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.

To Add Labels

  • To add a single label to an object, right-click the object and choose ‘New Label’ from the contextual menu.
  • To add labels to multiple objects at once, select the objects and choose ‘Edit > Labels & Text > New Label’ from the main menu.

When labels are added to shapes or tracks, the text reads the default name of the object. If the object name is assigned automatically as the object is drawn, then the label for "Shape 28" will read "Shape 28". To edit a label’s text on-the-fly, double-click the label and type new text. You may see a code starting with “%%” highlighted – this is a teg that tells the label what attribute value to detect. You can ignore this tag and type a free-text label with the text you want. Alternatively, change the value for the object attribute ‘Name’ in the Attribute Tab. If you have imported map shapefile data with an attribute ‘Name’ the name of the object will automatically be detected.

HINT: You can select more than one object at once and change their attribute values.

About Labels with Style

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 Styles Tab.

Changing a label directly will not over-write a Library style, rather these changed labels will be saved as “ad-hoc” styles unless they are created using the Styles Tab 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

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 to select it, or
  • To select multiple labels, hold the shift key and click additional objects that have labels, or hold the command key and click to select or deselect labels.

To Show (or Hide) Labels

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 Label Positioning

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 shape or symbol. Hold 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.” As needed, 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, connectable track, or simple shape object.

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 ‘Convert To > Shape’ from the Geometry Tab, or right-click the object and choose ‘Convert To Shape’.

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 > New Label’ from the main menu.

To Copy/Paste a Label 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.

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 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 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.