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How to Label Plants

Our plant labeling tools make calling out your plants quick and easy. Because they're placed as "smart" blocks that can "read" your plants, your plant labels will identify and count plants automatically. You can choose to label individual plants or label an entire group consisting of the same plant variety.

Back in 2015, we redesigned the default plant labels in our system in order to answer user requests and make the labels more easily customizable. If you have a pre-2015 installation, you may need to delete all existing default plant label blocks and slides to access these updated label styles. For instructions, see our Updated Plant Labels page.

Plant Labeling Overview

We offer four possible methods of labeling plants:

 

To begin labeling plants, select one of these labeling tools, depending on your labeling preferences. You can then select the plants you want to label.

 

Note that each of the four labeling methods has slightly different instructions.

 

When placing plant labels, you can press the F8 and F9 keys to toggle between Ortho and Snap modes, respectively. This will allow you to lock your leaders at certain angles.

 

Label by Group

 

This labeling method allows you to call out several plants of the same variety at once. It's as easy as drawing a window around the plants you want to label.

 

You'll start by selecting the plant variety you want to label. The window will only recognize that variety, allowing you to label your plants extremely quickly.

 

 

Open the Label by Group tool:

 

 

F/X Planting ribbon, Group flyout

 

 

 

Plant Label toolbar

F/X Planting menu, Label - Group option

 

 

 

 

or type FX_PlantLabelGroup in the Command line

 

 

 

When you select Label by Group, the cursor will turn into a pickbox.

 

 

Click a plant in the group you want to label.

 

Labeling a groundcover or Shrub Area? Press G on your keyboard before selecting the planting area. The Group Label tool won't recognize planting hatches unless you press G first.

You can also right-click at this point to switch to the Label Single Plant tool.

The plant you select will determine the plant type that will receive the label. A leader line will be drawn from this plant – take care to select the correct plant.

 

 

 

Next, create a window around the area where you want this plant type to be counted.

 

 

Only the selected type of plant will be counted, so you don't need to worry about which other plants the window includes.

Want more control over the exact plants you select? The Label by Group tool also includes the option to select plants with a custom closed polyline rather than a simple box.

 

When the Group tool is active, you'll see a [Polygon] option in the Command line. If you type P and then press Enter, you can draw exactly where you want the tool to look. If you already have a polyline drawn around a set of plants, choose the Polygon option, then the [S]elect option. You'll then be able to pick that existing polyline as the boundary and your label will read in those plants respectively.

Want to use the previous window or polygon you created using the Label by Group tool? Right-click for your first window point when drawing your next window. The tool will be applied to the previous window or polygon.

 

 

 

 

A leader will originate from the first plant you selected, and a preview of a plant label will appear at the cursor crosshairs.

 

 

 

Move the mouse to the location where you want to place the label.

 

 

 

After placing the label, you can either press Esc or right-click to turn off plant labeling.

 

 

If you want, you can also select another plant to help define the plants you're labeling.

 

 

 

You can choose to label your plants by Group using only one leader, or using more than one leader (see images below).

 

Labeling by Group with only one leader

Labeling by Group with more than one leader

Notes on labeling plants by group:
  • You can adjust the plant selection of a label by Group after you've placed a label. After labeling, select Label by Group again. Then click the label – not the plants. Now draw a new window around a revised area. Those plants will be identified on the label.
  • Label by Group can label a maximum number of 1,800 plants at a time in a single group. If you attempt to label a group that exceeds 1,800 plants, you'll get an Error extending data message. Rather than labeling groups this large of individual trees or shrubs, we recommend either:
    • Adding your shrubs as Shrub Area or groundcovers, placing them as hatches, and using our other labeling tools to label the hatches (Single Plant for one planting area, or Connecting Line or Connecting Arc for several hatches at a time), or
    • Relying on the Plant Schedule to calculate your totals, labeling single plants here and there for identification
  • Label by Group also acts like an editing tool for your existing plant labels. You can move labels around like you would a Multileader, or add newly placed plants to an existing callout. Just open Label by Group and make your edits.

 

 

 

 

 

Label a Single Plant / Shrub Area / Groundcover

Use this labeling method to call out a single tree, shrub, Shrub Area, or groundcover.

