Why aren't my Surfer contour labels displayed?

Contour labels can be missing from contour lines, or disappear when the map is overlaid with a larger map, due to the default settings for displaying contour labels based on the Font Size, Curve Tolerance, Label to Label Distance, and Label to Edge Distance. You can adjust these settings to help display the contour labels.


To change these settings:

  1. Select the Contours layer in the Contents window.
  2. In the Properties window, click the Levels tab.
  3. Set the Level method to Advanced.
  4. Click the Edit Levels button.
  5. In the Levels for Map dialog, click the Label column header.
  6. In the Labels dialog you can edit the label settings.
    1. Increase the Curve Tolerance to a larger value (e.g. 1.5).
    2. Decrease the Label to Label Distance to a value well within the size of your map. This is the distance between labels along the length of any given contour line.
    3. Decrease the Label to Edge Distance to a value well within the size of your map. This is the distance between the map edge and the labels on the map.
    4. Check the Affected Levels section to be sure the First value is the first level you want labeled, and the Skip value is not too high (this is the number of levels to skip between labeled levels).  
    5. You may also want to click on the Font button to reduce the Size (points) and click OK.
  7. Click OK to close the Labels dialog.
  8. Click OK to close the Levels for Map dialog and apply the changes.


If adjusting those settings do not help, you can manually add labels to the map by right-clicking the Contour layer and clicking Edit Contour Labels. Hold the CTRL key on your keyboard and click on a contour line to add a label at that location. You can also drag labels along the contour line to reposition them. Press ESC on the keyboard to save the changes. Be aware that the Edit Contour Labels command should be performed last. Any other editing of the contour map will remove the custom labels.  


Updated November 2, 2017

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