Labeling Points – an Addendum

Thursday night, I showed you how to use descriptor keys, point labels, and point label styles to create no muss, no fuss insertion AND labeling of features. My example was a tree shot by a survey crew – I brought in a point that had a tree block as the marker and the full description as the point label. Now the question has been posed to me – “How can I scale my tree symbols to show differing sizes for the blocks?” It’s simple – and here’s how:

First, we have to have the diameter of the tree listed in the point description – in our case, we do, which is how we’re labeling the tree. Now, we have to edit our description keys to enable point scaling. To do this, we will set a parameter to scale by and apply that parameter to the X and Y direction of the point block. My scale parameter is going to be Parameter 1 for this example. Remember, my points are shot with the following description format: TREE {dia} {species}. For example, TREE 48 OAK is a 48″ Oak Tree. Simple enough. For descripion keys, the second item in the description is Parameter 1. Don’t ask me why, but the first item is Parameter 0, the second is Parameter 1, etc. Here’s a screen shot showing how that should be set in your description key set:

To make these settings apply to our points (correctly), we need to check the scale of our point style – for this particular block, it should be set to a fixed scale of 1 and 1 (X and Y). And to set that, we go to the point style and pick the marker tab as follows:

The end result is not only points that come in correctly labeled with no additional input from the user, but blocks that are scaled automatically as well! Here’s what you get:

Have fun!


  1. Anonymous says:

    Is there a way to accomplish the point scaling if the descriptions are not space delineated? i.e. “TREE48” instead of “TREE 48” ?

  2. Jason Hickey says:

    None that I know of – I’ll check into that and see what I can come up with.