Frequently asked question

Is the abbreviation dictionary available in ArcGIS Online?

Last Published: August 18, 2023


No, the abbreviation dictionary is not available in ArcGIS Online. Therefore, any abbreviation dictionary applied to feature labels in ArcGIS Pro is not available in ArcGIS Online when the data is published as a hosted feature layer.

The abbreviation dictionary is applied to improve map readability, as it prevents the overcrowding of spaces on the map. In ArcGIS Pro, the abbreviation dictionary allows the Maplex Label Engine to shorten long labels to fit small spaces. When an abbreviation dictionary is enabled in ArcGIS Pro, the Maplex Label Engine first attempts to place the full text of the label. If the attempt is not successful, it abbreviates the unplaced label text with any words found in the abbreviation dictionary.

To replicate the abbreviation dictionary behavior in ArcGIS Online, customize shortened labels for the long labels in ArcGIS Online Map Viewer. Follow the steps below to create custom labels in Map Viewer by using an Arcade expression.

  1. In ArcGIS Online, access the desired hosted feature layer and open it in Map Viewer.
  2. In the Layers pane, expand the group layer and select the layer.
The layers list in the Layers pane.
  1. On the Settings toolbar, click the More The More button on the Settings toolbar. button and select Labels.
The More options icon on the Settings toolbar and the Labels option.
  1. In the Label features pane, toggle on Enable labels, and click Add label class.
The Enable labels toggle button and the Add label class button.
  1. Under Label field, click the drop-down arrow.
The drop-down button under Label field.
  1. In the Replace field list, select the attribute field to create the label with. In this example, the 'TYPE' field is selected.
Th Replace field list.
  1. Under Label field, click the Use expression The Use expression button. button to open the editor window.
  2. In the editor window, use the following sample code to customize labels for the selected field. Replace '<insert field name>' with the field name, '<long label>' with the attribute field name, and '<shortened label>' with the preferred short label for the attribute.
var schoolType = $feature["<insert field name>"]
When(schoolType == '<long label 1>', "<shortened label 1>",
     schoolType == '<long label 2>', "<shortened label 2>",
  1. Click Run to verify the expression, and click Done to apply the expression.
The Arcade script in the editor window.
  1. Click Save to save the changes.

The image below shows the customized labels; PR for private and PB for public school types are displayed accordingly on the map.

The customized shortened labels showing on the map.

Article ID:000030552

  • ArcGIS Online

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