How To: Label selected features in ArcGIS Pro


In ArcGIS Pro, labels are used to describe features on the maps. The map below shows the labels for the springs around the Zion National Park in Utah.

In some instances, it may be necessary to highlight only the important or relevant springs in the area. This article explains how to label and display only selected features on the map.


To label selected features in ArcGIS Pro, the labels must be converted to feature-linked annotations. Follow the instructions described below:

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click the desired feature layer and select Label.

    Contents pane showing the label option
  2. Create a feature-linked annotation feature class for the feature layer.
    1. In the Catalog pane, right-click the default geodatabase, and click New > Annotation Feature Class.

      Catalog pane showing the annotation feature class option
    2. In the Create Annotation Feature Class dialog box, set the name and alias for the annotation feature class.

      Setting the name and alias
    3. Check the Link the annotation to the following feature class check box, and click the drop-down menu to select the feature class to link with the annotation.

      Image of check box: Link the annotation to the following feature class
    4. Set the reference scale, map units and the label engine for the annotation.

      Setting the reference scale and map units of the annotation
    5. Set the coordinate system and the XY tolerance for the annotation.
    6. Click Create Feature Class to create the annotation feature class.

      Image showing the create Feature Class option
  3. In the Maps tab, click Select to select the desired features. For more information, refer to ArcGIS Pro Web Help: Select features.

    Image showing the select icon

    The image below shows the selected features to be displayed on the map.

    Image showing the selected features on the map
  4. Create annotations for the selected features.
    1. In the Contents pane, right-click the desired layer again, and click Selection > Annotate Selected Features.

      Image showing the Annote Selected features option
    2. In the Annotate Selected Features geoprocessing dialog box, for Input Map, select Map.

      Input Map
    3. For Input Features, browse to the desired feature layer.

      Input Features option
    4. For Annotation Layers, select the feature-linked annotation feature layer created in step 2.

      Annotation layer
    5. Click Run to execute the tool.

      Run icon

The image below shows the labels for only the selected features displayed on the map.

Labels for selected features

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