Frequently asked question

What is the difference between Maplex 3.x and the Maplex Labeling Engine (MLE)?

Last Published: April 25, 2020


The Maplex 3.x series is a standalone product, which has no connection to ArcGIS 9.x.

Maplex ver. 3.4 and 3.5 are still available as a separate product. It is a highly sophisticated labeling engine, which works on its own without any dependencies on any other ESRI products.

Maplex 3.x is not a previous version of Maplex Labeling Engine (MLE). MLE was developed based on Maplex 3.x concepts, but MLE and Maplex 3.x are not otherwise connected.

MLE was initially an Extension of ArcGIS, however, starting at ArcGIS 9.1, it is fully embedded in core ArcGIS.

ArcGIS 9.x has two labeling engines:

- Standard Labeling Engine (SLE) (default)
- Maplex Labeling Engine (MLE)

Both SLE and MLE are available in ArcMap. They are accessible through the Data Frame Properties dialog.

Article ID:000008456

  • Legacy Products
  • ArcMap 9 x

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