 

 

 

Access the Label – Single Plant tool:

 

 

F/X Planting ribbon, Single flyout

 

 

 

Plant Label toolbar

F/X Planting menu, Label - Group option

 

 

 

 

or type FX_PlantLabelSingle in the Command line

 

 

 

When you select Label – Single Plant, the cursor will turn into a pickbox.

 

 

 

Click the plant you want to label.

 

 

 

Click again to immediately place the label.

 

 

 

You can also use Label – Single Plant to label a Shrub Area or groundcover.

 

 

 

Select Label – Single Plant, then use the pickbox to click within the Shrub Area or groundcover.

 

 

 

 

The label will be placed where you clicked.

When you add a plant as a Shrub Area or groundcover, you have the choice whether your plant labels will show plant quantities or square footage. More information >

If you use Shrub Areas, it's a good idea to label each one. Labeling groundcover areas is optional, and many clients prefer to let the groundcover hatch speak for itself while letting the plant schedule indicate the total quantity or area of groundcover.

If you want to connect and label several Shrub Areas or groundcover areas, you can use our Label by Connecting Arc or Label by Connecting Line tools.

 

 

 

 

 

Label by Connecting Line

The Label by Connecting Line tool calls out a group of plants of the same variety, connecting the plants with lines and, if you want, arcs. You can also use this tool to label several hatches depicting groundcovers or Shrub Areas.

 

 

 

Access the Label by Connecting Line tool:

 

 

F/X Planting ribbon, Connecting Line flyout

 

 

 

Plant Label toolbar

F/X Planting menu, Label - Connecting Line option

 

 

 

 

or type FX_PlantLabelLine in the Command line

 

 

 

When you select Label by Connecting Line, the cursor will turn into a pickbox.

 

 

 

Select a plant to attach to the first connecting line.

 

Labeling a groundcover or Shrub Area? Press G on your keyboard before selecting the planting area. The Label by Connecting Line tool won't recognize planting hatches unless you press G first.

 

 

 

Now click anywhere on another plant of the same type. A line will connect the two plants, and the Command line will prompt you to Select next plant or<A>rc.

 

 

 

Select more plants of the same type to connect them.

 

 

 

 

At any time, you can type A to place an arc. The Command line will prompt you to Select next plant.

 

 

Select the next plant as requested. The Command Line will prompt: Arc midpoint.

 

 

Click to set the arc midpoint.

 

 

 

The arc will be created.

 

 

 

The label method will then default back to Label by Connecting Line.

 

 

 

Select more plants if you want.

 

 

 

 

When finished, right-click to turn labeling off and place the label.

 

You can also use Label by Connecting Line to call out several hatches representing Shrub Areas or groundcovers. Those labels will show plant quantities or square footage, depending on how you've configured each plant in your project. More information >

 

 

 

 

Label by Connecting Arc

The Label by Connecting Arc tool calls out a group of plants of the same variety, connecting the plants with arcs. You can also use this tool to call out several hatches representing groundcovers or Shrub Areas.

 

 

 

 

Access the Label by Connecting Arc tool:

 

 

F/X Planting ribbon, Connecting Arc flyout

 

 

 

Plant Label toolbar

F/X Planting menu, Label - Connecting Arc option

 

 

 

 

or type FX_PlantLabelArc in the Command line

 

 

 

When you select Label by Connecting Arc, the cursor will turn into a pickbox.

 

 

 

Select a plant to attach to the first connecting arc.

 

Labeling a groundcover or Shrub Area? Press G on your keyboard before selecting the planting area. The Label by Connecting Arc tool won't recognize planting hatches unless you press G first.

 

 

 

When you click the first plant, the Command line will prompt you to Select next plant.

 

 

 

Click anywhere on the next plant you want to label.

 

 

 

The Command Line will prompt: Arc midpoint.

 

 

Click to set the arc midpoint.

 

 

 

When you click to select a midpoint, the arc will be drawn between the two plants. Continue the process for the rest of the plants you wish to label in this way.

You can also press the L key on your keyboard to toggle to the Label by Connecting Line tool.

