## The Art of the Span: A Style to Play With

The past few days have been extra spantastic for me, if you couldn’t tell.Â  I couldn’t rest without sharing a little bit more about how these labels work…. and how you can really REALLY understand what they are doing and how to get them to work for you every time in a predictable way.Â

Tonight’s post is kind of like Picture Pages with Bill Cosby.Â  Remember those when you were a kid?Â  The idea is that youÂ build a sampleÂ style and play along to see how things react.Â  I may leave you with more questions than I answer tonight, but guaranteed you will have a better grasp on what is actually happening to your labels.

I put together a spanning label style that has some “indicators” built into it.Â  You shouldÂ build something similarÂ and go through some trials with this sample label so that you can better understand how the spanning label behaves.

I will not be repeating too much from yesterday’s posts, so please be sure to refer to them for more information.

##### PARCEL GEOMETRY HAS DIRECTION

Parcel geometry direction is determined by the way you drew it (ie click here FIRST and there SECOND).

##### SEGMENT LABELS HAVE THEIR OWN DIRECTION

The first time you label a parcel segment, it uses the segment direction.Â  If you reverse a segment label, it DOES NOT change the segment direction, just the label direction.Â  Therefore, if you have two segment labels on a segment, one could be reversed and the other can be normal.

##### IDEA No. 1: THE NO-PLOT GUIDELINE DIRECTON ARROW LABEL

Because linework is never this straightforward, nor are we really thinking about line direction when we draw our lines, I made myself a label style with a No-Plot Spanning Direction Arrow.Â  Then, I use “Label Multiple Segments” and throw it in there to help me identify natural vertices (see yesterday’s spanning posts) and direction.

If I find that my initial parcel geometry does not follow the direction I would like, I can:

1. Use the parcel segment editing tools to delete that segment and draw it over again in the right direction
2. Make a mental note that some sort of reversing or style swapping will have to take place in order to get my labeling needs met.

REVERSING VERSUS FLIPPINGI was having a hard time articulating this next part, so my old friend Mr. Zeeben helped me out…

“…the label is located much like a station and offset x being the offset and y being the station…”Â  –N.J. Zeeben, January, 2007

LABEL REVERSE:

Reverses the location of 0,0.Â

In other words: Reversing swaps Start and End, Positive Y stays the same.

LABEL FLIP:

Â Flipping leaves Start and End in the same place, but changes Positive Y for Negative Y

Let’s look at some pictures.Â

I have a line segment style built that has a bunch of components that will help us learn… Including a little miniature X and Y axis and word labels for Start and End (“Station Zero” being Start)

Â

What it looks like when I first label with it…

A bit of a key to the label…

Let’s see what happens when I REVERSE it.

Notice that START and END are reversed, but the Y remains the same.Â  Also notice my direction arrow span is intact because it has a slight Y offset and positive Y is still in the same direction.

Â

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Let’s see what happens when I flip it…

Notice that START and END are the same, Y’s are flipped.Â  Also note that since my direction arrow has that small positive Y offset and now Y is positive in the opposite direction, my direction arrow NO LONGER SPANS.Â  This means that anything tacked onto it will also no longer span (like crow’s feet).

You can figure out if a label has been reversed or flipped (or both) by

Right Click>Label Properties

More fun… Stick a length on that beast.

##### SPANNING LENGTH LABEL LOCATION No. 1

Let’s look at a spanning length attached to <Feature> Label Location.

Upon insertion, the length is correct.

Reverse it.Â  Length still correct. Direction Arrow intact, as above.

Â

Flipped.Â  Darn it.Â  Both broken.

##### SPANNING LENGTH LABEL LOCATION No. 2

Here is another, and actually more common, spanning length location.Â  I’ve tacked one to the START of the direction arrow.Â  It could just as easily be tacked to the END of the direction arrow (see yesterday’s post).

Reversed.Â  Start and End reversed. Length broken, Direction Arrow OK.

Flipped.Â  Length OK, Direction Arrow Broken.

And you will also notice….

And that my friends, we will cover another day in a post called:

### One comment

1. Paul Wurmser says:

Dana, Informative articles on Span text. You referred to vreateing a No-Plot Spanning Direction Arrow from an earlier article. Which one was it and exactly how do you create the Arrow if it’s not detailed in the posting?

Thanks,

Paul Wurmser
ECT