Labeling schematic features

Labeling in your schematic diagrams

Labels can be dynamically displayed on schematic features contained in your schematic diagrams. They are based on schematic attributes stored in the schematic feature classes—schematic attributes with Field storage—or on any other attribute returned by a join specified on the feature layers related to the schematic feature classes.

Labeling schematic features is done using the Standard and Maplex Label Engines in ArcMap.

Learn more essential labeling concepts

Feature annotations can also be used to describe your schematic features or add general information on your schematic diagrams. Labels on your schematic features can also be converted to standard feature annotations, but they cannot be converted to feature-linked annotations—the Feature Linked check box on the Convert Labels to Annotation dialog box is unavailable for any feature layer related to a schematic feature class.

Learn about converting labels to annotation features


When schematic feature geometry is modified, the feature annotations are not updated; it is recommended that you convert labels on a schematic feature class to standard feature annotations only when your schematic diagram layout is complete.


Schematic attributes based on the Associated Field attribute type and the On Refresh/Redraw evaluation mode cannot be used as the other schematic attributes to label schematic features. Since ArcMap labeling engines don't force the load of the associated field values by default, you need to specify the following advanced label expression for these particular attributes:

Advanced expression to get labels based on an Associated Field schematic attribute with the On Redraw/refresh evaluation mode correctly display

Input parameters:

  • [ATTR_AS_LABEL]: the schematic attribute you want to be used for labeling
  • [PROPERTYSET], [DATASOURCEID], [UCID], and [UOID]: the schematic feature class fields that have to be loaded to keep the related associated field value up-to-date

Note that [DATASOURCEID], [UCID], and [UOID] fields are available from the Fields list in the Label Expression dialog box and can be picked up from this list when building the following advanced expression. But since the [PROPERTYSET] field is not available from this list, you must directly type it in the expression box.

			FindLabel = [ATTR_AS_LABEL]
End Function

Labeling schematic diagrams in the same way

When the configuration of labels on the feature layers that compose a schematic layer is complete in ArcMap, you can export the schematic layer as a layer file and use Schematic Dataset Editor to import the layer properties as default schematic layer properties for your diagram template. This allows you to get all schematic diagrams based on that diagram template represented with the same labels.

Learn about importing default schematic layer properties


Labeling on schematic containers

When using the Standard Label Engine, labels on schematic containers with a polyline geometry are easier to customize than on containers with a polygon geometry. To manage labels on schematic containers that use a polygon geometry, it is recommended that you operate with the Maplex Label Engine.

For example, the labeling of schematic containers is often on the outside of the schematic features. When using the Standard Label Engine to display labels on schematic containers represented by a polyline, labels can be displayed on the outside of the containers (labels in purple on the Figure 1 below).

Polyline schematic containers—Standard labeling parameters can be set to display the purple labels outside the schematic containers
For schematic containers that use a polygon geometry, they can only display inside (Figure 2.1).
Polygon schematic containers—No Standard labeling parameters allow the display of the purple labels outside the schematic containers; they only display inside
In this case, you need to use the Maplex Label Engine to get the labels outside (Figure 2.2).
Polygon schematic containers—Maplex labeling parameters can be set to display the purple labels outside the schematic containers

Stacking labels on schematic features

When labels on your schematic features have a large horizontal length or when they represent concatenated attribute values, for example, labels coming from a formatted schematic attribute, you can use the Maplex Label Engine to split them into parts and stack these parts to reduce the labels' horizontal length.

The following figure shows red labels on schematic links after they have been stacked. The multiple lines correspond with multiple attribute values that were initially concatenated in one line, each attribute value being separated using the hyphen (-) text character. This is the specific character that has been used to automatically split the label as shown in Figure 3.

Stacking labels on schematic features—sample

Learn more about stacking labels

Related Topics