Working with Text Labels

This help page will walk you through all of the ways you can work with text labels in ExpertGPS, and answer common questions about text size and positioning, dealing with label overlap, temporarily hiding all of the labels on the map, auto-generating map labels from waypoint and track names, and creating multi-line text labels.

Adding text to the map

Let's start with ways you can add text to a map. Every object you add to the map (waypoints and notes, route, tracks, and shapes) can have a text label on the map. Waypoints and notes are both point objects. Routes, tracks, and shapes are used to draw lines and filled polygons. Each of these objects has a Label on Map field which you can access by clicking Edit after selecting an object on the list or in the map. Waypoint and note text labels are displayed next to a map symbol that marks the exact location of the point on the map. Text labels for linear routes, tracks, and shapes (like roads and GPS tracks) are drawn along the line, and you can adjust their location along the line. Filled polygon routes, tracks, and shapes (like fields and lakes) are drawn in the center of the polygon. You can reposition the label within the polygon.

Repositioning text labels on the map

Point objects like waypoints and notes have a Text Position option in the Edit dialog which allows you to position the label relative to the point's symbol on the map. You can also use the outside ring of number keys on the numeric keypad to move a selected point's text label, relative to the position of the 5 key. (For example, 8 is directly above 5 on the numeric keypad, so pressing 8 will put the text label above the selected point's map symbol.)

You can also create a "callout" text label some distance away from the point symbol by right-clicking on the map where you want the text and clicking Place Label Here. A line will be drawn from the symbol to the text label.

Linear routes, tracks, and shapes have a marker (orange triangle) which you can move along the track by clicking. Right-click and click Place Label Here to slide the text label to the marker location. Choose a relatively straight section of the track for best readability.

Polygon shapes have their labels placed near their centers. You can move this location by right-clicking and clicking Place Label Here at a new location, after first selecting the object.

Resizing text labels on the map

To the right of Label on Map in the Edit dialogs, you'll find a font size selector, allowing you to change the font size of each object. There is also a global text size setting in the Map Display Options dialog, which allows you to increase or decrease the font size of (or hide entirely) all of the text on the map.

Shortcut Key Command / Description
[ Reduce Font Size - if items are selected, their font size is reduced. Otherwise, the global font size is reduced for ALL text on the map.
] Increase Font Size - if items are selected, their font size is increased. Otherwise, the global font size is increased for ALL text on the map.

Overlapping text labels on the map

As you zoom out to view a larger area of the map, objects are drawn closer together, and text labels may start to overlay. To increase readability, ExpertGPS hides one of the text labels when two labels would be drawn in the same location. (You can toggle this behavior on and off in Map Display Options). If you need both labels to be displayed at a certain zoom level (for a printed map, for example) you can use the number keys or Place Label Here, as described above, to move the labels further apart.

Multi-line text labels

Sometimes you may want to create a label for a waypoint or a shape that contains multiple lines. You can use \n to create a new line in the Label on Map field. For example: Soybean Field\n24.3 acres

Auto-generating GPS names from map labels

For waypoints, routes, and tracks, ExpertGPS has both a Label on Map and a Name on GPS field in the Edit dialogs. As you type the text for the map label, ExpertGPS will try to create a name for the object on your GPS, shortening it as needed to stay within the maximum number of characters your GPS allows.

Similarly, when you receive data from your GPS, ExpertGPS uses the name data from the GPS to label waypoints on the map. By default, ExpertGPS doesn't label routes and tracks from your GPS, as these typically have auto-generated timestamps for names on your GPS.

Adding map legends and titles to printed maps

Read about how to add a map legend to your map. You can add your own logo and title to printed maps in ExpertGPS.

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