3. Select the receiving object or objects and choose Edit > Text & Labels > Paste Label from the main menu, or right-click and choose ‘Paste Label’ from the context menu.

HINT: An object can have multiple labels associated with it. For example, a symbol can have two separate labels positioned such that they do not overlap.

To Delete Labels:

  1. Select one or more objects to delete labels.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • Choose Edit > Labels & Text > Delete Label from the main menu.
  • Right-click a label and choose ‘Delete Label’ from the contextual menu.