 

 

 

 

When finished, right-click to turn off labeling and place the label.

You can also use Label by Connecting Arc to call out several hatches representing Shrub Areas or groundcovers. Those labels will show plant quantities or square footage, depending on how you've configured each plant in your project. More information >

 

 

Labeling Groundcover and Shrub Area Hatches

Labeling Planting Hatches With the Group, Connecting Line, and Connecting Arc Tools

If you want to label a groundcover or Shrub Area using the Group, Connecting Line, or Connecting Arc tool, you'll need to press G on your keyboard before selecting the planting area. These tools won't recognize planting hatches unless you press G first.

 

The Single Plant tool does not require you to press G before selecting a planting area.

 

Plant Quantity vs. Hatch Area

When you add a plant as a groundcover or Shrub Area, you have a choice to label the area (in square feet, meters, etc.) of each hatch representing that plant, or the number of plants in each of the hatches. You can use our Label Single Plant tool to label a single planting area, or either Label by Connecting Line or Label by Connecting Arc to call out several planting areas. (The Label by Group tool is only designed to work with plants you've added as Trees or Shrubs.)

 

 

When adding or editing a plant, you can choose to include a Plant spacing value, as in the examples below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you choose to include a Plant spacing value for a plant, the system will automatically calculate quantities of that plant based on the spacing you provide. In our example, we've placed a spacing value of 12 inches for a plant we've added as a groundcover. As a result, that plant will be calculated as a quantity in each groundcover area, based on plants spaced 12 inches apart.

 

 

 

When you call out a hatch representing that plant, the label will reflect that quantities, as pictured below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you leave the Plant spacing field blank, the plant will be calculated by area based on the measurement system you're using in your Preference Set.

 

 

The resulting label will reflect that area in square feet, meters, etc. The example below shows a label that calculates a plant in square feet (sf).

 

Locating Plants to Label Using the Highlight Plant Tool

Need to find a plant before you've labeled it? Use our Highlight Plant tool. Clicking a plant with Highlight Plant active will highlight every plant of the same variety. It's a quick and easy way to take stock of where you've placed a given plant and determine which of our labeling methods you want to use to call it out.

 

 

 

You can also use Highlight Plant and click a label rather than a plant.

 

 

All plants attached to that label will be highlighted.

Plant Code Styles

Each plant you add to a Land F/X project will have its own unique plant code that will identify that plant by abbreviations of its genus and species in both your labels and Plant Schedules. You can choose to give this code three possible styles:

  • GEN SPE (three capital letters for the genus and three capital letters for the species)
  • Gen Spe (three letters for the genus and species, with initial caps and internal lowercase letters)
  • GS (one capital letter for the genus and one for the species)

For instructions on how to customize this code style, see the Plant Code section of our Planting Preferences page.

Labeling Plants With Photo Callouts

You can also choose to label your plants using plant photos garnered from an online images search. Our Photo Callout tool automates this process, allowing you to find and place images of specific plants quickly.

For more information, including instructions, see our Photo Callout

Plant Label Scale

The scaling of your plant labels in relation to the rest of your drawing depends not only on the scale you've set, but also on the text size assigned to the PLANT CALLOUT font in the Text Manager.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A number of users have requested the ability to have plant labels come in slightly smaller or larger than the default, with a 10-point text height. We engineered this two-pronged scale factor for plant labels in direct response. Thus, rather than having to edit the label blocks to achieve this effect, you can simply edit the PLANT CALLOUT text style.

 

 

You may find that your plant labels are scaled incorrectly in relation to other objects in your drawing (such as your plants).

 

 

 

In this case, your first step should be to open the Text Manager and check the point size currently assigned to the PLANT CALLOUT text style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Odds are, your labels are coming in at the incorrect scale because a user in your office changed the point size. If so, change the point size back to the normal size. Your plant labels should revert to the correct scale.

Extension Lines

The line that connects the leader of a plant label to the label itself is called an extension line (pictured to the right).

 

Our Planting Preferences screen includes an Extension Line section with the following options to set the length of this line:

  • None: With this option selected, each of your labels will connect directly to its leader, with no extension line.
  • Manual: This option allows you to set the length of each label's extension line manually, by clicking.
  • Auto: Set a unit value (example: 0.25 inches) for each extension line. All labels will have an extension line with this uniform length.

