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Maplex labels into Illustrator

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#1
Francis S.

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It was mentioned in a Maplex thread in 2005 that curved Maplex labels broke into individual characters on their way to Illustrator.

Is this still true?

I would be using the 9.2 Maplex (planning to evaluate Maplex as soon as ESRI gets around to giving me a Registration number to try the demo!) into Illustrator 9 on the PC (then into Freehand 9 on the Mac).
Francis Stanton
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#2
CHART

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I am not a Maplex user, but I assume that as most text placement routines, curved text along a path is broken down in individual characters. This is probably due to the fact that text along a path as a unique entity is inherent to only a few software package (namely graphics software and not in GIS software).
Chart

#3
Cartisan Maps

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Yes, this is indeed true. Maplex will export curved text as individual characters. Additionally, if your layer is set to allow curved text but the label engine places the label uncurved, it will often export on an uneven plane (slightly bumpy looking, where one character is higher/lower than it surrounding characters).

I haven't had any success fixing the broken labels by using the javascript plug-in which combines text segments.

Brody.
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#4
MapMedia

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No fix that I am aware of. In Illy, one method to fix these broken text strings is to copy the letters together to clipboard, select road centerline segment, and select text on path, paste. Would love to see a script do this, but the process requires the cartographer's care, so it only has to happen once. Very time consuming anyway.

credit this workaround originally to Alpine Mapping Guild!

#5
Cartisan Maps

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That's a real good tip which I hadn't come across or thought of. I'll have to start employing it. From my experience using the javacript plug-in which combines characters, I've always had the result be jumbled up and in the incorrect order. Does this technique often have the same issues?

If so, I could see the advantage of perhaps experting uncurved labels from Arc, then working from there.

Regardless, the less typing, and the lower the margin of error, the better.

Brody.
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#6
Matthew Hampton

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I have not experienced any jumbled letters when selecting/pasting in Illustrator. In fact it kind-of freaks me out that I can't get illustrator to jumble the letters. Even when I select the letters out of order, the software puts them in the right order!

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#7
Maisie

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I haven't tried it, but Rick Johnson has a free script that will do this.

From his website (http://rj-graffix.co...re/scripts.html):


Concat Text for AI 10 or CS

Select point text objects that were imported as multiple point text objects broken between or even within words, then run this script to combine each line of text into a single point text object. Objects are parsed in the order in which they were created in the document. If a text object is positioned lower than the previous one, it's considered a new line, and a new point text object is created for it.

#8
Martin Gamache

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I haven't tried it, but Rick Johnson has a free script that will do this.

From his website (http://rj-graffix.co...re/scripts.html):


Concat Text for AI 10 or CS

Select point text objects that were imported as multiple point text objects broken between or even within words, then run this script to combine each line of text into a single point text object. Objects are parsed in the order in which they were created in the document. If a text object is positioned lower than the previous one, it's considered a new line, and a new point text object is created for it.


My experience with this plug-in were not great, and last time I checked it was Mac only.

#9
Francis S.

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... I could see the advantage of perhaps experting uncurved labels from Arc, then working from there.

Regardless, the less typing, and the lower the margin of error, the better.


Using straight labels has become my standard procedure from ArcView to Freehand. With practice and luck it's possible to get the labels to end up at roughly the right size - this involves using the reference scale settings. There is a (new in 9,2, I think) label tagger tool which can fill in missing labels. (tip: freeze the automatic labels once they're made).

Once exported, I've had to Release Clipping Path on each layer in Illustrator before exporting to Freehand in order to get the labels to show up in Freehand. After that they are pretty well behaved, although sometimes there is an extra invisible character at the end of each text box which can't be globally deleted. I think that invisible character must come from certain datasets....
Francis Stanton
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