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Pop-ups: text element essentials

An important, but sometimes overlooked, part of authoring good web maps is configuring pop-ups for layers. A good pop-up can turn a list of raw data into more meaningful information and provide an informative experience for viewers of your map.

Pop-ups are created by configuring and adding content elements. The elements are; Fields list, Chart, Image, Text, and Arcade. Arcade can also be used to create expressions that can be used in text elements. You can add multiple elements of any type and arrange them in any order, orienting them vertically, horizontally, or both.

For an overview, see Pop-ups: the essentials. This blog article focuses on text elements.

Quick links

Use these links to jump to a section of interest.

Text element pop-up examples map
Text element editor
Configure the text element

More information

Prior to adding content elements, it’s a good idea to configure layer fields and the pop-up title. See the following for more information:

Configure fields (in Pop-ups: the essentials)

Pop-up title (in Pop-ups: the essentials)

Pop-up text element examples map

You can view the examples outlined in this blog article using the pop-up text element examples map. Once you open the map, Sign In to save the map to your Content. You can also follow along without signing in.

Each pop-up technique is represented by a unique layer. The layer name indicates how the pop-up has been configured. Open the layer pane from the Contents (dark) toolbar.

Map Layers

To view the pop-up, toggle the visibility to show only the desired layer.

Show layer

Click a feature in the map to view the configured pop-up.

Tip: Click the Dock button to dock the pop-up and view more of its content.

Dock pop-up

To see how the pop-up was configured, select the layer in the Layer pane and click Configure pop-ups in the Settings (light) toolbar. Click to expand the element to see how it has been configured.

Configure pop-ups

Text editor

Click Add content to display a list of elements. Then choose Text.

Add pop-up media

When you add a text element, the text editor appears. Using the the editor you can type “{” to select a field or expression, enter plain text, add links, use HTML, and use formatting tools to format the text. Hover over any button to learn more.

Text editor

Configure the text element

Follow the steps below to configure the text element in different ways. See the pop-up text element examples map to view examples and examine how they have been configured.

Text from a single field

In some cases, an attribute field may contain descriptive text that you can add directly to your Text element. Type “{” to display a list of fields, then select the field with the description.

Add field

When finished, click OK. The layer pop-up shown below uses the contents of the {DESC_} field to add a description for the feature.

Description from single field
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Formatted text with fields and links

Begin entering plain text and fields as desired. You can change the typography and choose foreground and background colors to emphasize specific information.

To add a link, select the text you want to use as the link, click the Link button, then enter the full URL (e.g., Note that only https links are supported.

To add a link that is in a field, first add the field then copy and delete it. Enter the link text, click the Link button, and paste the copied field into the link input.

Formatted text
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Text element using HTML

Click the Source button in the editor to enter HTML. When finished, click the Source button again to view the results, then click OK. See Supported HTML for a list of supported HTML tags and attributes you can use.

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Using the HTML shown below, the pop-up was configured to display a table listing information about each peak using several other fields.

Text element using Arcade

Arcade is an expression language that is supported across ArcGIS. It can be used to perform calculations, manipulate text, and evaluate logical statements.

In pop-ups, Arcade is used in two ways; to create expressions in text elements that can be evaluated like fields, or as separate elements that return a block of content.

This pop-up example uses a single expression ({expression/expr0}) to return a string describing the ranking of the prominence.

To add an Arcade expression, open Options in the Pop-up pane and click Attribute expresssions.

Attribute expressions

Then click Add expression.

Add expression

This opens the Attribute expresssions pane. Enter the desired Arcade. Click Test to verify that it works. Optionally, change the title to make the expression easier to find and understand. When finished click Save.

Attribute expressions pane
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The Arcade shown below uses the integer value of prominence in feet to return a string which indicates the relative prominence ranking.

More information

Using pop-up custom attribute displays, you can use a variety of techniques and style options to craft a compelling and interesting pop-ups. Open California Peaks – Pop-up text element examples to view a variety of pop-up configurations, including those covered in this post.

For more information see the following:

This post was originally published on July 25, 2013, and has been updated.

About the author

Corporate technology evangelist and advocate at Esri, focusing on ways to broaden access to geographic information and helping customers succeed with the ArcGIS system. On a good day I'm making a map, on a great day I'm on one. Email or connect on LinkedIn (


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