Label expressions with multiple spaces are not honored by the Maplex label engine

Last Published: April 25, 2020


When a labeling expression is created with multiple spaces to provide formatting, these spaces are not recognized by the Maplex label engine.

For example:

In the Standard label engine

[field1] & "          " & [field2]

is recognized as:
value1          value2

In the Maplex label engine, the same label expression is recognized as:
value1 value2


The Maplex label engine does not accept multiple spaces. When Maplex encounters multiple spaces in a row, the label engine parses them out and replaces them with one space only.


Use word spacing in Maplex to space the label. This workaround is only available for use with polyline layers.

  1. Open the Label Manager.
  2. Highlight the label class that needs labels.
  3. Click the Properties button.
  4. Click the Label Position tab.
  5. Click the Line label placement style drop-down and select Street Placement.
  6. Click the Options button and check the Spread Words along street check box.
  7. Increase the Maximum word spacing percentage of the font width.

    The value entered is the maximum distance the words can be separated from each other. A value of 0 implies that there is no limit, and the words are stretched to fit the length of the feature. The distance is measured as a percentage of the average font width of the current font.

  8. Click OK to exit all dialog boxes.

Article ID:000008536

  • ArcMap

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