For information and instructions, see our Extension Lines documentation section. 

Label in Paper Space

You can use any of our plant label options to place plant labels into Paper Space, and still perform all error checking as if they were placed in Model Space.

 

 

For further information and instructions, see our Label Plants in Paper Space page.

 

 

 

 

 

The example to the left shows a group of plants labeled in Paper Space, to the outside of a viewport.

Moving Labels After Placement

Landscape designers commonly find themselves having to move labels after they've placed them. For instructions, see our Moving Plant Labels page.

Copying Plants & Labels

It's possible to copy and paste plants and their labels around a drawing without the plants losing their association with their labels. You can do so using the COPYCLIP command on both the plant and the label together. For more information, see our article on copying plants and labels.

It's important that you use the COPYCLIP command on both the plant and label together. If you copy them separately, they will lose their association. Do not use the COPY command to copy plants and labels.

Verify Labels & Make Corrections

To ensure that your labeling is correct, use our Verify Labels tool. For information on how to use this critically important tool, see our Verify Labels page.

Did you make changes to your planting plan by adding, deleting or replacing plants? If so, you'll need to update your plant labels to reflect the revised plant counts.

Plant Labels and External References (Xrefs)

We do not offer the ability to label plants within an external reference (Xref). Our long-term solution is to allow multiple users to label a single planting plan at the same time.

 

In the meantime, users working on large projects will often tend to split up the plan for labeling purposes, and then use the WBLOCK command to combine it again. Larger firms sometimes separate the tree and shrub plans, so each portion can be handled by a single drafter.

Using REDEFINEBLOCK to Repair Plant Labels

Plant labels can sometimes behave somewhat strangely. Examples include:

  • You placed a plant label, and the callout box contains no information or text – it's empty.
  • The right and left sides of the same callout style are coming in at different sizes.
  • The layer colors are wrong.

 

This list is not exhaustive; it's just a sample of some common label/callout-related issues our users have faced, which can often be resolved by a simple step.

 

Remember: Callouts are just blocks, each of which is contained in its own .dwg source file. Problems can sometimes occur with these blocks that cause them to behave strangely in a drawing.

 

If any of your labels or callouts seems out of order, the first and easiest step to take is to redefine the block from the source file using the REDEFINEBLOCK command. For more information, visit our Redefine Block article.

Lining Up Plant Labels With Precision

If you need to line up your plant labels, you can enable a grid in your drawing and then snap to points on that grid when placing your labels. For instructions, see our Line Up Plant Labels With Precision page.

Updated Plant Labels (Added in 2015)

We redesigned and reorganized the default plant labels in the Land F/X database back in 2015. In creating these new label styles, we incorporated several requests from users while also making it easier to customize the labels.

 

To access our updated label blocks and slides, you'll need to delete all block files (DWGs) and slide files (SLDs) in the folder LandFX/Blocks/Graphics/Callouts that begin with LAFX-PLANT LABEL – taking care to keep your custom block and slide files. For instructions, see our Updated Plant Labels page.

Plant Labeling Theory

Labeling is a construction communication tool. One argument against labeling your plans holds that you don't need to label planting plans – you just need to let the plants have unique symbols and have the schedule reflect the plant quantity accurately. This extremely weak argument is generally based upon having to label plants manually, which presents a high potential for error, and just giving up and leaving it up to the contractor.

 

 

It's easy to see that labeling a plan accurately will mean a more precise installation, making the installation and construction review easier, and reducing the potential for liability and ill feelings with the site owner. The best possible time to label a plan is the design phase, before you go out to bid. The best way to label is to use an automated system like ours.

As far as the look of the label goes, our Planting Preferences screen offers a variety of options. See our Planting Preferences page for more information.

  • Make the labeling functional by thinking like the installer. Have enough labels throughout the plan to express how many plants go in one specific area or another.
  • If a plan has a lot of labels, the labels themselves should be as physically small and efficient as possible. You simply may not have enough room to put in exotic or lengthy labels.
  • Speed is often of the essence in an office situation. Therefore, your ability to space or line up labels evenly may depend on how much time you are able to spend on the look of the plan. Labeling is, after all, a functional communication of construction components.

