All Signs Are Positive

The Magic Eight-ball sometimes delivers on your wishes. It’s not often that we give up free styles, but since this is one of my favorite hacks, and will probably be part of my AU class, here’s one for Sue. The point label style in the attached dwg file will label positive’s but not negatives with a sign. Follow the jump to see how.

First, a caveat. The negative sign isn’t going to truly go away, it’s just going to be REALLY small, so small that most plotters will ignore it, or skip over it as noise.image

Start with a new Expression in your Point Label Styles branch. Call it Sign. Here’s the expression:

IF({Point Elevation}>0,0.005,.0001^10)

So, essentially, if the point elevation is positive, the value returns a .005. If it’s negative, it will evaluate .0001 to the 10th power, which is bloody small.

Create an Elevation Only label style, but drop the sign off the value. Then create a new text component with just a “+” in it, and anchor it to the left middle of the elevation value, based on it’s right middle. Set the HEIGHT of this component equal to the SIGN expression you just made. If you then assign this label style to your points, you’ll be set.

You will need to play with the 0.005 portion to get it just right, based on your text preferences, and you might have to edit the expression when you open the drawing anew to get it to evaluate properly. That was a bug that I’m not sure has been fixed, and I’m too lazy to test it right now. Download the drawing here, and don’t say I never gave you anything.

For those in the US, have a great Memorial Day weekend. Call up those soldiers you know and thank them, and thank their families. They do a job every day that most couldn’t do for a week. We owe them our gratitude and respect. Thanks Grandpa, thanks Dad, thanks Jeep, and thanks Jim.


  1. sean twomey says:

    “..A plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel..” – Edmund Blackadder

    I can see why this is a favorite Hack.
    We’ve got crazy criteria for parcel labels in Oz which should now be possible with this.