Cartographer's Toolkit

Map Making Tips, Tricks, and Inspiration

Masking Text in ArcGIS

August 11th, 2012

When certain features interfere with your labels like in this example, where the graticule line goes through the map title, the map appears unpolished:

If you are using ArcGIS to make the map, you can fix this by masking the text. Use the exact same background color that is underneath whatever feature you are “interrupting” and it’ll look like you purposely started and stopped the feature–in this example, the graticule line–before and after the text.

To do this: double-click the text feature, edit symbol, mask, halo, symbol, change color to the map’s background color, then click OK about five times. You can play around with the mask width to get just the right amount of spacing between the text and the surrounding feature(s).

The polished end-product:

Cartographer's Toolkit

Map Making Tips, Tricks, and Inspiration