Related Webinars

  • Getting Started with Planting F/X: We'll give you a full tour of our F/X Planting ribbon, covering everything from adding, placing, and labeling plants to error checking, scheduling, and turning on our quick render tools. (1 hr)

Troubleshooting

Issue: You want to adjust the offset between plant label leader line and the plant itself (otherwise known as the insertion point)

 

Issue: You want to remove the "SF" or "Sq.M." tag from a plant label

 

Issue: After I edit plants, the plant labels do not update

 

Issue: Plant labels are not showing up in Paper Space, or plant label text is missing

 

Issue: Plant labels are losing their association (connection) with plants

 

Issue: Your plant labels are scaled incorrectly, and you need to correct their scale

 

Question: Is there a way to prevent broken multileaders with plant labels?

Answer: Yes, by using the Multileader command. Follow the instructions linked here.

 

Issue: A small yellow box with an exclamation mark appears on plants after I label them

 

Issue: A groundcover label only says "SF" or "Sq.M." and does not show the quantity or area

 

Issue: Right and left plant labels are showing different information

 

Issue: A plant label is too big or too small

 

Issue: You want to copy and paste plants and labels together, without the plants losing their association with the labels

 

Issue: You want to use numbers, rather than genus/species, as a code to label plants

 

Issue: You want to change your plant labels to show common names rather than botanical names

 

Issue: Plant labels are acting strangely, such as:

  • You placed a plant label, and the callout box contains no information or text – it's empty.
  • The right and left sides of the same callout style are coming in at different sizes.
  • The layer colors are wrong.

 

Issue: You want to label in different scales in one drawing

 

Issue: When you place plant labels, they zoom out and rotate

 

Issue: Your plant labels disappear when you change your Viewport Scale

 

Issue: Rescale plant labels after you've already set the drawing scale

 

Issue: Plant labels draw order keeps changing

 

Issue: You want to rotate (twist) a drawing or Work Area after you've placed your plant labels, in order to keep the labels horizontal

 

Issue: "Not a Plant" error message when attempting to place a plant label

 

Issue: Empty leader, but no callout, when attempting to place a plant label

 

Issue: Some of your plant labels are not resizing (rescaling) when you rescale your drawing

 

Issue: You are experiencing a significant delay when attempting to add or place plant labels

 

Issue: Plant labels are coming in blank or empty

 

Issue: "Missing File" error message when placing plant labels

 

Issue: Plant labels are rescaling immediately (to the incorrect size) when placed in Paper Space

 

Issue: Some of your plant labels are coming in away from plants and/or not appearing correctly. Examples include:

  • Labels appearing in the wrong location 

  • Leader lines not pointing to the correct plants

  • Arrows pointing in the wrong direction, distorted, or missing

 

Issue: Different plant labels are coming in with different fonts or text styles

 

Issue: You made changes to your planting plan after labeling, and you now need to update the plant quantities or plant counts shown within your labels

 

Issue: Your plant labels are not coming in at all

 

Issue: Plant labels disappear or become invisible after you use our Verify Labels tool or edit plants in the Plant Manager

 

Issue: Text boxes are appearing around your label text when you plot your drawing to PDF

 

Issue: Plant labels are appearing behind hatches or other objects when placed in Paper Space

 

Issue: You want to have multiple designers label in one drawing at the same time

 

Issue: Text boxes are displaying in your drawing where your plant labels should be

 

Issue: Error adding extended data

 

Issue: You placed a plant label inside a Work Area with a UCS assigned to it, and the label aligned to that UCS rather than to the WCS

 

Issue: Your plant label text is not showing up (but your labels are)

 

Issue: Outside Limits error message in the Command line / you are unable to place plant labels / can't see plant labels in Model Space

 

Issue: The left and right versions of your plant labels look completely different, even though they're the same label style

 

Issue: Nothing happens after selecting a Shrub Area or groundcover hatch using the Plant Label – Group, Connecting Line, or Arc tool

Last modified on Wednesday, 30 January 2019 15:47
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