I was wondering if there is any design pattern for making overlapping text to show nicer in a scene.

How my scene looks like; I have orbs with various colours and small differences in size and each one has a label in the bottom of this orb. Is there any way to make more manageable, the case when some orbs are quite close to each other then the texts overlap quite heavily

enter image description here

  • Hi Peter, do you have a screenshot? Most of us are visually-oriented people and have problems visualising a written description. Thanks!
    – Vincent
    Jun 8, 2015 at 13:14
  • @Vincent Yeah, sure. I had to heavily censor it though :P
    – Peter
    Jun 8, 2015 at 15:06
  • @Peter Is there any reason why the orbs are spaced at varying widths apart from each other?
    – AndrewH
    Jun 8, 2015 at 15:39
  • @AndrewH Hello Andrew. Yes, they are placed on a XY plane. It just happens that in this particular setup they all have a y = 0
    – Peter
    Jun 8, 2015 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


I have thought of some different ways you could display text.

Hover State

The first one since this is an online application would be to use a hover state for the different orbs. This wouldn't really work if the orbs didn't have any meaning. You would most likely need to add some sort of icon. Then have description text when hovering or clicking on the orb.


Angled Text

You could angle the text. This is commonly used for graphs with long descriptions.


Alternating Heights

Alternating the placement of the description. If the text is not overly long, then alternating the placement to slightly overlap each other could work.


Adding More Space

Creating more space. From the screenshot it looks like you have varying widths between all of the orbs. Is there a reason for this? Another idea is to just create more space between orbs.

spaced out

Vertical Layout

Using vertical orbs. This would require altering the design layout but moving the orbs to the left hand side would give you much more room for displaying text below or to the sides of the orbs.

vertical orbs


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.