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Import Label Symbology

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  • Similar button to Import... on the Symbology tab of the Layer Properties, but on the Labels tab instead.

    Would allow you to Import Label Symbology from another layer in the map or a saved layer file.  It would also be nice if it not only imported the label symbology, but also any Label Field expressions, SQL Queries, Symbol Classes, and Placement Properties associated with the layer you are trying to match.
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    Posted by   sabrown73  to ArcGIS Desktop Jun 29, 2010

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Comments (12)

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Mar 12, 2014
The import symbology allows you to copy symbology even from layers that have broken data sources.  Similarly, I would like to be able to copy/import labeling parameters from a layer even if the data source is broken.   Should also be able to copy/import just the labeling parameters from a layer file like you can with symbology.

Sep 5, 2012
Yes totally agree with this one - at moment the only way that anything held in Label Manager can be "saved" is by using MXD Views or saving out to a Layer file. The downside of this is that you don't really want the baggage that goes with this if the  only bit you are interested in is the label "design".

We have one Schema design that has in excess of 250 (subtyped) feature classes that is used for many map scales and products where we just change sybolising routines for the scale/product we are producing using various Visual Specification Tables and MXD master templates.

We have experimented with using complex expressions to handle text placement when we create the labels using our various visual spec tables but this then means that we have lots tags for the formatting in the field for the label which can make the label "too long" (eg if max field length for a NAM field is only 30 chars, by including the font formating tags this would exceed this number of characters allowed).

This makes the fields too cumbersome and hard for the layman to read (and can "break" them) and would also mean that our master database would also end up having the tags in the NAM fields which is undesirable. So instead we use Label Manager to set up the text formatting/placement properties. But this is not portable.

We would like to be able to "design once - use many". Ideally this would be done by setting up all the various label properties ONCE in Label Manager and then to be able to export/save these label properties for each feature to eg XML (and similarly import when going the other way). This means that instead of reinventing the wheel each time for text placement of "like for like" features in different products we would then only have to make minor tweaks to the labels to suit the differing map scales, products etc.

Jul 11, 2012
I made an Add-In for this.  Id does exactly what you want but is not on the symbology tab, rather it is a button you can place wherever you'd like in ArcMap. 
It is available for download here:

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Mar 15, 2012
A thousand times yes!  I'm very particular about labeling for published maps, and there doesn't seem to be any reason this tab of a layer's properties dialog box couldn't have the same 'Import...' button as you find on symbology and hatches tabs.  If not this, then at least a button for the label manager within this tab. (I see where you can copy and paste parameters)

Copying and pasting layers only applies to the same feature class; sometimes you want to bring labeling properties across these.

Feb 27, 2012
I like this idea and would adjust the import to be interactive if needed.  Say I want to map an old field name to other field names that might be new, and also have a pulldown to map the symbology item in the field to the items in the new field.  For example the old field RoadType has County, City, etc. and the new field has codes 01, 02, 03, etc.

Jul 5, 2011
My first thought on doing this is to just copy/paste the layer with the labels you have configured to a new layer, and then change the source of the data to the new dataset.

May 17, 2011
I too would really like this feature.

I spend a fair amount of time flipping between layer properties tabs to recreate similar labeling setups.

Something else that would help along these lines, would be to allow the user to open the layer properties from two different layers simultaneously.

Dec 28, 2010
A ringing "yes please!" to this comment--it would be wonderful to import the label classes and their associated expressions without having to import an entire layer file.  All too often, I find myself disassembling the layer file just to get at the labeling fruit in the center!  Also, when troubleshooting labeling issues, sometimes it helps to look at a clean file--but uh oh, you have to re-set up all the label classes.

Dec 6, 2010
Label Manager... now where did that come from!! Thanks!!! (doh!)

Jul 8, 2010
Excelent tip on the Copy Parameters suggestion.  I'd still like ESRI to take it a step further, but in the mean time, this is a time saver compared to the way I was performing this repetative task.  Thanks!

Jun 30, 2010
It's a good reminder about the Label Manager, but I don't think it lets you copy the classes themselves--only the symbol, scale, and placement settings to an existing class. And having an option to import classes in the properties dialog of the layer itself, where one is often working, would be a convenience anyway.

Jun 30, 2010
You kind of do this already with the Copy Parameters feature found in the Label Manager in ArcMap, right?



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