Adding Layers with Attributes

Often, you have a Map that contains some layer you are presenting and you need to add some additional data, perhaps a label layer, to the existing map.  This article describes how to do this.

Start with an existing Map


Now Add a Layer

Create a new layer and rename it in the Layer Stack to Annotations and then drag it to the top of the Layer Stack.


Add the Label Column

With the new layer selected, choose Window > Show Layer Info to bring up the Layer Info window.  Note that the Layer Info window will change based on whatever the selected layer happens to be at the time, so if you change selection in the Layer Stack, you will see the layer information for the newly-selected layer.

With the Layer Stack frontmost, and your new layer selected, click the + button to add a new Column (otherwise known as a Field or Attribute).


By default, the new column's name is New Column and it can store a 32-character String (or text) label.  Now, change the Display Name to Label and you'll notice that the Field Name will also change to Label


Add a Line Feature to Label

Lines and Points both work well for Annotations, but we're going to use the Line feature type here because it provides more control over the drawing of the annotation text.  Point features always have their labels come to the right at a 0° angle to the East horizontal (paper orientation).  Line features always have their labels track the line feature as a baseline.

  • Choose Edit > Add Feature…
  • Click Line to select a line-type feature
  • Option-click at the start of the line to plant the starting point, and then option-click where you want to end the line.

After the line is complete, press Return on the keyboard or choose Edit > Add Feature again to stop the feature adding mode.

Add the Label Text

To add the text for the label, click in the Data View and click under the Label column next to your newly-created feature.  Then type in the label text and click outside of the box, or press Return on the keyboard to stop editing.

Add the Label to the Style

You may close the Layer Info window by clicking in the close box.

With the new layer selected in the Layer Stack, choose Layer > Show Layer Styles...

(this will bring up the Layer Style window for your selected layer)

Next to Insert Field click the menu and choose the name of your label (Label) to insert this into the Item Label field



After inserting the field name, you'll notice the field's name in a colored background which denotes that this text is a placeholder for whatever is in the Label field in your layer.  You'll also notice that the text Sample now shows up in the Preview box.


In this illustration, you can see the style preview, the actual line with the label and the Data View showing the label.


Remove the Line Stroke (Optional)

You may choose to have the label without the visible line. In this case, you can set the width of the line to 0 in the Layer Style window and the line will not be drawn, but the text will, as if the line still existed.

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