Jump to content

 
Photo

Maplex font for road lables?

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1
MapMedia

MapMedia

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,029 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Davis, California
  • United States

This post primarily concerns using Maplex to label road networks.

I have noticed, through trial and error, that the ESRI Maplex label engine (ArcInfo 9.2) produces different placement results when using various fonts (same pt size).

Most importantly, when exporting to Adobe Illustrator, the Maplex labels either type-crash horribly or totally disappear when using certain fonts.

So far, I have had the best success with Helvetica, but this seems to slow Illustrator down a lot.

Does anyone have similar stories or thoughts to share on this? I am anxious to know! :)

#2
Unit Seven

Unit Seven

    Legendary Contributor

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 266 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Zealand
  • New Zealand

Slightly off topic but some info we have found on the same subject:

One thing we have found is using Postscript font Zurich with Windows font smoothing activated causes a huge lag in labeling time. When we switched to Arial (True type flavor opentype font) the lag dissappeared.

I imagine this is due to the difference in font technology and the fact TT was a Microsoft (and Apple) developed spec. If we switch font smoothing off the speed of labeling gets more in line with each other.

I am speculating that it's a TT vs PS issue as I never use font smoothing anyway (just another resource to consume) and we haven't done any tests of other TT vs PS vs different flavors of Opentype fonts—if anyone else has any info I'd be interested.

Hope it helps someone.
S a m B r o w n

U N I T S E V E N
unit.seven@gmail.com

Miramar, Wellington
N E W Z E A L A N D

#3
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,882 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

Just to start of with a disclaimer: I'm not a Maplex user, but I am interested in the technology.

I have noticed, through trial and error, that the ESRI Maplex label engine (ArcInfo 9.2) produces different placement results when using various fonts (same pt size).


That makes sense. A condensed font is narrower than the same font in regular style. Is Maplex smart enough to try condensed when regular doesn't fit?
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#4
Unit Seven

Unit Seven

    Legendary Contributor

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 266 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Zealand
  • New Zealand

It is smart enough to abbreviate or drop off the word Street/Road etc when it doesn't fit and it can be set to reduce point size and/or false-condense the font but that's not something I like. In this case I write a second text placement rule with less priority than the first and try to label the unnamed streets with the true condensed version of the family.
S a m B r o w n

U N I T S E V E N
unit.seven@gmail.com

Miramar, Wellington
N E W Z E A L A N D

#5
François Goulet

François Goulet

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 688 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mille-Isles, Qc
  • Interests:Cartography, History, Graphic Design and almost everything else...
  • Canada

Slightly off topic but some info we have found on the same subject:
One thing we have found is using Postscript font Zurich with Windows font smoothing activated causes a huge lag in labeling time. When we switched to Arial (True type flavor opentype font) the lag dissappeared.
Hope it helps someone.


Didn't even know that the labeling time could be reduced by using another font (never thought of it)... Thanks!

So, you help at least one person (I'm sure there's others ;) )

#6
MapMedia

MapMedia

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,029 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Davis, California
  • United States

Slightly off topic but some info we have found on the same subject:

One thing we have found is using Postscript font Zurich with Windows font smoothing activated causes a huge lag in labeling time. When we switched to Arial (True type flavor opentype font) the lag dissappeared.

I imagine this is due to the difference in font technology and the fact TT was a Microsoft (and Apple) developed spec. If we switch font smoothing off the speed of labeling gets more in line with each other.

I am speculating that it's a TT vs PS issue as I never use font smoothing anyway (just another resource to consume) and we haven't done any tests of other TT vs PS vs different flavors of Opentype fonts—if anyone else has any info I'd be interested.

Hope it helps someone.


Is this in Illy or Arcmap environment? Also, how do you control font smoothing?

I have not quantified which fonts work for best placement and speed, but I definitely have noticed certain fonts are handled better by Maplex, and certain Maplex outputs, when transfered to Illy in AI doc, handle fine (less crashes and no slowing down of app) while others vary (tons of crashes or Illy slows down a lot, even with just 100 street labels) - and I have many poster size projects with thousands of street labels etc., and Illy is as fast as ever, so my hunch is that the Maplex settings are really important for me.

If I crack this nut down the road I will post my findings in this thread. Thanks for the useful feedback.

#7
Unit Seven

Unit Seven

    Legendary Contributor

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 266 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Zealand
  • New Zealand

This is in ArcMap and is the time it takes to do the labeling—not sure what happens once it has been converted to annotation.

You switch font smoothing off in Windows—right click on 'My Computer' > Advanced tab > Performance > Settings > generally I set the whole thing for 'adjsut for best performance' which also switches off font smoothing but in th elist you can also untick 'smooth edges of screen fonts'

As I've said I'm not sure which fonts this will speed up but it def made a huge change for our Postscript version of Zurich BT so I imagine it will help speed up labeling in Arc for all Postscript fonts.

I don't think it would make much change to Adobe apps as I'm pretty sure they use their own text engine and don't rely on the Windows rendering.
S a m B r o w n

U N I T S E V E N
unit.seven@gmail.com

Miramar, Wellington
N E W Z E A L A N D

#8
François Goulet

François Goulet

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 688 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mille-Isles, Qc
  • Interests:Cartography, History, Graphic Design and almost everything else...
  • Canada

This is in ArcMap and is the time it takes to do the labeling—not sure what happens once it has been converted to annotation.


Maybe that's why I never noticed anything. I only work with annotations, but in the same time, font smoothing could be an issue too. I always thought that the initial labelling was long because my data is in an external SQL database...

#9
Unit Seven

Unit Seven

    Legendary Contributor

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 266 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Zealand
  • New Zealand

My guess as its a system setting to do with the rendering of the font is it would prob slow down as well but once labels are stored as anno everything gets a lot quicker anyway.

Anyway IMO it's an unessasary resource so I leave off all the time. Quite substantial the performance gains you can get by switching off this, windows indexing service, 32bit system colour (drop shadows and nice smooth edged icons) and other unnessacary services on an older computer.

I did once have a font that came through totally messed up (glyphs replaced with others) when I brought it into Illy. I think it was Arial from memory when I went to eps—someone from ESRI asked me about it on here and I sent hime a MXD and Personal GeoDB to look into but didn't get a reply. As the fonts that were failing were ones we weren't meant to be using (style was meant to be switched to Zurich) we never chased this any furthur.

Not sure if you've seen this post or not but I posted how to get labels into Illy unbroken and on a curve from Maplex http://www.cartotalk...amp;#entry14108

Cheers.
S a m B r o w n

U N I T S E V E N
unit.seven@gmail.com

Miramar, Wellington
N E W Z E A L A N D

#10
jerseysbest

jerseysbest

    Key Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 51 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington, DC
  • Interests:Road and Mtn Biking, vintage Mustangs, skiing, guitar, and maps of course.
  • United States

I've always had trouble with type crashing when exporting as an .AI file, I've settled on exporting it as a PDF, which unfortunately breaks up the string of annotation into individual pieces for each letter, but they maintain their position.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->